A huge dataset but no analysis tool! – DTP group 24

Introducing Erasmus Medical Centre. As the second largest UMC in the Netherlands, the organization has 1320 beds and has opened 402,470 Diagnosis Treatment Combinations (DTCs) in 2009. In that year, 38,555 patients were hospitalized and there were 504,484 visits to the outpatient clinic, which requires Erasmus MC to employ 10,915 people in 2009. (Francine IJpelaar, 2010)

For over a decade the hospital has been working closely with a firm called Planon, the developer of the facility information management system that the hospital uses. But the problem that has risen is, “what does the EMC do with all this data that is being produced and stored?” The answer is, they are not. They are just sitting on huge amounts of data without any proper tools to make sense of it all. And what we would like to see the hospital integrate its IT into its business strategy. Instead of seeing it as supplement to the strategy.

We think, by introducing predictive analytics and new ways of aggregating and analyzing data, we could help Erasmus MC make better decisions on where and when to spend their money on specific types of maintenance, thereby improving their bottom line through significant cost savings. And these cost savings are very welcome considering the fact that the healthcare costs are still growing rapidly and the time has come that the insurance companies stopped just blatantly paying for it.

But besides this pressing financial issue, there is also another major driver behind this change. The hospital wants to excel. Not just in terms of patient care, research and education, but in operations management as well. We believe better analytics and a data-driven approach to making decisions will help Erasmus Medical Centre fulfil its mission and vision for the future.

Our analysis includes a set of models that help detail in what way big data analytics will change the way hospitals operate. An overview of potential areas of profit can be found here:

Schermafbeelding 2014-10-19 om 05.52.26

We did have trouble going over the financials and feasibility of the project because our contact has made clear that due to the special nature of the relationship between the hospital and Planon, the negotiation process preceding the upgrade of the software has already likely been somewhat regulated through a contractual agreement. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to estimate the cost of this implementation by any degree of certainty and so we didn’t include it.

The proposed solution is exceedingly simple to implement. All it requires is a simple update to the already existing information management system. Naturally, people will have to be trained to think in data-driven decision making and must be taught how to use the new module, but those are minor concerns with respect to the many benefits “Big Data” could provide. Upgrading the facility management information system will help acclimatize the hospital to the benefits and pains of business analytics and pave the way towards wide-spread use of business analytics.


Ijpelaar, F. (2013) “Case Study – Erasmus MC” http://www.incoresolutions.com/uploads/ Downloadcentrum/Customer%20Cases/NL/Customer%20Case%20Erasmus%20MC%20NL.pdf, 17-10-14


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