4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/6/2012
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Ruijin Hospital Chinese Hospital Enhances Patient Safety, Improves Diagnoses with BI Solution

Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine is using information technology to operate more efficiently and to deliver better, more consistent, and more expedient patient care. Ruijin Hospital recently deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and created several applications that make use of that software’s business intelligence capabilities. With a clinical assistant application, doctors are able to identify drug incompatibilities at the time of prescription, which enhances patient safety. By using a case analysis database and Power View technology in SQL Server 2012, doctors can analyze historical diagnostic data to make more accurate diagnoses. Hospital management also mines this database to better allocate hospital resources. With a self-service statement portal, medical staff is able to prepare patient statements faster without assistance from the IT staff.


Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine is a renowned hospital with a 100-year history. The hospital employs 3,445 people, including more than 1,010 physicians and 593 professors, many of whom are members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

* We pay great attention to healthcare quality, efficiency, and service. Through our case analysis database built with Microsoft SQL Server 2012, we can provide the best healthcare resources to patients. *

Zhu Lifeng
Deputy Director of Computer Center
Ruijin Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine

The staff at Ruijin Hospital is engaged in patient care, teaching, and developing sophisticated diagnosis and treatment technologies such as minimally invasive surgery, arthroscopic surgery, cardiovascular interventional treatment, and ophthalmological laser surgery.

Considerable business growth has strained the hospital’s staff and facilities. To operate as efficiently as possible and deliver quality care to as many patients as possible, Ruijin Hospital set out to become what management called a “digital hospital,” that is, one that used information technology to maximum effect. Since the mid-1990s, the hospital has been making significant investments in computer systems to help its staff work more efficiently, make the best use of limited hospital resources, enhance patient care, teach more innovatively, and operate in a more environmentally sustainable manner.

More recently, the hospital set out to use technology to solve several outstanding problems. First, in serving its enormous and growing patient population, doctors at Ruijin Hospital write hundreds of prescriptions a day. Each prescribed drug has potential side effects and incompatibilities with other drugs that patients may be taking.

It was difficult for doctors to determine these side effects and incompatibilities; they had to manually track down this information through paper records, which consumed a significant amount of time and reduced the time that they could spend with patients. Furthermore, this manual cross-checking created opportunities for human error, which could be dangerous or fatal to patients.

Ruijin Hospital also wanted to make more efficient use of its limited resources, such as physicians, operating rooms, and consultation rooms. Operating and consultation rooms were scheduled independently by each department, and sometimes rooms were double-booked. The scheduling process was manual and paper-based, and scheduling overlaps and mishaps wasted medical staff’s time and delayed patient care.

When it came time to bill the patient, Ruijin Hospital had to collect treatment data from every department that saw the patient and compile it into a single statement. However, because each department used different data formats and some just used paper, the hospital IT department had to manually analyze and summarize data from multiple sources and design custom statements for each department. The statement preparation process was tedious and time-consuming, error-prone, and delayed billing.

Additionally, without a way to consistently gather treatment data from across the hospital, management found it difficult to compile trend data that would give it a better understanding of the medical cases coming through its doors and the treatments being issued. With such data, the hospital could do a better job of helping doctors make consistent diagnoses and treatment decisions throughout the hospital and allocate resources effectively.


To resolve these problems and to speed its quest to become a digital hospital, Ruijin Hospital turned to Microsoft. The hospital IT staff knew that Microsoft provided comprehensive and innovative software technology, ranging from infrastructure to enterprise-level applications. It also saw that Microsoft was actively committed to the creation of healthcare information solutions and provided software to many hospitals around the world. In China, Microsoft had been consistently committed to cooperating with the Ministry of Health and Chinese healthcare institutions.

The IT staff at Ruijin Hospital knew that the groundwork for intelligent healthcare services depended on effective collection, analysis, and use of data. So hospital staff worked with Microsoft solution experts to create several solutions, all built around Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data management software.

Drug Compatibility Application

Ruijin Hospital used Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise to build an electronic clinical assistant application that stores drug compatibility information in a database, which physicians consult when issuing prescriptions. If a prescribed drug is incompatible with another drug that the patient is taking or has dangerous side effects for that particular patient, the application immediately alerts the doctor with voice and text alerts so that he or she can change the prescription.

Once physicians issue the prescription, it is automatically transferred to the pharmacy for patient pickup.

Diagnostic Trend Analysis

Additionally, the hospital created a case analysis database using SQL Server 2012 that doctors can use to gain a deeper understanding of disease conditions treated at the hospital. Doctors use Power View, a self-service business intelligence (BI) reporting tool in SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services, to mine and analyze treatment data. This gives them a quick, in-depth understanding of previous hospital diagnoses of similar symptoms and helps them determine the most reasonable treatment plan.

Hospital management and doctors can then conduct automated analysis of historical diagnostic and treatment data and quickly identify trends to make better treatment decisions and to allocate resources more efficiently. Because the BI tools in SQL Server 2012 are so easy to use, medical and management employees do not need to seek assistance from the IT staff.

Automated Resource Distribution

The hospital also used SQL Server 2012 to create a unified data platform for various hospital applications. With this platform, Ruijin Hospital can store and process different kinds of information—such as medical records, prescription slips, laboratory test reports, and various kinds of diagnostic images—and intelligently reuse this data.

By taking advantage of the BI capabilities embedded in SQL Server 2012, Ruijin Hospital is able to optimize use of limited resources, assist doctors in diagnostic decisions, and speed patient care.

Self-Service Statement Portal

The hospital IT staff built a statement portal that healthcare professionals can use to enter treatment details and later generate a statement. Microsoft helped the hospital create a single identity-authentication system across the IT infrastructure, which employees use to access the portal with a single sign on. The portal interface resides in Microsoft SharePoint Server and the underlying data in SQL Server 2012.

By using the business intelligence capabilities embedded in SQL Server 2012, Ruijin Hospital can quickly generate statements that meet the requirements of various departments.

With the Power View technology in SQL Server 2012, employees have access to sophisticated BI reporting capabilities without any technical knowledge.


By creating business intelligence solutions with SQL Server 2012, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine has improved patient safety, optimized the efficiency of its resources, and made its healthcare professionals more efficient.

Enhanced Patient Safety and Physician Efficiency

With the help of the electronic clinical assistant, physicians at Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine can better ensure that their prescriptions are accurate and safe. The digital prescription system provides real-time analysis of drug compatibility and side effects, eliminating the need for physicians to perform manual paper-based research. The system both enhances patient safety and boosts physician efficiency.

More Accurate and Consistent Diagnoses

The case-analysis database helps doctors evaluate patient symptoms more thoroughly by giving them access to historical data. Instead of making a diagnosis in a vacuum, doctors can reference diagnostic and treatment data from similar cases, and even locate and consult with attending physicians, to make the most accurate diagnosis. SQL Server 2012 has fundamentally changed the way Ruijin Hospital physicians diagnose patients and prescribe care.

“We pay great attention to healthcare quality, efficiency, and service. Through our case analysis database built with Microsoft SQL Server 2012, we can provide the best healthcare resources to patients,” says Zhu Lifeng, Deputy Director of Computer Center, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

Better Use of Limited Hospital Resources

The case analysis database has also helped Ruijin Hospital optimize its business workflows so that limited healthcare resources can be more intelligently distributed. Highly efficient and accurate healthcare services have given rise to a win-win situation for both patients and the hospital.

Greater Staff Efficiency Through Self-Service Statement Preparation

By using the self-service statement portal, Ruijin Hospital healthcare professionals are able to more easily enter treatment data, and the accounting staff is able to create invoices faster and more easily.

By linking SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint Server, Ruijin Hospital has given employees an easy way to enter treatment data using a familiar interface. Doctors and staff can easily log on to the portal and customize statements to suit their needs. They do not have to worry about specifying data sources; the portal automatically pulls data from different department systems as needed and combines it in an easy-to-read statement.

The portal has also reduced the workload for the IT department, which no longer has to manually collate data from different sources and prepare customer statements. Hospital staff can generate statements faster by creating the statements themselves, and the IT staff is able to focus its energy on activities that provide greater value to the hospital.

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For More Information

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This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Profile
Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine is a large public teaching and research hospital in Shanghai, China. It employs 3,445 people.

Business Situation
The hospital wanted to use technology to improve diagnostics accuracy and consistency, patient safety, staff efficiency, and resource usage.

Ruijin Hospital used Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to build a clinical assistant application to help doctors check drug compatibilities and a case analysis database to improve diagnosis accuracy and resource utilization.

  • Enhanced patient safety and physician efficiency
  • More accurate and consistent diagnoses
  • Better use of limited hospital resources
  • Greater billing staff efficiency

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Microsoft Sharepoint Server

Vertical Industries
Health Provider


Business Need
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Mission Critical
  • Business Critical

IT Issue
Data Warehousing