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Doctors discover the value of BI

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Business intelligence software is not only good for increasing profits – it can be used to save lives as well, says Davide Hanan of QlikView South Africa. In fact, says Hanan, any professional who regularly needs to analyse large quantities of data can benefit from using business intelligence software. 

At Sweden’s Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the largest in northern Europe, Associate Professor Daniel Stålhammar has used QlikView business intelligence software to predict and manage complications arising from cranial surgery, reducing complications to zero and saving the hospital about a million US dollars a year.
Earlier this year, QlikTech, the makers of QlikView, received a 21st Century Achievement Award from the Computerworld Honors Program in recognition of the extraordinary use of information technology which enabled Prof Stålhammar to achieve these results.
“At Sahlgrenska Hospital QlikView has become an essential decision support tool for doctors,” says Hanan. “Brain inflammation or meningitis after cranial surgery is a major complication, but it can be difficult to detect, and it is difficult to decide how aggressively to treat it.
"Previously, doctors had to juggle paper files full of test results and patient histories and make all their own calculations. QlikView has eliminated all of that, pulling all the information together in a format which makes it easy to spot associations and anomalies. When you’re dealing with sick patients speed is of the essence, and QlikView has offered doctors the speed they need.”
Prof Stålhammar comments: “When I receive a patient, I can place myself in front of the computer screens and get the information I need immediately. It is completely fantastic. Now I have the total picture in front of me, and I do not have to search in different databases and waste precious minutes before still guessing something in the end.”
Prof Stålhammar’s innovation has not only saved doctors’ time and patients’ lives; it has indirectly improved the quality of care for all patients at the hospital by saving precious medical resources.
“This project demonstrates not only the versatility of QlikView, but also the power of putting information directly in the hands of decision makers,” says Hanan. “Until now most organisations have relied on specialist analysts to produce reports, which don’t always support the needs of the real decision makers. But QlikView is so powerful and so easy to use that even professionals who otherwise hate using IT quickly see its value.”
Hanan says QlikView is suitable for any kind of data and any kind of environment.
“Our largest implementation globally has covered a billion records, and we’ve used QlikView to analyse everything from financial data through sports scores to botanical research databases and, in the case of Sahlgrenska Hospital, medical records. It provides an insight into your data like no other.”