Utilizing health analytics in improving the performance of healthcare services: a case study on a tertiary care hospital

Mohamed Khalifa*, Ibrahim Zabani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Among the most common and chronic problems in the healthcare system worldwide is the crowding of emergency rooms (ER); leading to many serious complications. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center utilized health analytics methods to identify areas of deficiency and suggest potential improvements to ER performance. The project implemented solutions and monitored two indicators; ER length of stay (LOS), reflecting efficiency, and percentage of patients leaving without treatment, reflecting effectiveness of the ER. A retrospective analysis of 26,948 ER encounters in 2014 was done in January 2015. Analytics techniques were used to suggest process redesign based on results. Two recommendations were implemented; a Fast-Track for lower acuity ER patients and an internal waiting area, for those patients who can stay vertical and spare an ER bed. 32.8% of ER patients had lower acuity levels and less than 0.5% of them were admitted to the hospital. After implementing the two solutions, the total ER LOS was reduced from 20 h in 2014 to less than 12 h in 2016; 40% improvement. The percentages of patients left without being seen stayed around 3.5%, while the percentages of patients left before complete treatment was significantly reduced from 13.5% in 2014 to 5.5% in 2016. Consequently, the total percentage of patients left without treatment was reduced from 17% in 2014 to 9% in 2016, with 50% improvement. All other factors were the same, including numbers of ER visits, Patient Acuity Level, working staff, working hours, and the count of ER beds. Health analytics methods can be used to identify areas of deficiency, potential improvements, and recommend effective solutions to positively enhance ER performance. More solutions should be examined such as team triaging, patients palmar scanning, and placing a physician in triage. Additionally, more indicators should be monitored, such as the effectiveness of ER treatment—including the rates of revisits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Health analytics
  • Healthcare services
  • Improvement
  • Performance


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