Feb 8, 2024
Our CEO, Jean Drouin, MD, recently sat down with Feby Abraham, PhD, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer at Memorial Hermann Health System to talk about using analytics for precision growth. Watch the fireside chat here.
Jean Drouin, MD: It’s my great pleasure today to welcome my very good friend Feby Abraham who is the chief strategy officer at Memorial Hermann Health system. We will discuss analytics driven strategies to help health systems not only to grow, but also to further extend their mission. So Feby just to get going, how do you think about strategy and execution?
Feby Abraham, PhD: I think we look at the entire journey of whole health of a patient, whether it is disease specific, or it is disease agnostic. And you say, look, in order to reduce the total cost of care journey, how do we sort of engage the provider?, ie, the physician, and that’s on the pre-acute side. The health system typically historically has sat within the four walls of the hospital, but now with that expanded mandate and then leaning towards the post-acute journey, what does that entire continuum of care look like for the patient and how do we reallocate the patient’s journey across those pieces appropriately?
Jean Drouin, MD: So what I’m hearing is that you are now looking to be the quarterback effectively across longer or entire journeys. So how do you think about the role of analytics to help you both with your growth and the quality of your delivery of those journeys?
Feby Abraham, PhD: Yeah. It’s a very good question. And the way we think about it is in four major questions. Question one is what pockets of data and therefore analytics do we utilize to guide our growth strategy? And I call it the precision driven growth strategy. And so that’s bucket one. I’ll get into more of that in a moment. The second is how do you use data and analytics to better manage clinical outcomes, cost, and quality? So that involves looking at it from a patient and provider integration, using all the data that is available to predictively mine the insights on the patient and therefore reduce any sort of clinical variation and make sure that you’re following evidence-based pathways. The third question is around consumer experience. How do you utilize data and analytics to create a seamless and frictionless experience for the patient with the provider system much like how FinTech and retail have innovated in other industries if you take that analogy and where we believe that healthcare is lagging, and we should sort of collectively shape that patient experience and journey.
Feby Abraham, PhD: And finally, how do you use data and analytics to unlock efficiencies throughout the continuum of care? So whether it is front office efficiencies or back office efficiencies, I’m thinking topics like revenue cycle or the use of data and analytics to create a more nimble cost structure throughout our base
Jean Drouin, MD: Driving one level deeper, do you have one or two examples of using analytics that have added value?
Feby Abraham, PhD: Yeah. So, let’s take the first of the four questions I was describing Jean and that’s where I obviously complement what you and your team of Clarify have also built for us. So when we think about that $90 billion of healthcare spend, and you look at our current state of, “Hey, we are a $7 billion system in that $90 billion spend”. How do we think about serving that mission that I was describing of reducing the total cost of care and keeping our communities healthy. We’ll need to look at the full healthcare dollar. We’ll need to look at the entire 90 billion. And so, one of the pathways we went on is to answer that question more effectively through the use of a lot of data sources. And we learned along that way that what are the data sources out there that can help us understand where we could seek information about patient’s total cost of care, and therefore give us insights into how we effect that. That clearly includes claims data from the patients. That includes data from the physicians.
Feby Abraham, PhD: It includes data from our acute care infrastructure as well whether it is within the four walls, outside the four walls, alternate sites of care, et cetera. Our vision was to aggregate all that data and then guide our growth strategy.
Feby Abraham, PhD: Our business is organized by service lines, really think of them as therapeutic areas or body parts in a way which is orthopedics, oncology, et cetera. And so for each one of those interventions, we built a granular roadmap of the entire healthcare dollar and said, look for that entire healthcare spend what is it that we are doing today? Where is the puck headed? in terms of predictively looking at what the art of the possible future can be.
Feby Abraham, PhD: And therefore, when we think about capital allocation from a growth strategy perspective, whether it is the traditional capital allocation within the four walls or non-traditional capital allocation outside the four walls, we use that data and analytics to guide our decision making. And one of the things that we’ve also done is to embed that within our workflows, which means when our operating teams across our service lines and our care delivery sites think about their monthly operating reviews and their quarterly operating reviews and their strategic planning, both near term strategic planning for one year as well as three year strategic plans where they develop their big hairy audacious goals.
Feby Abraham, PhD: We want them to be analytics driven, fact-based driven, use data such as what is provided by through our partnership with Clarify to inform how they’re going to drive decision making, but also on a retrospective basis periodically as they come back to their monthly operating reviews, show how their performance and their vision or their strategic plans have stacked up relative to the best insights we have about how the market and the puck is headed.