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IBM Business Analytics Software Helps BJC Healthcare and Washington University Improve Healthcare Through Better Research

Industry News

IBM announced that BJC Healthcare (BJC) and Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) are using IBM business analytics software to quickly extract key data from more than 50 million documents in medical records, speeding up research to ultimately provide better care for patients worldwide.

BJC Healthcare, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare organizations in the U.S., and the WUSM Center for Biomedical Informatics are collaborating to ensure researchers get answers to critical research questions from large sets of unstructured genomic and clinical data such as clinical notes, admission/discharge summaries and diagnostic reports.

Like most institutions, BJC and WUSM faced the challenge that existing biomedical informatics resources were disjointed, frequently redundant, and only available to a small fraction of researchers. As a result, millions of patient notes and records sat unavailable in separate clinical databases and the sheer volume of information resulted in research assets that were underutilized. All this content contained valuable information, but there was no easy way to get to it.

“With IBM Content Analytics software, BJC Healthcare and Washington University researchers are now able to find fast answers to critical research questions using the same technology that powers the IBM Watson deep question and answer system,” said Ken Bisconti, Vice President, IBM Enterprise Content Management Strategy.

Using IBM Content Analytics, BJC and WUSM researchers are now able to find answers to critical research questions. For the first time, researchers can easily answer key questions across a variety of clinical and translational research projects such as Does the patient smoke? How often and for how long? What home medications is the patient taking? What was the diagnosis and what procedures performed on the patient?

Previously, hundreds of researchers had to manually look through thousands of patient records and charts to abstract data on smoking use, for instance. This was very costly, time consuming, and the team sometimes missed key information buried in the pages of a patient’s chart. It took 10 to 15 minutes on average to review a single patient’s medical record to determine their smoking history. Using IBM Content Analytics, it now takes seconds to scan hundreds of documents.

By extracting relevant patient clinical information more rapidly, BJC and WUSM can make discoveries faster, ultimately leading to improved patient care. The money saved in research may be used in other areas such as paying for extra coordinators on projects, funding new clinical trials, expanding the size of a study, or running additional tests for participants.

Since the IBM solution can quickly process and analyze huge volumes of structured and unstructured data, it enables BJC and WUSM to have a significant advantage when applying for grants. Management can quickly get an integrated view of all information that’s relevant, turning content into sources of business insight. As a result, BJC and WUSM can now derive new intelligence, gain a competitive advantage in a competitive research market, and ultimately drive new revenue for their organizations.

“We think IBM Content Analytics will be a game changer in biomedical research and patient care. It will ultimately accelerate the pace of clinical and translational research through more rapid and accurate extraction of research relevant information from clinical documents,” said Dr. Rakesh Nagarajan, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University.

IBM Content Analytics helps organizations rapidly derive valuable insight currently trapped in unstructured information such as e-mails, documents, and web pages. It transforms raw information into business insight quickly, without building models or deploying complex systems, enabling organizations like BJC and WUSM to derive insight in minutes versus weeks or months. IBM Content Analytics is also an integrated component of other IBM Industry Solutions such as IBM Case Manager, named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Dynamic Case Management, Q1 2011.

For more information on IBM Case Manager and The Forrester Wave™ on Dynamic Case Management published in January 2011 by independent research firm, Forrester Research, Inc. visit https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-acm_fwave.

The report notes: “IBM will drive leadership in analytics in the dynamic case management market. IBM can claim the strongest scores across the three dynamic case management use case categories – investigative, service request and incident management – reflecting the strength and comprehensiveness of its overall portfolio which combines BPM, ECM and analytics.”

For more information on IBM Content Analytics and IBM ECM solutions, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/data/content-management.

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