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PINC AI™ INsights Propels WakeMed Health & Hospitals to Data-Driven Success

Key takeaways:

  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals grappled with effectively managing healthcare data for diverse stakeholders, necessitating a transparent and streamlined approach.
  • With support from Premier, WakeMed utilized PINC AI™ INsights to automate data reporting, reducing manual workload by 18 hours per month and enhancing data collection and visualization efficiency.
  • The adoption of an electronic dashboard improved transparency, streamlined processes and facilitated informed decision making, highlighting the impact of strategic partnerships in healthcare data management.

For many healthcare organizations, it can be challenging to manage and present clinical data effectively. WakeMed Health & Hospitals, a not-for-profit healthcare organization based in Raleigh, NC, is no stranger to that challenge. In 2018, the health system grappled with the task of obtaining high-quality data in a manner that was transparent, timely and comprehensible.

The complexity intensified as they aimed to bridge the understanding gap between clinical and non-clinical stakeholders. “Our board of directors, many of them non-clinical, required translating clinical information into a format understandable by all stakeholders,” said Karen Chilton, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at WakeMed. Their objective was clear: increase transparency of quality data across all levels of the organization.

To achieve this, WakeMed needed to identify the right key performance indicators (KPIs), focusing on metrics with the highest patient impact. "We focused on KPIs such as CAUTI, CLABSI, MRSA, C. diff and surgical site infections," said Chilton. "Our main goal was transparency in quality data. In quality, we want to fix all problems, but focusing on KPIs allows meaningful impact."

In their pursuit of transparency, WakeMed recognized the need for a more efficient data reporting process. The existing manual approach, involving labor-intensive compilation, graph creation and validation, consumed significant resources. Moreover, reconciling data from different sources and addressing discrepancies posed an ongoing challenge.

PINC AI™ INsights: Transforming Data Utilization

A strategic partnership with Premier helped WakeMed overcome these obstacles. The collaboration unfolded as a multifaceted initiative. “We wanted a solution that mirrored the thoughtful assembly of a charcuterie board—something that showed up mostly put together, attractive, appealing and easily digestible by all stakeholders,” said Mary Krizay, Director of Quality Analytics at WakeMed.

With this in mind, WakeMed leveraged PINC AI™, Premier’s technology and services platform, for technical support and guidance. The health system utilized PINC AITM INsights to maximize the value of their data. The solution gives users the ability to access mission-critical clinical, financial and operational data from a central framework. Data can be integrated from various sources and external data can be uploaded to create or add new datasets.

In 2021, WakeMed utilized PINC AI™ INsights with Premier’s assistance to build their first electronic dashboard for KPIs. This effort aimed to streamline data collection, visualization and distribution. "Our strategic dashboard had key indicators, targets and benchmarks, aiming to be a top 10 health system in the country," said Chilton.

Using their existing business intelligence (BI) tool for data visualization, the team embarked on a seven-month-long project that involved identifying and consolidating five data sources into a data warehouse. “Premier provided technical support and insights in creating the initial dashboard, focusing on mortality, readmission and length of stay,” said Renee White, a Quality Performance Analyst at WakeMed.


Despite facing challenges like recalibration during the end of the fiscal year and manual processes for specific data sources such as NHSN, the project produced tangible results. The electronic dashboard, rolled out in early 2022, became the organization's primary source of data. It allowed for automated updates on the ninth of each month, reducing the manual workload by 18 hours per month.

This initiative not only saved time but also improved data reporting accuracy. The dynamic dashboards facilitated better engagement and dialogue within the organization, allowing leaders, providers and nursing staff to access and interpret the data more efficiently.

Key stakeholders now access the information electronically, marking a departure from the previous reliance on paper copies. "Our dashboard is accessible on iPads, allowing board members to engage with the data easily and fostering an informed, proactive approach to quality," said White. "The definitions page in the dashboard ensures a common language for all stakeholders, bridging the gap between clinical and non-clinical perspectives."

Monthly data reviews involved drilling down to case-level data, allowing leaders to examine individual patient charts for actionable insights. "Our monthly data review process involves examining aggregated and case-level data, empowering leadership triads to identify trends and take actionable steps for improvement," said Krizay. The data-driven approach extended to quality oversight committees and board reviews, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the organization's performance.

WakeMed’s journey exemplifies how strategic partnerships, like the one with Premier, can help healthcare organizations overcome challenges in data management and reporting. The shift from manual processes to an automated, visually engaging dashboard reflects a commitment to transparency, efficiency and continuous improvement in healthcare delivery.

Learn more about transforming your data and surfacing opportunities for enterprise improvement.

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