Case Study

NextGen Healthcare

The Customer’s Challenge

NextGen® Healthcare was looking to provide health data to its Health Information Exchange customers in a modern platform that was easy to use, easy to scale, and easy to create value-driving insights.

With an existing platform in place, the data was locked up into a hard-to-consume JSON object mode, accessible through the platform’s enterprise API. In order to truly empower their customers to make data-driven decisions with NextGen Healthcare data, they needed to make it easy to access and analyze data more efficiently, providing a managed data service that allows customers to focus on insight generation, quality, and finding value.

phData’s Solution

phData helped NextGen Healthcare migrate their data to the Snowflake Data Cloud, build a new analytics solution for their existing platform, and create a custom software solution called the NextGen® Health Data Hub (HDH) Insights that enables their customers to use health data to its full potential for analytics and reporting.

The Full Story

As an integrated healthcare technology and services platform, NextGen Health Data Hub helps its clients exchange, normalize, and aggregate community-wide data through the HDH.  Health information exchange—HDH aggregates data so that customers can later share it.  

NextGen HDH customers share it with the physicians who are treating patients, with payers who are improving quality measures, and with health systems tracking patient access and utilization.  Additionally, NextGen HDH customers have intense reporting requirements to their constituents and need a solution that will allow them to be agile in meeting the data requirements of their community.

Prior to the launch of NextGen HDH in 2020, NextGen Healthcare’s clients relied on a legacy system called NextGen® Results CDR to make data-driven decisions but would often run into roadblocks when it came time to gaining self-service access and analyzing data. With life-saving data on the line, NextGen Healthcare needed to modernize its existing analytics solutions so that it was:

  • Easier for clients to access, analyze, and understand the data
  • Hosting data that is secured, usable, available, and reliable
  • Reporting friendly, supporting the Excel to data scientist users
  • Easier to share data

Why They Chose phData:

NextGen Healthcare has a long-term vision of supporting NextGen HDH Insights internally but lacked the depth and experience in Snowflake to get started.  phData was selected based on our industry-leading experience helping accelerate business objectives in the Snowflake ecosystem and developing the managed pipeline service to support the data transformation.

Why They Chose Snowflake:

NextGen Healthcare had a desire to implement a reporting and analytics capability for their NextGen HDH product, but in parallel, also wanted to modernize its data and analytics stack across the company. The Snowflake platform provided NextGen Healthcare with the core capabilities they needed to modernize their stack.

Leveraging phData’s Internal Software for Automation

The first step for the phData team was to create an environment in Snowflake for the data to be stored and automate the provisioning of the new environment/project resources along with the necessary privileges in a simple and configuration-driven manner. 

Leveraging phData’s internal software called Project Administration, the team was able to streamline the onboarding processes significantly resulting in:

  • Each new customer’s Snowflake environment can be set up in a matter of hours instead of days.
  • No manual, error-prone provisioning. Once a pattern is vetted out, it is templated and each new environment is provisioned with the same resources, permissions, etc.

Now with a cloud environment, the next step was to establish a templated approach to help generate complex data pipelines in a simple and repeatable way. Using phData’s internal Pipeline Automation tool, the team rolled up their sleeves and got to work automating the ingestion of over 60 tables from AWS S3 Bucket to Snowflake. 

Once the data was moved into Snowflake, it needed to be massaged/flattened from JSON into a columnar format for reporting and querying. For this, we implemented dbt, but the challenge remained that 60+ tables needed these transformations. 

To tackle this problem, phData created a custom automation script to analyze the data and generate the dbt code to perform these transformations. 

Additionally, the phData engineers worked with NextGen Healthcare to establish data governance and literacy programs, resulting in an Information Architecture framework for Snowflake being established across NextGen solutions and the creation of the Insights Data Catalog which provides the inventory of data available in Insights.

Results

The original JSON data models are now streamed into the platform in near real-time and transformed into curated tabular data models customers can build analytics on top of to streamline and accelerate data-driven decisions. From concept to production, the creation of the product only took 12 weeks.

Overall, this project met the objectives and will enable NextGen Healthcare customers to continue providing valuable data services to their communities.

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