Analyzing 1.8 trillion data points 1,000 times faster to improve patient care

Case Study

Piedmont Healthcare’s SQL Server-based analytics were not keeping up with growth. Leadership demanded faster access to accurate data. So they brought in Exasol.

Every year, two million people are treated at Piedmont Healthcare’s 16 hospitals, 60 urgent and quick care locations, and 550 physician practices. Annually, the provider oversees 88,000 surgeries, delivers 16,000 babies, and completes nearly 400 organ transplants.

All this generates a lot of data. Piedmont’s Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) system has over 15TB of clinical, operational, and financial data. On top of this are ERP, CRM, patient surveys, and streams of information flowing in from its call centers. To reduce harm and improve patient satisfaction, delivering actionable insights to hospital leaders is key.

The Facts

Georgia, USA
On Premises

The Gist

The challenge

Piedmont Healthcare had only four hospitals when Mark Jackson joined the company. Siloed data practices were limiting its ability to expand care to more people. Each hospital had its own EHR system with data aggregated in a Microsoft SQL Server data warehouse. But the system was too slow for dashboarding. A workaround was to extract data to Tableau, but only if the analytics were basic.

It became clear this strategy wouldn’t scale. Mark’s expertise in Tableau meant he could create complex and informative dashboards, but SQL Server was never going to provide the performance needed — it wouldn’t be fast enough unless the amount of data being made available was scaled back, but the complexity of the questions only increased.

The solution

Piedmont began exploring whether an in-memory database specifically designed for analytics was the answer.

Upon setting up a quick test on a low-powered laptop with no tuning, Exasol boosted performance. After a more thorough test, Piedmont adopted Exasol as the company’s high-performance data warehouse platform.

Today, with 16 hospitals and hundreds of other sites, Piedmont Healthcare has around 1.8 trillion data points in Exasol production tables. Since the implementation, Mark has been able to improve the company’s SQL code structure for better performance to maximize Piedmont’s investment.

“With Exasol, I don’t have to anticipate all the ways a user might want to query the database”

Mark Jackson, Executive Director of Business Intelligence


Faster insights for better healthcare outcomes

With Exasol in place, Piedmont Healthcare has built a comprehensive metric framework with anomaly detection, full record level detail and logic transparency on top of Exasol at a pace of about 20 new metrics per month. That was not possible with previous technology.

Simplified set up

Query workload wait times reduced from 10 minutes to a few seconds

Faster insights

Faster, more reliable data layer enables testing more assumptions, automating more reports, delivering results to those that need them sooner.

Powering innovation

Technology to build out ML, AI and data lakehouse for archival and accessibility

Turn your business intelligence into better insights today!