Real-Time Data Analysis from SAP HANA Leads to Better Surgical Outcomes at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

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Orthopedic Surgeons Use Big Data to Identify Best Treatment Options for Patients With Chronic Knee Pain

SAP SE today announced that the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system (D-H) is working with analytics solutions from SAP and the SAP HANA platform to help predict surgical outcomes for its patients experiencing chronic knee pain. The initiative, named GreenCare, is aimed at improving the patient care experience by allowing physicians to help improve surgical outcomes, address costs and help avoid unnecessary surgeries. GreenCare combines real-time data analytics with patient-focused, science-based surveys to give patients the best outcomes.

According to Dr. Michael B. Sparks, an orthopedic surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, orthopedic surgery has for a long time depended on basic tools, such as hammers, saws, scalpels and tweezers. With the help of SAP, D-H physicians now have a new tool in real-time data. This data is being used by D-H physicians to work hand-in-hand with patients to meet their health goals in the most productive and successful way.

“Almost every physician has certain health information they need,” said Dr. Sohail K. Mirza, chair of Orthopedics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

“Rarely is that information processed and fed back to the patient. Through measurements and very specific data analysis, we’re working with SAP to build it into our care process and make it part of our everyday practice.”

Analyzing Patients’ Goals
GreenCare provides real-time data and enables D-H physicians to take patients’ goals into account as they evaluate the benefits and possible outcome of surgery. In the case of one patient, who is an avid skier, this added element gave him a new level of care he had never before experienced.

“With the previous surgeon I had been dealing with, there was very little discussion about knee replacement surgery,” said Bob Radler, a 57-year-old patient.

“He essentially said I was too young. But when I came to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, there was no judgment. It was very much a conversation about the quality of life I had lost.”

Using data analytics to demonstrate typical outcomes for the kind of knee replacement surgery in question, D-H physicians were able to successfully replace both of Radler’s knees, and he returned to the ski slopes without any pain.

“It’s the analysis of data that adds to the patient’s ability to make an informed decision,” said Dr. Sparks.

“Prior to anyone getting to surgery, we want to try to predict how the patient is going to do. This particular patient wanted to get back to an active lifestyle with his family, and we were able to help him do that with GreenCare.”

Dartmouth-Hitchcock physicians are able to provide typical outcomes to patients by analyzing real-time data in GreenCare, which holds data from D-H patients who previously had total knee arthroplasty. As part of their pre-surgery consultation, new patients take email or tablet-based surveys to show where they are on a continuum of care-data for a typical case. Those findings help D-H doctors determine if patients may or may not need surgery based on the survey results.

“Through our partnership with D-H, GreenCare is putting critical data in the hands of physicians and patients to make more informed decisions around patient care and surgeries,” said Steve Lucas, president of Platform Solutions, SAP.

“We are thrilled that SAP HANA technology is playing a role in improving outcomes in patient care and helping advance the healthcare industry as a whole.”

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