Mining Machine Data for Healthcare IT
Healthcare IT is undergoing a major transformation and increasing focus on a number of core initiatives. These initiatives include protecting patient records from security breaches, optimizing the use of existing systems to reduce costs, providing online and mobile data access, and improving healthcare delivery with better insight into data from connected medical devices.
Machine data is generated by many different sources within the Healthcare IT infrastructure, including electronic health record (EHR) systems, HL7 messaging, X12 billing data and connected medical devices. Data sources for Healthcare IT also include application servers, mobile devices, web servers, virtualized servers and pre-existing structured databases. In addition, key data is generated by patient facing applications and systems such as portals, billing systems and claims management systems.
Getting timely and relevant insight into this data can be a source of huge value for the healthcare ecosystem.
Splunk and Healthcare IT
Splunk Enterprise is the platform for machine data. It's the easy, fast and resilient way to collect, analyze and secure the massive streams of machine data generated by all IT systems and technology infrastructure. Splunk software enables organizations to gather and index all types of machine-generated data, both real-time and historical, from any source, in any format or at any location.
Splunk addresses Healthcare IT challenges by providing operational intelligence across a broad range of use cases for providers, payors, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), medical device manufacturers and healthcare information exchanges (HIE).
Typical uses cases for Splunk cover application management, IT operations management, security and compliance and business analytics. Examples of use cases in Healthcare IT include website and patient portal up-time, infrastructure and operations, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, identifying security threats, medical device data visibility and mobile app/device insights.
Splunk at a Leading Healthcare Provider—Higher Patient Portal Uptime and Better Experience
A leading healthcare provider is using Splunk to index all the machine-generated data from applications and servers that support various services on their online patient portal. Insights from this machine data are used for application management, performance and troubleshooting. By gaining visibility across data sources from various applications, the provider's IT team can rapidly diagnose problems, understand correlations, determine root cause and take corrective action. Using Splunk, they have increased up-time of the site by 20%—a significant improvement that is helping drive higher site adoption and deliver a better patient experience.
Splunk at HealthTrans—Accelerating Claims Processing
The claims management process is complex from an IT standpoint—as it's processed, each claim goes through many different applications and servers. If an issue arises with processing a claim, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly what application or layer of the infrastructure might be responsible for the problem. One of the largest prescription benefits managers (by claims volume) in the U.S., HealthTrans, is using Splunk to accelerate its claims processing by taking machine data from all the different applications and servers that support the claims process.
With insight into data from various sources in Splunk, HealthTrans can easily profile a transaction as it goes through different components of the IT infrastructure. They can rapidly pinpoint the exact source and time of any problem, then take corrective action to ensure SLA compliance. By getting insight into key claims processing metrics, HealthTrans can determine potential choke points before they create issues, leading to better capacity planning and accelerated claim processing.
Splunk at a Leading Healthcare Provider—HIPAA Compliance and Protecting Patient Records
Another leading healthcare provider is using Splunk for centralized event logging across a variety of data sources (applications, networks, firewalls) to identify, in real-time, incidents of electronic protected health information (ePHI) leakage. They are also using Splunk to demonstrate compliance with HIPAA requirements related to unauthorized access of ePHI records.
Using Splunk software, this provider is able to take proactive measures to pinpoint any security breaches related to ePHI records and respond in real time. Splunk is helping them reduce their risk of exposure to damaging lawsuits, fines and loss of patient good will. More importantly, Splunk is critical to helping protect the privacy of patient information.
Splunk at Availity—Improving Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) Performance
Health information network Availity is using Splunk to monitor the IT infrastructure that enables their HIE platform by indexing data from various custom applications and servers. With Splunk, Availity has real-time visibility into distributed processes across their infrastructure. They are able to quickly pinpoint when and why a specific process was down or running slowly. Armed with this information, the IT team can take timely corrective action to address the problem and avoid potential SLA infractions.
Splunk helps Availity improve the uptime of all the different services offered on its HIE platform, helping deliver better information access and experience to patients, payors and providers.
Splunk at iRhythm—Medical Device Data Insights
iRhythm, a rapidly growing medical device and service company, is using Splunk to gain insights into data generated by its Zio® Patch. The device represents an innovative, low-cost and highly elective approach to cardiac diagnostic monitoring. By loading machine data from the device into Splunk, iRhythm is able to track every stage of the service lifecycle - from device manufacturing, through shipment, registration and post-use return.
iRhythm monitors each Zio® Patch's diagnostic output with Splunk software, making sure the devices ran as expected and report any performance issues. In addition, loading product diagnostic information into Splunk software allows iRhythm to analyze and better understand patients' use of the devices. Lastly, iRhythm relies on Splunk software to monitor and ensure privacy of patient records as required by HIPAA and other compliance mandates.
Looking for More on Splunk for Healthcare?
These use cases highlight just a handful of areas where Splunk can help Healthcare IT harness machine data to improve operational efficiency, secure patient records, ensure compliance and deliver a better patient experience.