“Do we need more reports? Or do we need a tool to find the ones we already have?” See how Regina Duval answered those questions.
Regina Duval knows talking about data integrity can feel like a waste of time to many hospital leaders, but she’s on a mission to change that.
“In healthcare, everything is so fast and so urgent. Everything is a top priority. Patients’ lives are at stake in many cases,” says Regina, who heads up the analytics team for business operations at CentraCare, a large hospital system in central Minnesota.
It’s understandable reporting can take on that same urgency.
But after years of responding to data requests on the fly, with little time to focus on how that data was being labeled, stored, and organized, CentraCare’s data team had created somewhere in the ballpark of 7,000 reports, and there was no clear way to keep track of them all.
Leaders were frustrated, and so was the data team.
Not only were reports hard to find, they were also, quite often, conflicting. Definitions of terms were inconsistent, reports were built with varying structures, and very little was documented.
“One leader would want something very specific in their report, with certain filters on it, but there was no documentation to tell us that, so it would appear to be a global report,” says Regina. “There was just so much confusion.”
Meanwhile CentraCare’s leaders were struggling to get what they needed. “Our team started to hear over and over again from leaders, ‘We’re missing the data, we’re missing the data, we don’t know how to get what we need,’” says Regina.
“It’s just become this cycle of frustration. Leaders want data, leaders can’t see the data, so leaders ask for new data. We build new things, and then realize it was already out there, and then we have conflicting reports.”
These problems were made worse by the scope.
CentraCare has 11,000 employees across nine hospitals and 31 clinics, and the organization is tracking millions of data points on any given day. Even with 10 report writers, 12 analysts, and a data scientist, the Center for Analytics at CentraCare could barely keep up with all the report requests.
“We get on average 40 tickets per week—anything from a general question to a giant multi-page report,” says Regina. “We’re never going to be able to staff appropriately to meet every need so we’re really having to push self-service tools.”
“So how does a leader find what they need? How do we know what’s already out there? How do we validate that? How do we trust it?”
Finding a solution was a priority.
When it comes to optimizing data and analytics operations, CentraCare has been ahead of many other healthcare organizations. In 2021, they implemented a Center for Analytics, which reports directly to the CEO. Their commitment to improving data integrity and increasing data quality is valued at the highest levels of the organization.
CentraCare understood the need for a solution, and they were motivated to find it. The chaotic process of creating endless reports was one of the first problems this new Center for Analytics tackled.
Many of the reports being requested already existed—they just had to find a way to make it easy for leaders to find them.
It quickly became clear what they needed: A data catalog.
“A data catalog just kept coming to the surface,” says Regina. “We had to find a way to take this burden off of the small team in the Center for Analytics and share it across the system, really democratize the data.”
By giving leaders both more visibility into the reports and more responsibility for keeping the data organized, they could stop duplicating work.
So CentraCare implemented the Compendium Data Catalog.
The difference has been game-changing.
“One of the really appealing things about Compendium is that it’s so simple,” says Regina. “Someone can go to Compendium and they know what a search box looks like. You literally don’t need to be able to do anything more than what you do with Google.”
Almost immediately, leaders were finding the value.
“Our Population Health and our Performance Improvement teams were very interested in what Compendium was and how they could use it,” says Regina. “They engage with leaders all the time for different kinds of process improvements, but how do you improve a process without the data, right? So they were always needing data. And now they’re using the tool heavily.”
CentraCare’s financial analysts have also been early adopters of Compendium. “The finance team is obviously needing a lot of data, so Compendium has been valuable to them.”
Fifteen minutes of training is all it takes.
The Center for Analytics is spreading the word about Compendium through meetings, articles, and trainings across the entire CentraCare organization, and usually it only takes 15 minutes or so to show a leader how to use it.
“To the end user, Compendium is just really simple, and I think that’s a huge selling point.”
“That’s why we love it,” says Regina. “It’s open, there’s no requesting-access process. It’s truly built knowing everyone would be able to see it. And so now, if someone even hears about Compendium through the grapevine, they can just go in and play around. We really keep trying to push on leaders that you can’t break it. You just gotta go in and click stuff, you gotta go try it.”
“Through the whole implementation process, Compendium was very, very easy. It was really low risk, with no shutdown time, and no impact on our daily work as it was being stood up,” says Regina.
Now they start with Compendium.
Regina says Compendium is changing how the Center for Analytics handles report requests. “Now that we have Compendium, the first step is to go check and see what else might be out there already. Can we redirect them to an existing report?”
She says they’re starting to see more and more usage of Compendium, including the Compendium Metric Hub, and they’re excited to continue helping more leaders—and, eventually, their entire workforce—use Compendium to find what they need.
“I’m excited that we’re finally here,” says Regina.
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