US Air Force turns to analytics to improve patient outcomes, lower costs

SAS recently announced that the US Air Force will be using its Business Intelligence software to improve quality of care and outcomes for more than 1.2 million patients enrolled in its Patient Centered Medical Home program.

SAS High-Performance Analytics and predictive modeling will also support research into preventative medicine and disease management.

Led by the Air Force Surgeon General's office, the service will deploy a global dashboard to improve operational and clinical decision support. SAS Enterprise BI Server and JMP statistical discovery software will enable Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) to quickly turn large amounts of data from multiple sources and formats into usable reports.

Previously, no central data warehouse or BI software could provide clinical and operational insights from the population level to the patient level. Sheer volume also made data mining a challenge, as AFMS struggled to comb through data to find meaningful insights.

The AFMS comprises nearly 60,000 active duty, reserve, civilian, and contract medical and support professionals. The Air Force operates 63 medical facilities in the continental US and 12 at overseas locations; with more than 1,700 Air Force medical personnel in 19 countries. Each command or hospital needs the answers specific to the unit. 

"The Air Force's widespread medical and support personnel will have one version of the truth," said Karen Knowles, Vice President of SAS Federal. "In addition, researchers will have powerful analytics to explore innovative preventative treatments."

The AFMS will be the proving ground for the BI implementation, with plans to expand the system to remaining Military Health Services in the future.