By Tod Fetherling, President & CEO of Perception Health/TN HIMSS President Elect

The Nashville Analytics Summit hosted by the Nashville Technology Council in partnership with TNHIMSS created a healthcare focused track.  The two-day event was a success by all accords.

The day began with a great presentation by Susan Cooper from The Regional Medical Center in Memphis.  Her presentation setup a great conversation for the rest of the day about doing the right things.  Using a defined ROI approach, the Med focused on interventions to keep patients from recurring emergency room visits.  Some of the higher risk patients use the ED 85 times in a year. 

Soft skills has been an identified area of our HIT workforce development for the past decade.  Cristina Ingram from Vanderbilt outline a consulting approach at Vanderbilt’s Analytics Department.  This process includes clearly defining the expectations of the outcome and a timeline for their internal customers before work begins.  Clearly, communications is an important component of analytics.  If the end user can not define what problem they want to solve, should we as practitioners in analytics begin the work?

I have found in presenting data, it sometimes requires 2-3 presentations of the data to debunk the myths of the end user, then educate them on the data, and finally assist in asking the right questions.

Analytics is playing a key role in the Care Delivery.  We hear fears of the Minority Report as the future of healthcare.  However, I think what we are seeing is that the analytics can help inform the hospital, payer, or employer, but will not replace the vital role of the clinician.

Myself and Katie Kruzan from Perception Health outlined our vision for using advanced analytics in the prediction of diseases and optimization of the Care Pathway for the patient.  In the use case provided, the average episode for lung cancer saw the following:

  • A reduction in the time to diagnosis by months
  • Reduced total visits by 92
  • Reduced the total days in the episode by 136
  • Cost savings of $50,702 per episode in Lung Cancer
  • 12 fewer days before patient sees a physician
  • Total US savings potential of $11.8B

When we bring together data with the discipline of analytics and a quest for improved patient experiences, amazing discoveries are possible.  We owe it to our friends and family members to work more collaboratively as a community to help people predict diseases and find the right provider who drive quality outcomes.

A panel which included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (Sherri Zink, SVP Chief Data Officer), Cerner (Marc Overage, VP Population Health Strategies), Physician (Juliet Daniels, MD Pediatrician and TNHIMSS Board Member), and a Patient (Dawn Pernestti, Patient Advocate) was focused on the ownership of health data.  It was an energetic panel and spirited conversation.  Ultimately, all panelist agreed the patient owns the data.  The Panelist also focused on what they as providers and facilitators of the patient data are doing to make it easier for the patient gain access to their information.  This is encouraging news given the policy and funding efforts of the Federal Government over the past 10 years.

The panel also highlighted how important it is for providers to work as a team for patients with chronic diseases.  This includes sharing data via CCDs and the Direct Messaging format.

Next the TNHIMSS stage welcomed Mikil Taylor who focused on the requirements of scaling a data operations for healthcare.  One area that was discussed both during the presentations and during the breaks was the need for more qualified talent in health data science.  This includes roles for developers, data architects, data scientists, and health analysts.

Multiple Venture Capital firms were spotted in the audience looking for both investable opportunities and talent for their funded companies.

The event provided networking at lunch and an energic band to wrap up the day.

We want to thank our sponsors for the event:

Before Day 2 began, the NTC hosted an executive panel with leading data scientists and executives from local technology companies.  Many executives asked about experience of the panelist and the costs associated with creating and scaling data operations.

Day Two officially began with an overview of the healthcare talent in Middle Tennessee by Brian Moyer, President of the Nashville Technology Council and Amy Harris, Professor at MTSU, and Eric Thrailkill, VP and CIO at Amsurg.  We have much work ahead of us to recruit, re-educate, and organically grow the next generation of talent in the Nashville region.

Cheryl Mason from Wolters-Kluwers and Shannon Swafford, former President of THIMA conducted a talk on the importance of reference data in analytics.  It was great an in-depth presentation on taxonomies and the importance of libraries and librarians for that fact in creating highly scalable processes that provide interoperability among diverse medical coding sets.

A provider panel was moderated by Justin Mooneyham at Amsurg and a TNHIMSS Board Member.  The focus of the panel was about how providers are using analytics to improve care, decrease costs, and grow share.  Panel members were Ed Marx, Director of Enterprise Analytics at Vanderbilt University and Eric Stephens, Chief Analytics Officers at Nashville General Hospital.  The panel provided excellent insights into how both organizations are using analytics to answer executives’ questions related to care and costs.

Lindsey Morris, Director of Data Science and Analytics talked about how to build a Data Analytics team in Healthcare.  Her real-world examples helped many understand the skills they will need to succeed and contribute to the team of Data Scientist and Analytics professionals.

Tim Brooks and Justin Collier, MD (TNHIMSS Board Member) from World Wide Technology combined to present key developments in AI and Deep Learning techniques and technologies and their real-world applications across industries along with the results and ROI achieved.

The overall theme of the event was one of exciting progress in Analytics in Nashville.  You can’t really talk about Analytics in Nashville without talking about the impact this new frontier will bring into the healthcare services space.

This was the first time the NTC and TNHIMSS partnered on the Nashville Analytics Summit.  According to Brian Moyer, the event was a tremendous success by breaking the attendance record with more than 900 attendees from multiple states and countries.

Additional, the SHSMD (Society of Healthcare Strategy and Market Development) organization, part of the American Hospital Association, held is annual meeting across the street at the Music City Center.  It is easy to say Nashville last week represented the largest collection of health data and analytics professionals in the US.