SAS Zeros In On Health Care

Business intelligence software developer SAS Institute this week said it had set up a special Healthcare division and rolled out a new analytical application for health care providers.

ORLANDO—A recurring theme at SAS Institute Inc.s SAS Users Group International conference here this week has been the analysis software developers increasing focus on building industry specific solutions.

As part of that drive, SAS announced that it has formed a Healthcare Division. The new division is designed to add healthcare and business expertise to SAS business intelligence software so as to deliver healthcare-specific solutions for performance management, data warehousing and BI to hospitals, health systems and physician networks, SAS officials said.

The formation of the new division follows SAS creation of a Pharmaceutical Practice last December.

Theresa Tesh, a 20-year sales veteran of SAS will head up the new division as senior director. Tesh will be assisted by Melissa Fitzpatrick, the former chief nurse executive at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and Susan Lewellen, former COO at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C. Ftizpatrick and Lewellen will both serve as principal strategists for the group.

SAS, of Cary, N.C., also released a specific solution for healthcare, the SAS Healthcare Strategic Performance Management Solution, which is used to draw relationships between business data like revenues and profits with other intangible factors like the satisfaction of patients, employees and physicians. The new division is expected to create more healthcare-specific solutions.

Robert Munzy, systems analyst for decision support at Integris Health Inc, a SAS customer in Oklahoma City, welcomed the move by SAS. Munzy noted that SAS has assigned a new sales rep to his company, whos selling specifically to health care customers.

"It should help us having someone specific in healthcare," he said. "They can target us better now."

Munzy said he does a fair amount of customization now to his SAS Executive Information System and expects any packaged solutions to still allow for customization.

"Theres so many more ways to look at healthcare data than in a standard organization," he said. "But its easy to add fields in SAS now. "As long as I can customize whatever theyre going to build, Im OK with that."