Like many healthcare organizations, the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department is constantly being challenged to do more—improve care coordination, be more patientcentric, comply with complex regulations, and deliver better outcomes—all while reducing costs and time-to-value.
The Department knew that its wealth of treatment and operational data could hold the key to delivering on these demands, but it lacked the means to sort through this torrent of information and unlock potentially game-changing insights.
Dave Roman, Senior Program Administrator at the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, explained: “We were swimming in a sea of data, and it was a real struggle to keep our head above the waves, so to speak, and see the bigger picture. We wanted to get a better sense of the larger trends in terms of the kinds of people we were treating, in what areas, what services we were delivering, and so on.
“At the same time, we wanted to dig deeper into this data to learn, for example, of the 500 clients registered at a particular clinic, how many are being treated for depression, what treatment plan are they following, what medication—if any— have they been prescribed, and what have been the outcomes of that particular course of treatment? With a better understanding of our operations and clients, we can make more effective use of our resources and drive optimal care outcomes. This would help us deliver on our ultimate goal, which is to provide the best quality care services in the most timely and accessible way for our clients.”
The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department has embarked on an ambitious initiative to transform the way its teams work with information by embedding analytics at the top levels of its operations.
“The aim is to provide our management—from senior executives right down to individual clinic administrators — with a clear view of their unique area of responsibility,” Roman noted. “So an individual managing several clinics, for example, would be able to look at trends across this network as a whole, as well as drill down into operations at the individual clinic level.”
To turn its vision for analytics-driven healthcare into reality, the Department launched an exhaustive search of IT solutions available on the market. Following a thorough request for proposals (RFP) process, which included extensive product demonstrations, Kofax Insight emerged as the winning choice.
“We felt that Kofax Insight was by far the best overall solution,” Roman recalled. “It provided all of the analytics capabilities that we were looking for, along with a very straightforward and intuitive user interface. This was a key selling point, as our primary users were going to be people from the business. We loved that users could jump right in and start engaging with dashboards and charts without a steep learning curve. And from a development perspective, we really appreciated the drag-and-drop, coding-free development capabilities, which make it very quick and easy to build new models, reports and dashboards.”
To ensure a smooth implementation, the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department enlisted the expert support of Kofax Platinum Partner Western Integrated Systems.
“This was a big undertaking and we wanted to ensure that it was done right,” Roman said. “Western Integrated Systems provided excellent development training and implementation guidance; they are the secret to our success and we couldn’t have done this without them. We continue to rely on the team for support and they are our go-to source if we have questions or need advice.”
Working with Western Integrated Systems, the Department has integrated Kofax Insight with its electronic health record (EHR) system and enterprise data warehouse. Using the new analytics solution, the Department can pull information from millions of rows of data, then aggregate and present it in a visual format to business users.
The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department has already rolled out dashboards to its top-level executives and is currently working to make analytics capabilities available to the rest of its management structure. Initial user feedback has been hugely positive.
Roman stated: “Our executives are very impressed with Kofax Insight. It’s easy to use and they can engage with a great breadth and depth of information. They can start with a top-level view of our current client population, financial data and operational performance, then drill down into specific areas of interest. For instance, taking diagnoses as a starting point, a user can look at the most common conditions, the demographic breakdown, where clients are being treated, by what practitioners and with what treatment paths.
“Importantly, we can provide this visibility while remaining in full compliance with rules around patient confidentiality, such as those set out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA]. We don’t drill down to the individual patient level, so their confidential data isn’t disclosed.”
Today, the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department is well on its way to transforming its big volumes of data into meaningful insight—providing management with the bigpicture views they need to make faster, more incisive decisions.
“Kofax Insight is such a great tool,” Roman remarked. “It allows us to shine a new light on information that was once virtually inaccessible to us. In just minutes, users can pull together a clear, objective picture of our operations and clients, and use this to inform decisions about how we deliver services and manage day-to-day activities.”
The new analytical insight is proving to be a valuable complement to the on-the-ground experience that managers at the Department have built up over the years.
“Most of our management team has been working in the healthcare industry for decades, and while they definitely know their stuff, it has been a great advantage to back up that intuition with hard facts,” Roman noted. “Thanks to Kofax Insight, we can combine our human expertise with quantitative analytics to drive optimal decision-making. And in some cases, analytics is proving to be a powerful tool in helping people to challenge their underlying assumptions, unearth emerging trends and find new ways to tackle a problem.”
One of the Department’s next steps is to delve into the world of predictive analytics—taking advantage of forecasts and predictive models to improve operational outcomes.
Roman gave an example: “It is very important for us to understand where the greatest need for our services exists in the county, and allocate resources accordingly. By knowing who our clients are, where they live and their common needs—and combining that with demographic patterns as populations change and people move around— we can make better decisions about which programs to run in specific areas, or about where to locate new clinics. Similarly, by looking at trends around the prevalence of particular drugs in different areas and among different demographic groups, we can adapt our treatment scope accordingly. It’s all about building that deeper understanding that allows us to get closer to our clients, and deliver services that are both easy to access and suited to each person’s unique needs.”
With the ability to uncover new insights from its wealth of data, the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department can work smarter to ensure that its programs and services have a meaningful impact on each and every client.
Roman concludes: “Kofax Insight will act as a valuable complement to our evidence-based, best-practice approach to care delivery. For the first time, we will be able to measure which practices our teams engaged when treating patients on a particular program and the high-level outcomes of that approach. With a newfound understanding of what treatment patterns work best for different patient groups, we can shape a more effective, individualized approach to care that produces better outcomes for clients—helping them take positive steps to a healthy and happy life.”