HUS

The main goal of the development work has been to form a clearer and more comprehensive overall picture of the operations of HUS and its various units.

The cooperation in brief

The cooperation started

The joint data storage and reporting development work of HUS and Pinja started in the spring of 2020, and it has covered several aspects since then. The project includes, among others, the compilation and integration of financial data, human resources management materials and specialty data into an easy-to-use, visual format.

Huge amount of data to manage

There are many users and different user groups, information is collected from several different sources through the data pool, and a wide range of information systems are used simultaneously, varying from organization-wide systems to specialized systems. Careful organization and prioritization have therefore played a key role in the development project.

More clear pandemic reporting

One function that has benefited from the information management development work at the HUS is COVID-19 pandemic reporting. As a result of the joint work, reporting became more logical, comprehensive and reliable, in addition to which new reports were implemented based on the needs described by users.

The cooperation between Pinja and the staff of HUS is successful. The work has been performed in high quality and is also documented so that the process is clear and also traceable afterwards. Pinja has brought us fresh, new perspectives and good practices; we’ve been able to shed a little dust off of our usual operating models.

Seija Viinikka, Manager and Development Manager at the Information Management Analytics, Integration and Management Information Systems Services unit of HUS

The main goal of the development work has been to form a clearer and more comprehensive overall picture of the operations

The joint data storage and reporting development work of HUS and Pinja started in the spring of 2020, and it has covered several aspects since then. The project includes, among others, the compilation and integration of financial data, human resources management materials and specialty data into an easy-to-use, visual format.

The main goal of the development work has been to form a clearer and more comprehensive overall picture of the operations of HUS and its various units. The implementation required that new types of data was produced, processed and combined as a basis for decision-making, and to ensure the reliability and timeliness of the data. Also, there was a desire to be able to share information and the current situation in an easily understandable format throughout the organization and its various operational units. At the same time, there was a desire to reduce manual work.

– We wanted an agile and flexible system that would compile data from multiple sources into easy-to-use reports. Once we selected Pinja as the developer, the work began immediately. Pinja helped us access reports and metrics that are important for our operations, says Seija Viinikka, Development Manager at the Information Management Analytics, Integration and Management Information Systems Services unit of HUS.

Data for the reports is collected from several different sources, such as the patient information system, financial management, special business applications and, in the future, HR systems. The data store was implemented using the Data Vault method and the reporting with the cloud-based Microsoft Power BI. The data pool of HUS is one of the largest in Europe. It integrates almost 60 source systems and stores 170 terabytes of data in various formats.

High level of difficulty, huge potential for gains

The amount of data managed by HUS is enormous. The systems are massive, and the organization is Finland’s second largest employer. There are many users and different user groups, information is collected from several different sources through the data pool, and a wide range of information systems are used simultaneously, varying from organization-wide systems to specialized systems. Seija Viinikka states that the data chain at HUS is “challengingly long”.

Careful organization and prioritization have therefore played a key role in the development project. For example, reporting needs have been prioritized into a three-tier classification: vital, essential and optional. The practical work has been divided between different teams, solutions have been divided into smaller manageable portions, and the mutual flow of information has been taken care of with the help of the Scrum method and daily meetings, among others.

– The cooperation between Pinja and the staff of HUS is successful. The work has been performed in high quality and is also documented so that the process is clear and also traceable afterwards. Pinja has brought us fresh, new perspectives and good practices; we’ve been able to shed a little dust off of our usual operating models, Viinikka says.

Guiding and motivating end users for careful data entry has also brought its own challenges to the project. Old habits die hard, so the provision of face-to-face guidance has been taken into account since the beginning of the development project. We have appointed responsible persons for it, and we are currently in the process of preparing a data management manual, which, among others, describes the roles, tasks and processes in more detail. It will require powerful change management throughout the organization of HUS.

So, a lot happens behind the scenes, but for end users, the results of the development work are designed to be as visual and easy to use as possible. The benefits to be achieved are significant; for example, new data storage and reporting solutions for staff facilitate practical resourcing, workload monitoring and workload sharing.

In terms of business efficiency, the system supports, for example, faster ad hoc reporting and the automated compilation of statutory and other standard reports. In addition, it streamlines the collection of financial statement materials and provides data to support decision-making related to service pricing. It will also help with practical ERP.

– The reports developed in the development project serve all special areas and professional groups of HUS, and their compilation has now been accelerated with the help of Pinja. We are really happy about this cooperation. It is clearly visible that the employees of Pinja recognize and understand our pain points and actively seek solutions to them, Viinikka says.

Pandemic reporting evolved from a can of beans to a controlled entity

One function that has benefited from the information management development work at HUS is COVID-19 pandemic reporting. When the cooperation began in the spring of 2020, HUS compiled the necessary reports on their own in the first phase of the pandemic that began in the early spring. The reports served their purpose, but data collection had begun with exceptionally high urgency due to the acute need. The underlying logic had thus not been planned in a controlled manner.

– I would describe our reporting system at the time as a can of beans. We had to decide in a hurry what kind of reports we needed and where to get the information. The fragile structure and operational logic prevented further development, and we hardly dared to make changes in a fear that the house of cards would collapse. The transition to a managed system was completed after the first wave of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, and that’s when Pinja entered the field, says Timo Isola Controller at HUS, who handles special tasks in management analysis and reporting development.

As a result of the joint work, reporting became more logical, comprehensive and reliable, in addition to which new reports were implemented based on the needs described by users. A lot of changes were made under the hood, but at the same time it was considered important that the change process remains mostly transparent to end users.

The development work has brought HUS a wide range of operational benefits. The reports serve as effective management tools and help focus the attention on the right issues. Due to their reliability and highly automated data collection, they also commit less labor than before. Positive feedback on the reports has been received from users, and they are perceived to facilitate practical work directly.

“I believe that an important reason for the positive feedback is that there is now a good and logical data model behind the reporting. Pinja’s employees have learned what is essential for us at HUS, and they know the information model thoroughly. Because of the smooth cooperation, I sometimes pass on end-user questions directly to Pinja, and understanding is often achieved midway through the sentence”, Isola says.

Key users of the reports developed with Pinja include the top management of HUS, the pandemic coordination team and infectious disease physicians, in addition to which they serve as tools for, among others, the operational area managers and finance managers of the business units. The key objectives were to effortlessly obtain a reliable overview of the disease situation, to improve predictability and to produce information needed by the Finnish institute for health and welfare.

– Decisions on the course of actions are made based on the reports. In addition, they affect our practical arrangements, such as the resourcing of departments. They do not take a position on the issues of individual patients, but certain reports provide a picture of, for example, age-group development. This makes it possible to analyze the anomalies and monitor the spread of the disease in terms of different variables, Isola says.

Key pandemic reports have reached a stable status and are being used daily. However, development work continues, and the upcoming reporting needs will be met in accordance with the prioritization. One of the future plans is to expand the system to, for example, infection tracing.

Photo: HUS

HUS in a nutshell

1. Finland's largest hospital district

2. The second largest employer in Finland

27 000 Employees

2,2 Million inhabitants in the area of special responsibility

24 Hospitals

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