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Customer Snapshot: Overview

From $1.2 mil in savings for total knee replacement costs in the first fiscal year to $13 mil overall savings in <2 years.

Few industries are undergoing more change than healthcare—from innovative new treatments and advanced medical equipment to baby boomers hitting their 60’s and a new health insurance landscape. Technology is also beginning to transform healthcare with the near universal adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Exchanges. The resulting explosion of medical and health-related data provides the opportunity to create new models of care on many levels. However, turning much of this data into actionable information has been more of a dream than a reality due to legacy infrastructure constraints. 


US$4.6 billion

Number of Employees


Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Customer Website

Line of Business
Finance, Platform and Technology, Service

SAP Solutions
SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) solutions, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP HANA

Mercy and SAP both saw the possibilities in overcoming these barriers and decided to work together to enable a data-driven approach to innovation in healthcare. Mercy is now leveraging the SAP HANA platform and analytics solutions to Run Live and process data in real-time, helping to improve patient care and save millions of dollars.

Customer Snapshot: History

A History of Caring and Growing

Mercy is a long-time pioneer and advocate for high-quality healthcare:

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

Putting Patients First

Mercy is the seventh largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions of patients annually from 35 acute care centers, 11 specialty hospitals, and more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities. Mercy has 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Despite their size and geographic reach, Mercy’s mission and vision remains focused on each individual patient. They uphold their values of Excellence, Justice, Service, and Stewardship.

Their model of excellence in compassionate care does not go unnoticed: for the 12th time in 17 years, Mercy has been placed on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Most Wired list for 2015, alongside Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and others. Mercy has also won the SAP HANA Innovation Award and multiple Gartner Awards including the Gartner 2016 Healthcare Supply Chainnovators Award. Mercy was also named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Maximizing Patient Care

Mercy believes that delivering evidence-based and personalized medicine is crucial to improving care. To do this, they have to fully leverage not only their data, but external data as well. Mercy was looking for a health IT infrastructure as well as powerful analytics that would enable them to support complex business and clinical processes. These initiatives were critical for the transition to a value-based payment environment of improved quality and reduced costs, which led them to On-Demand Patient Data with SAP HANA.

We organize millions of records from many sources, including the electronic health record (EHR), financial systems, and external data. What used to take weeks to deliver, we embed where and when it's needed – back into the EHR or through custom dashboards with on-the-spot exploration for instant answers. — Curtis Dudley, Vice President of Performance Solutions, Mercy

The Challenge

Using Data to Drive Healthcare Costs Down

Challenge 1: Mercy’s revolutionary approach in the operating room

One of the largest costs for a healthcare provider is running a perioperative unit—and Mercy has over 30 of them. A large portion of this expense is related to surgical supplies, and those can vary dramatically by physician and by procedure. With insurance reimbursements being driven down and supply costs going up, Mercy had a way to better manage the costs—they needed to refine scheduling and procedures to enable it to provide quality care most efficiently.

Challenge 2: Better population health in oncology & diabetes

Mercy believed that delivering evidence-based and personalized medicine was crucial to improving care; to do this, they would have to fully leverage not only their data, but external data as well. They identified two priority test cases.
First, they wanted to become a leader in oncology and, especially, breast cancer treatment in the markets they serve. They believed that by benchmarking their offering, they could both establish where they were strong and where they could improve. One of the goals was to become an acknowledged leader and thereby become a “destination” that large payers in their markets recommend to their employees for treating certain diseases.
Second, Mercy wanted to benchmark their diabetes practice since so many Americans suffer from this disease. Unlike cancer, diabetes is most often treated by the primary care physician and usually involves lifestyle, diet and other recommendations. These recommendations are captured in the doctor’s notes (unstructured data) and so were difficult to measure with their existing systems.
Mercy ran their full EHR program on the EPIC platform. While their data warehouse included 9 years of data and they were using Business Objects for analytics, it was challenging to get full value from the data. It was a fairly static system with pre-built reports that were not flexible and didn’t allow for easy access. In fact, special reports could take months to deliver—and unstructured data could not be easily analyzed.

To grow their current caregiving to offer insights from diverse treatment settings at the point of care, Mercy had to integrate data from several sources, improve disease management, close clinical gaps, and measure the efficacy of the Daily Visit Planner (DVP) report.

In fact, special reports could take months to deliver. And unstructured data could not be easily analyzed.

Enter SAP

Closing Clinical Gaps to Provide Best-in-Class Care

Mercy has seen success with SAP solutions in several ways. To become a best-in-class Accountable Care Organization (ACO), Mercy integrated SAP® BusinessObjects™ business intelligence solutions with their Epic electronic health record (EHR) system to enable the Daily Visit Planner (DVP) tool. Starting with data on 300,000 patients, Mercy began aggregating and delivering actionable data to clinicians across 50 clinical measures and 9 disease states at the point of care to close clinical gaps and improve both patient and population health.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Healthier Data for Healthier Patients

Adoption of the analytics platform at Mercy has driven massive cultural change. The introduction of this comprehensive analytics platform and associated performance dashboards provide access to high level metrics, reports and data exploration tools for immediate answers, faster decisions and actionable performance insight.

KPIs that took weeks/months to deliver in the past are available in real-time.

The new platform enabled Mercy to tackle a broad, complex challenge by exposing more information and allowing executives and analysts to break the larger issue into smaller elements, each of which could be analyzed and addressed on its own. Previous methods took huge amounts of time to compile data, which prevented any follow up questions from being reasonably answered. Now, users who come across a concerning report or unusual data can quickly drill down to see what location or supply category or vendor or provider stood out, and with just a few clicks after that they can see alternative options that are working in other similar situations.

Our goal was to consolidate as much information for outpatient care as possible so the physician and care team can act on it while the patient is here, filling any gaps. With focused data integrated into our EHR, we’re more efficient and patients stay healthier. — Dr. Rogers, VP of Primary Care, Mercy

Better Business

Winning Awards and Patients’ Hearts

As a result of their integration of SAP HANA, Mercy was able to empower clinicians with data at the point of care that is simple to access and yielded actionable insight from diverse treatment settings. As a result, they were able to measure progress against strategic and operational goals that helped identify gaps in care and improve patient population health management.

Mercy won the Analytics Wizard Category at the SAP HANA Innovation Awards at SAPPHIRE NOW in 2016 by showing how real-time analytics helped them save millions while empowering the workforce and their patients.

Mercy received the Gartner 2016 Healthcare Supply Chainnovators Award for saving upwards of $9 million last year in surgery-related costs.

Better Business: Benefits

High-Quality Care That Gives More to Patients

High-speed performance of SAP® BusinessObjects™ business intelligence solutions and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer® software running on the SAP HANA platform allowed queries to be adjusted and validated in real time. Integrating this technology with the Epic electronic health record system gave Mercy real-time data that provided key insights to help them provide care that is more cost-effective to more patients.

Perioperative Cost Savings:

Year One: $1.2 million saved in total knee replacement costs
Year Two: $13 million saved across multiple procedures

Eliminated Unnecessary Processes

and costs, such as removing auto-transfusion devices without negatively impacting outcomes

The game changer this year is that we’ve taken reports and integrated them into our Epic EHR. Before, providers had to go to a separate reporting tool. Now, for physicians who spend all their time in Epic, the report is right there at the point of care. — Gil Hoffman, CIO, Mercy

Better Business: Run Simple

Better Care, Greater Productivity

From their integration with SAP HANA, Mercy improved real-time data that has expanded data volume availability from weeks to years. This enabled analysis among dynamic physicians and the different procedures they perform helps Mercy to determine priorities and saves them money on each procedure by making it easier for clinical staff to compile and analyze clinical measures to improve performance.

By eliminating time spent searching for patient information, automated data collection is saving Mercy the time it would take over 100 full-time employees to manually retrieve, rescan, and upload data for thousands of patients over the course of a year.

With the power of SAP HANA, Mercy has:

>100 FTEs* Saved

over one year (*equivalent of full-time employees)

10% Improvement

in three areas of preventive care performance (breast cancer screenings, colorectal screenings and Hemoglobin A1c values) within four months

12% Improvement

in block utilization (operating room scheduling time for surgeons)

Journey Ahead

Transforming Patient Care

Their commitment to transforming into a truly data-driven organization has enabled Mercy to move forward into integrating reporting with more links connecting SAP software and the Epic EHR.
Their vision for a unified electronic patient record has propelled Mercy into a model of care driven by information. Today, Mercy's physicians, care team, and leaders have intelligence – not just data – at their fingertips, boosting productivity and driving improvements that minimize unnecessary care and cost, and keep patients healthier.
Whether it is maximizing the value of our data, streamlining our operations, or improving care, Mercy will continue partnering with SAP to help make those goals a reality. — Mark Brinley, Executive Director for Data Analytics and Reporting at Mercy
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