Our customer for this chapter is a major hospital that wants to optimize its allocation of resources, by being more aware of the immediate needs driven by the current patient profiles such as specialized staffing or perishable supplies.
A multidimensional database is used to manage hospital admissions and assist with patient diagnosis. Its purpose is to provide information to anticipate staffing requirements for the next shifts, determine medical-supply requirements, and provide early detection of elevated occurrences of contagious diseases or environmentally induced illnesses such as food poisoning. The data warehouse is populated overnight, but this does not give them sufficiently current information on which to base the day's operational decisions. At the same time, they cannot afford to take the system offline for more frequent updates. To ensure quality patient care, they have often overestimated the resources required for each shift.