A Montreal hospital is using a Cognos reporting tool to eliminate the weeks it typically takes managerial staff to compile information.

The Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital

(JGH), also a teaching hospital for McGill University, installed ReportNet in early February. The portal software runs on a corporate intranet and will begin generating reports for the hospital starting in April.

“”This software from Cognos is helping us to provide dashboards which were not possible before,”” said Frederic Abergel, the hospital’s director of information services.

“”It will provide management reports in a more timely fashion. Right now, because we have to print them then send them it takes a week or two of delay. (The Cognos software) will be able to make them available almost right on the spot.””

ReportNet can be used in conjunction with an existing IT infrastructure, said Anil Dilawri, product marketing manager for Ottawa-based Cognos, and is compatible with big-name databases like Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, as well as home-grown applications. “”It’s going to work off . . . the databases that you have, the security system . . . the networks and the applications that you’ve already spent money on,”” he said.

In JGH’s case, the reporting tool will cover the gamut from financial reporting, HR, patient admittance and reporting for individual health-care units.

A problem for the hospital has been that these data sources were spread across the hospital, making it difficult to compile information. “”They do get information right now, but it’s scattered throughout many paper reports that they receive either by fax or internal mail,”” said Abergel.

“”Now everything will be integrated into just a few reports. They won’t have to retype anything in Excel; everything will be available within the intranet of the hospital.””

The hospital employs 3,600 people, 600 of which are physicians. There will be about 100 users for ReportNet, said Abergel, including management staff and department heads.

Improvements in reporting could translate into cost savings, he added. Departments can benchmark their performance against their counterparts in other Quebec hospitals, helping them identify areas that need attention. The Quebec government also tracks data on length-of-stay for patients in the province’s hospitals. That information can also be used to gauge the effectiveness of JGH, said Abergel.

“”The overall theme is efficiency, especially in Canada given tight budget constraints of heath-care organizations and hospitals like the (JGH),”” said Dilawri. “”So they need to as nimble and efficient as possible, and that goes down to their reporting environment as well.””

Abergel said that as part of the hospitals adoption of ReportNet it also upgraded hardware, including new servers running Windows 2000.

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