Using Data to Prevent Premature Birth: Alpha Maxx Deploys Alteryx to Promote Healthy Pregnancies
Headquartered in Memphis, TN, since 1998, Alpha Maxx Healthcare is the nation’s leading perinatal population health management firm and has successfully minimized premature births among thousands of high-risk women. The firm is also accredited exclusively in the management of high-risk pregnancies by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
Alpha Maxx has been passionately committed to its mission of maximizing the probability of women in high-risk Medicaid populations having healthy newborns by optimizing their medical treatments and financial resources at key moments in pregnancy. The company has been effective in reducing prematurity in high-risk populations that traditionally had a high rate of poor pregnancy outcomes. For example, between 2002 and 2004, Alpha Maxx reduced the incidence of prematurity of the largest Medicaid provider in Shelby County around Memphis from 18% to 6%. A cutting-edge, information-driven organization, Alpha Maxx utilizes huge, HIPAA-compliant sets of medical records and other extensive data from accredited clinicians for the critical research and analysis that helps educate and support expectant mothers with limited resources.
Deeper Insights: With Alteryx, Alpha Maxx opened up more medical and social services data to be input in consideration for medical interventions, helping shape the timing and quality of care of patients in need.
Hours vs. Weeks: Alteryx reduced the time extensive patient data reporting takes from six weeks to four or five hours.
Intuitive Workflow: Alteryx enabled the Alpha Maxx team to easily manipulate and experiment with new and old data types with an intuitive user interface, fostering innovation in critical healthcare treatment planning.
Alpha Maxx’s body of medical data and research is complex and always changing. Years of prenatal health information, including detailed patient assessments collected by nurses and social workers reporting daily, and birth outcome data broken out by provider, procedures, and results from every step of tracked pregnancies, present a near-perfect pile of data ripe for predictive, statistical, and spatial analytics. However, Chuck Green, Alpha Maxx’s president, felt he had reached an impasse, unable to quickly prep, blend, and analyze the immense data available to help him better deploy nurses, social workers, and other resources to both the pregnant women and clinicians in his target populations.
Though he was a long-time analytics veteran and was already using Qlik and Tableau, Green couldn’t shake the feeling that he was missing a critical puzzle piece in his mission to fully leverage Alpha Maxx’s data treasure trove. He desperately needed to easily join data from multiple sources, including disparate medical and social service data warehouses, spreadsheets, and other sources. Additionally, the most basic of data inquiries could take weeks of time and labor as his team was constrained by working with spreadsheets and other limited tools that couldn’t talk to one another. For example, Green had clinical assessment data collected by social workers and nurses. He wanted to put that information into a dashboard, but the data was not in the correct format for Qlik or Tableau to breathe life into critical presentations about the Alpha Maxx value offering and the journey of a successful pregnancy in high-risk environments. Being passionate about his company’s core purpose, Chuck simply wanted more actionable insight into how to better deploy nurses and social workers to both the women and clinicians in his target population zones in order to maximize the number of healthy infants given a fair chance to flourish.
Green continually searched for the overarching technology solution he could use to oversee all his data blending, cleansing, and reporting challenges. He was excited by his progress with renowned data tools Qlik and Tableau, which gave him excellent visualization capability, but he still struggled to blend data together and prepare it for use with these tools.
Green was attending the Qlik Qonnections event and discovered Alteryx on the sponsor floor through a partner, Analytics8. He shared the trouble he faced converting a patient assessment data report into a more ideal format. Using Alteryx, the partner immediately uploaded the data Green had on hand and rendered a report that solved his problem in only 20 seconds. From that moment, Green was inspired, and committed to bringing Alteryx in-house. He says, “I wanted to change the paradigm as to how we deal with healthcare such that we had the capacity to actually see what was going on in our target area close to when it was happening. Then we were able to better deploy our nurses and social workers in the areas with the moms, with the clinicians, to maximize having a healthy baby. That’s how I got started on this journey with Alteryx.”
Back at the office after the conference, Green started using Alteryx. “I could drag down an input tool and it would read 100,000 rows in 3 seconds. I could use a filter. I could summarize. I redid the work that we did in 6 weeks and it only took 3 days to rebuild in Alteryx. And it let me add and rebuild. I can organize all of the information and output data in any format.”
Chuck is expanding his use of Alteryx to share analytics empowerment in the organization by providing a server version to share analytics with his Alpha Maxx team.
“Alteryx affords us the opportunity to receive and blend any relevant data from our environment. And in unbelievable fast time.”
President, Alpha Maxx
Green reports that the collective benefits of being able to deploy and share analytics at scale have been far-reaching in Alpha Maxx’s efforts to improve perinatal health and services for thousands of pregnant women. “We work to have as many optimally healthy outcomes for pregnant women and help meet the requirements to develop a healthy newborn. No matter what data was available, I see Alpha Maxx being able to use Alteryx to actually tame it and to craft it so that we can put it in dashboards to be used by our professionals at a particular time so that they know when to deploy, when there’s a critical need to be at a particular hospital or other things of that nature. In the past, we haven't been able to do that.”
Alteryx allows us to be more effective in the field. “I can push analytics out however I want. There are no limits. Clinicians and social workers don’t want the back-end data. They want insight and action that they can use, so we are creating a visual interactive map, using a blinking marker to highlight hospitals where they have mothers in care. Clicking through the interactive map allows their nurses and social workers in the field to easily target their members and know whom to visit.”
“Alteryx makes me wiser than I was. I understand the data. It is liberating to use this tool.”
— Chuck Green
Angela Brignole, MSSW LCSW, vice president of perinatal quality initiatives at Alpha Maxx, says that the fast access to data in the field will help her team of clinicians provide more efficient care. “All of our outcomes and our data shows that we are very effective. We’re looking at ways to be more efficient. Having a notification like that, it’s a quicker turnaround, and it allows the clinician to see and prioritize which patients need to be seen first, or followed up with first. It’s about providing the highest level of care that we possibly can. If someone has preterm labor, and they’re clinically fragile, and they’re clinically high risk, we need to know as soon as possible, because the interventions have to be done.”
Green has also enjoyed success being able to get insights from the vast data available to Alpha Maxx. “You have your dashboards collecting all of this data from all these different things. I can tell you who has the best outcomes by doctor, by hospital, by all these different factors. If I have a certain patient who starts facing the threat of preeclampsia at a certain week in her pregnancy, I can see the exact next step I want to see taken to ensure that the pregnancy is tended properly and has the best chance for a good outcome. All of this flow and insight can only come when you have a powerful tool like Alteryx. There’s no other way to do it.”
“We manually performed some of these tasks with tools like Excel in the past, but Alteryx affords us the opportunity to receive and blend any data from our environment whether it’s our contacts, medical claims, eligibility lists, hospital records, department of children’s services records, demographic data files, and anything else that is relevant. And yes, in unbelievable fast time. For example, we analyzed 81 million Medicaid claims from 2012 to 2015 in 35 minutes. Data comes from all over the place, but you’ve got Alteryx that can help you because it’s so easy to use and can take so many inputs. It can craft your data and do anything with your data that you’d like for it to do. Alteryx makes me wiser than I was. I understand the data. It is liberating to use this tool. Before, I had to wait to get information. Now, I can access the analytics myself and give teams a recommendation.”
Ultimately, Green, Brignole and the Alpha Maxx team are excited to continue to make a huge impact in at-risk pregnancies at a faster rate than ever before. Knowing every day they are truly making a real difference and giving at-risk babies the best chance at life — a bottom line with true meaning.