EXL’s data-driven analytics helps U.S. healthcare provider reach goal of $15 million in savings

A not-for-profit academic medical center in a major U.S. metropolitan area has a strong history for outstanding patient care and medical research. The organization’s technology department was under pressure to meet growing operational and business demands on its technology infrastructure—and this was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

EXL Health began working with this client over five years ago to enable 24-hour operations of their technology framework including managing some existing applications and data warehouse functionality, and generating reports for various providers. This project was initially run by a small team and led to other assignments; by the end of the second year the EXL Health team had grown fivefold.

While the EXL Health team continued to work on the client’s immediate needs, they expanded to help the healthcare provider more broadly with larger initiatives. EXL Health began to focus on transitioning the client’s IT operations from producing reactive results to implementing proactive solutions that solved business problems and enhanced patient care—the core function of this prestigious healthcare system.


Like many medium-to-large U.S. healthcare organizations, the internal technology department could not address the growing information and analytics demands coming from its various business units. The organization did not have the budget nor the ability to hire and retain a technology staff necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of the enterprise.

Beyond the lack of resources, the organization also did not have the capabilities to bring together different data sources and integrate this information to efficiently produce timely and productive analytics and insights for their stakeholders. While the client had a basic analytics functionality, they could not to scale to a higher technology maturity level. Nor did they have the capabilities to see the data from a holistic view. The organization could review insights for one patient or provider at a time, but they could not view data at a more strategic enterprise level. Without these high-level insights, the client had challenges implementing effective programs to improve clinical outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.

Human Ingenuity

To start, EXL Health provided the healthcare organization a dedicated team of skilled technologists who know the healthcare profession, plus the flexibility to call upon EXL for other specific skills as needed. The EXL team quickly addressed the most immediate issue: a huge backlog of critical projects sitting in the pipeline for over six months from business stakeholders that were not being addressed. To tackle this project, the team first integrated various data sources including claims, medical systems, financial and HR, supply chain, and unstructured data. Working from this integrated data set, the EXL Health team was able to clear the backlog within the first quarter of the engagement and addressed all new projects with a more efficient turnaround time.

The EXL Health team then began working on advanced analytics. For example, EXL Health built readmission models with the healthcare provider driving the business requirements and EXL supplying the technical capabilities to solve for those requirements. The EXL Health team next helped the organization with their application and data security related activities. The team then moved on to support a year-long major migration project from multiple legacy applications to a Microsoft SQL server-based platform.

Creating an enterprise approach

As the relationship expanded, the EXL Health team shifted from addressing immediate operational needs to focus on creating a solid data analytics foundation to drive business outcomes. The EXL Health team designed an enterprise approach to data migration and data warehousing, which then fed the analytics engine and dashboard reporting.

Looking across the provider’s enterprise, the EXL Health team applied analytics intelligence in multiple areas, including population health, acute care, and operations to improve patient engagement, care outcomes, and efficiencies.


Being prepared for future challenges

Over the years, the healthcare provider has achieved various successes based on the work of the EXL Health team. One of the most consequential outcomes of this partnership is that the healthcare provider now has the ability to be proactive rather than reactive. This was especially true in how the organization addressed the Covid-19 pandemic. With the data engineering infrastructure already in place, the healthcare system implemented an organization-wide process to manage Covid-19 care and address critical and ever-changing needs brought on by the pandemic.

Achieving advanced analytics capabilities-ready framework

The work of EXL Health helped the healthcare provider better meet their business needs and provide the right insights and reporting to effectively operate their day-to-day operations and implement numerous strategic initiatives.

All of the work that EXL Health team had accomplished to date – the analytics platform and the data engineering framework –enabled the healthcare provider to leverage big data, natural language processing, machine learning, and AI capabilities.

Helping to achieve $15 million in savings

The healthcare provider launched an enterprise-level initiative to achieve $15 million in operational savings in two years. EXL Health, by now an established technology partner, worked on several projects that helped to not only contribute but exceed this goal. Further, the technology infrastructure now in place within the technology group will allow the client to provide ongoing enterprise-level data analytics in an efficient and effective manner.

The relationship between EXL Health and the healthcare provider remains an ongoing partnership, driving cost savings and improving operational efficiencies. The healthcare provider continues to leverage EXL Health’s strong data management and data integration capabilities. New projects are incorporated into the baseline activities of the EXL Health team. Other projects and technology resources are added as needed, giving the client the flexibility of having a variable staffing model to address their changing needs.