Tea Buzz



Leveraging PRM Data for Network Management of the Future

Posted January 7, 2019

Everything is big in Texas. So why not use big data to tackle your biggest PRM challenges? University Health System (UHS), with headquarters in Bexar County, boasts one million visits and serves 250,000+ unique patients a year. Ted Day, VP, Strategic Planning and Business Development at UHS and Cristina Hernandez, Director, Market Analytics and Data Management for UHS, shared their presentation of “Leveraging PRM Data for Network Management of the Future” at the 2nd Annual Tea Leaves Health Client Summit in July.

They explained that even the largest health systems face challenges. For UHS, those challenges include but are not limited to:

  • Rising to the top in a highly-competitive geography
  • Earning and maintaining the trust of both the healthcare consumer and the physician community
  • Ensuring patients – many of whom enter through the Emergency Department – are placed in the proper acuity group
  • Maximizing access
  • Maintaining a high level of compliance and transparency.

One pressing matter for UHS was how it could earn and maintain strong relationships with its physician base across its massive catchment area. But the challenge was more than just the volume of information – it was the large amount of outdated physician data – everything from addresses and phone numbers to practice information and affiliations.

Luckily, the solution was right in front of UHS. The organization could solve the problem by vetting demographic physician information warehoused by Tea Leaves. Going further, UHS could also use Tea Leaves data to evaluate the competition, identify primary care physicians at the point of entry, and update physician data.

UHS uses liaisons to help obtain and filter information about physicians in an effort to improve the quality of the information, and they hold their people accountable and then reward them for generating activity. In the past, they’ve had full-time outreach liaisons to create strong physician relationships and maximize referrals.

Traditionally, these liaisons would spend their time calling on physicians, clinics and hospitals. But now, the job has expanded greatly to include FQHCs, dialysis centers, senior centers and even chambers of commerce and selected employers. “These are all entities that we’re developing relationships with,” Ted Day said.

But thanks to the integration and effective use of Tea Leaves data, he projects the system will add more than 2,900 physician names, mostly in primary care in their service area, through vetting efforts supported by the improved quality of data provided by Tea Leaves.

“We’re using Tea Leaves to connect to a broader network,” said Ted. He then listed some of the ways they’re using the data, including:

  • Activity-related dashboards
  • Creating a repository of additional market data
  • Developing sophisticated, robust reporting for facilities and non-provider entities
  • Improving and refining trending market data.

In short, UHS is using the data and its relationships across many disciplines to create a changing, dynamic network to bring the best possible resources to patients of all types, demographics and levels of acuity.

“We are using Tea Leaves Health to find the greatest possible mines of data,” Ted said. And by the look of things, UHS is succeeding, with no intention of slowing down its efforts at continuous refinement and improvement of its data management and usage efforts. If your organization needs assistance with utilizing data to your advantage, let us know.