Rising pharmaceutical drug prices and declining reimbursements have made it difficult for US-based hospitals to prescribe medicines that their uninsured or under-insured patients can afford. Even with the government’s 340B program, which requires drug makers to discount some of their prescription medicines, hospitals struggle with rigorous regulatory requirements and complex procurement contracts, which make it hard for them to qualify for the discount program. It’s also hard for them to determine which therapies have the highest success rates and then identify which pharmacies have the necessary discounted drugs available.
Enter healthcare data analytics company Sentry Data Systems, which works with hundreds of hospitals and clinics “that serve some of the neediest and most vulnerable patient populations in the country,” says founder and CEO Travis Leonardi. “Our mission is to ensure that hospitals, physicians, and safety-net providers, not drug companies or pharmacies, remain in control of how to best care for their patients,” he says.
Sentry’s healthcare analytics software-as-a-service platform continuously captures terabytes of data containing patients’ protected healthcare information, and then categorizes that data into demographic profiles, conditions, treatments, and invoices. The company now pulls that data daily from the financial, clinical, and pharmacy systems of more than 11,000 US-based hospitals, health clinics, pharmacies, and specialty treatment centers, and then makes it available in its pre-built analytical models for healthcare administrators to determine which type of treatment would be the most cost-effective for each patient’s specific condition.
By analyzing patient populations across a range of variables, such as age, gender, and disease, “we’re helping hospitals make informed decisions based on real-world evidence, not anecdotal observations or scientific hypotheses,” says Dr. William Kirsh, Sentry’s chief medical officer.
But capturing, classifying, and analyzing millions of these types of healthcare records and making them available to hundreds of hospital administrators every day was pushing Sentry’s data center to the brink. “We were quickly running out of server and storage capacity,” says CIO Kim Jacques.
The costs of upgrading its hardware were prohibitive, Jacques says, but strict HIPAA regulations dissuaded the company from moving that data into a public cloud instead. “We needed an on-premises cloud platform that gave us complete control of our data but didn’t require us to manage all of the patching and upgrades,” she says. “Really, the only solution for us was Oracle.”
Find out how Sentry uses Oracle Exadata Cloud At Customer to capture more than a terabyte of data from its customers’ health information systems (HISs) each day, and then automatically run batch processes 60% faster at night.