Customer story

Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin transforms patient experience with Collibra

United States
Customer since

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is a partnership of healthcare providers that uses Collibra’s adaptive data and analytics governance solution to improve business efficiency, clinical operations and patient healthcare outcomes.


Demand for better analysis

Whether it is finding the best way to target financial resources or enhancing patient experiences and outcomes, data governance is crucial to improving healthcare and business efficiency at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin (F&MCW), which is a regional health partnership. The partnership covers nine hospitals, over 2,000 physicians and 45 health centers and clinics serving approximately 1.5 million outpatients, 55,000 inpatient admissions and over 1.1 million GP visits.

F&MCW’s vision is to transform healthcare and connect the communities it serves to the best academic medicine. Data plays a critical role in helping meet that vision through better business management and healthcare provisioning. But this is not always easy. 

F&MCW had a lot of data across the organization. They had electronic medical records with data on patients’ medical history, diagnoses, medication and doctor’s notes, as well as spreadsheets with financial and HR data. There was a demand from across the organization for better information analysis, but data was managed in silos using tools such as SharePoint and Excel spreadsheets. There was limited data sharing and collaboration between departments, and most importantly, little agreement about what discrete data metrics signified. “With many different metrics, it is hard to have the same definition. What is meant, for instance, by the number of new patients with a fracture or days to the next appointment?” said Fahad Bijle, Director, Enterprise Analytics and Data Strategy at F&MCW. “We work with complex metrics and data governance is needed to help develop a common understanding about data.”

The value of Collibra is providing a source of truth via a centralized repository for data governance and analytics
Jonda Joseph
Data Governance Manager, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

There also was a lack of data ownership particularly among business and clinical leaders. They saw data as technical and tended to leave analysis to data governance, data stewards and technical teams.

Both Bijle and his colleague, Jonda Joseph, Data Governance Manager, were keen to create a process that would empower and engage leaders to take ownership of the data. “Developing data consensus and ownership was critical,” stated Bijle. “And that is where Collibra is invaluable in establishing better data governance.”

Bijle described Collibra as “the thread connecting everything because it weaves different components of the data strategy together.” 

The overarching objective and value driver was to close the gap between strategic business operations and the clinical part of the organization.

F&MCW was an early adopter of Collibra and chose it because it is business-friendly for users.  “Among all the different tools that we evaluated, Collibra was more business user first. The user interface, look and feel and even facilitation is designed for a business user. It is easy to search and simple to use while the technical setup and functionality goes on in the background,” commented Bijle.


Creating a single source of truth

F&MCW deployed Collibra to leverage business and clinical data to make better and more informed decisions, drive continuous improvement in patient treatment and outcomes, and improve hospital business operations. F&MCW used Collibra to develop a data governance platform called Data 360°. This has metadata for over 45 databases, 850+ metrics and 3,240+ views accessed by 1,330 users across the organization. The data governance team is organized in a hub-and-spoke model with the data governance team at the center to increase engagement and involve all stakeholders.

The organization started by developing a metric approval workflow that engaged leaders and identified data metric owners. Today, a voting system is used to finalize metric definition, which develops a sense of ownership and responsibility, and helps remove confusion and disagreement. The process also includes collaboration on dashboards and reporting with ongoing discussions to fine-tune and enhance data use.

By using Collibra to unify data metric understanding, department leaders gain confidence that the dashboard or report they look at is accurate. “Having that single source of truth to improve data quality and provide trusted and credible analytics in the hands of decision makers, are the real strategic values of Collibra and lead to better data governance,” outlined Bijle. 

Data 360°, which contains metadata, versus actual information like patient records, is available to everyone in the F&MCW organization via a one-stop-shop portal that contains the Data 360° platform plus various dashboards, user guides and training. 

In addition to the solution, Froedtert & MCW used Collibra Professional Services to help with application design, customization and implementation along with Collibra business partner Hari Manana, Dadata Consulting. 


50% faster data analysis

Collibra enables F&MCW to make impactful data-driven decisions quickly and effectively.  For example, the finance director stated how utilizing the analytic dashboard application helped cut time to analyze financial performance by 50%, reducing analysis time to seconds instead of five or ten minutes. Previously, Finance used its own standalone application that meant there was no access to other data sources.

“The best way to analyze financial data is by integrating it with clinical data,” noted Bijle. “ Analyzing either independently is useful, but the true power comes when we integrate the two data sets. That delivers a more holistic, 360-degree picture of the impact of both financial and clinical actions. So Collibra delivers a benefit of improving trust and credibility.”

The flexible governance and common language capabilities of Collibra enable F&MCW to easily create insights of their analytical dashboard catalog that highlights various aspects of healthcare and hospital administration. For example, a surgical operation dashboard includes metrics such as number of new patients, next appointment and patient experience. It tracks performance for all metrics across the entire enterprise and allows different stakeholders to slice and dice the data depending on their specific needs. Executives look at strategic information, while clinicians investigate surgical outcomes. An individual physician analyzes their own performance for the patients they treat.


Improving healthcare efficiency

Collibra helped improve F&MCW’s healthcare efficiency by clearly defining Length of Stay, Readmission Rate and Mortality Metrics associated with the Insight Operations Dashboard. F&MCW uses Collibra as a single source of truth for their analytical platform. This makes it quick and easy for users to find and understand relevant data from across numerous sources so that they can make better, more accurate, business decisions.  

F&MCW views the Data 360° platform like a Wikipedia glossary of information that keeps growing. “Collibra is the only data governance platform in Froedtert,” commented Bijle. “The platform is the only place where everyone can find out about the various data elements we have across the organization. In terms of data literacy and increasing the data acumen providing that trust and credibility, Collibra is an integral part of our data strategy.”

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