Business Objects Provides Solution

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2005-10-04 Print this article Print

EMA and Sapphire, which has since been acquired by Miami-based Adjoined Consulting Inc., deployed Business Objects BusinessObjects Application Foundation. The goal was to take information on complaints from patients—such as headaches, vomiting or specific pains—and diagnoses from doctors, feed the data into the warehouse, and determine how the data compares with the norm using the EMARS (Emergency Medicine Analysis and Reporting System) dashboard.

"In syndromic surveillance, you dont care about [data on] the single patient, unless its smallpox or Ebola [virus]," Rothman said. "Syndromic surveillance is about the subtle things. ... In our data analysis, were not interested in statistically valid information from an individual. Were more concerned with 20 or 30 patients because then you can see an anomaly."

Last year, Rothman wanted to move his BI capabilities, including syndromic surveillance, onto the Web. It was through Business Objects that Rothman came in contact with Sapphire. Sapphire worked with EMA on implementing Business Objects BusinessObjects Performance Manager and Dashboard Manager technology, which included a set of dashboards that could be used to find the necessary information in the data warehouse and analyze it.

Click here to read about Business Objects BI platform for Linux. Susan Richards, an officer in the BI practice at Adjoined Consulting, said that working with EMA has been eased by the fact that the doctors group had spent so many years collecting the necessary data—it was more a matter of organizing it in such a way that the Business Objects tools could take advantage of it—and that Rothman knew the goals he wanted to reach. From there, it was simply a matter of putting the tools in place to accomplish the tasks.

To develop a prototype, Richards had to help Rothman redesign the data warehouse, moving from straight data collection for EMAs various sites to a warehouse organized for greater analysis. Within a few months, EMA moved from the prototype to the first production application, Richards said.

Rothman said Business Objects has done a good job implementing features that he has needed as hes built up his data warehouse and BI capabilities. EMA and Adjoined currently are beta testing the next version of the BusinessObjects suite, called BusinessObjects XI Release 2. Business Objects Morrissey said the company is making the software more intuitive, enabling users to analyze and interact more easily with the data theyre collecting.

Security continues to be a priority for EMA, and it is built into all applications, Rothman said. For example, the group can ensure that physicians get access only to the data for which they are authorized, and that authorization is centrally controlled by Rothmans office.

Richards said a key in Adjoineds continued relationship with EMA is Rothmans clear understanding of what he wants the dashboards to do. Rothman said he is working closely with Adjoined and Business Objects to ensure that the software vendor continues to implement features critical to his business, such as better data visualization.

Morrissey said EMAs syndromic surveillance capabilities highlight what can be done with better analytical capabilities. "This is a clear instance where improved information has saved lives," he said.

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