Exploring Data and Analytics with Jason Hughes:
Epic Data and Analytics from a Consultant’s Perspective
Striving to get the maximum value of your organization’s EHR data is a common goal. Jason Hughes brings more than a decade of experience in the field to elaborate on the niche of 3rd party vendor files, setting the client team up for success, and the benefits a consultant brings to the group.
Q: As an Epic data and analytics consultant for the last 10+ years, one of your specialties appears to be a great niche of providing data extract services working closely with vendor file needs. When tasked with a new vendor extract assignment, what steps do you go through to complete this work?
A: First, I like to work with the vendor to nail down the specifications. With that, I need to know the file format, file naming convention, delivery preference, and frequency. Once I create the initial script, I send a test file to see if it looks ok. If not, we go through a few iterations until it matches perfectly with what they are wanting. This includes reviewing the format as well as data validation. Once this is complete, I create the automation piece in the development environment and test the entire process. I then put the code and automation pieces through change control. When everything is in production, I test the entire process to verify it works. Finally, I schedule the process to run on the interval requested.
Q: Considering the technical skill requirements and nature of your consulting engagements, what is your approach in mentoring the client IT staff and Reporting Team?
A: My goal is to get them to be so good at what they do that they do not need me. I prefer to review things while going through the project or assignment, either in person or via screen sharing. I feel the person being able to do it versus just talking about it is much more effective. I always like to incorporate best practice concepts, so they are aware of them beyond the current project. I also like to share any documents that I have created that help guide them through any complicated client-specific processes.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing you do in your daily consulting job duties?
A: I really enjoy seeing the people I am working with happy with the work I do for them. When I get compliments on my work, it makes my day.
Q: As a consultant, what value do your skillset and experience bring to the customer?
A: One of the great things about consulting is you get to see various ways to handle things. You get to see what works, what does not work, and different approaches you may not have thought of yourself. I feel my years of experience can help clients with decisions that could streamline their own processes. I also feel my years of technical expertise help me to get things done more efficiently and quicker than someone just starting out. In addition, sometimes I have worked with a vendor and/or extract at a previous site so I can lend my expertise in that regard, too.
From specializing in various aspects of data and analytics to the exposure gained from helping a variety of clients and situations, consultants bring a unique perspective to projects and organizations. When looking to enhance or improve your organization’s use of EHR data, having an expert in the field is invaluable. If you would like to connect with Jason to gain more insight into maximizing the use of your Epic data and analytics, he may be reached at HSi@hsi-corp.com.