“For the longest time, reporting was not a key focus for Epic,” said Brad Hine, a member of Mercy Technology Services’ data engineering and analytics team. “Originally, you could do some light reporting within the Hyperspace application and more robust analytical reports in the Clarity tool.” But then, about eight years ago, Epic really put some focus behind their reporting efforts. “And when Epic does that,” said Brad, “they can improve things pretty quickly.”
Today, Epic’s reporting suite is called Cogito, which includes Radar dashboards, Reporting Workbench within Hyperspace, Epic’s Clarity reporting tool and Caboodle – Epic’s data warehouse solution. The newest addition to the team, Caboodle isn’t a system that most providers or end users will ever interact with directly, but it’s working behind the scenes to power some of the biggest innovations in health care that’ll be coming down the pike over the next few years.
The key benefit of Caboodle is its ability to bring in external data and integrate it with Epic data, making it easier to process information coming from multiple different sources. “Caboodle offers an intuitive data model,” said Brad. “That means a report writer doesn’t need as much experience with the unique Epic particularities in Hyperspace or Clarity to produce really effective reports.”
For Mercy, one initial use case for Caboodle came in the implementation of a new cost and utilization dashboard, which displays external claims data. Another has been to use Caboodle’s ability to combine external claims data with EHR data to help physicians identify and close gaps in their patients' care. While these efforts are currently rolling out within Mercy, MTS is always looking for ways to extend the benefits of their innovations to commercial clients once they’re fully matured.
Next up: MTS is looking forward to implementing Epic’s self-service analytics tool SlicerDicer for Mercy providers. “SlicerDicer allows users to interact with the Caboodle data in real time," Brad said. "It does this by selecting populations of patients and applying filters to them, provide doctors and nurses with insights which may not be apparent on a static report.”
Starting this summer, Mercy will use SlicerDicer to offer a number of different data models across most applications, making it easier for providers and co-workers from different disciplines to get at the information they need most. Leadership is currently determining which data models to implement initially.
“What Epic’s done with Caboodle is make it easier to combine external data with EHR data, and to help users make the most informed decisions, right where they do the work,” Brad said. “That’s why we’re here. To do this kind of thing.”