Business Intelligence



Kermit helps supply chain managers, surgeons and healthcare executives understand their spend on physician preference items (PPI).

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Kermit is at the forefront of helping supply chain managers, surgeons and healthcare executives understand their spend on physician preference items (PPI). In an area of clinical spend that has defied data collection for nearly 50 years, Kermit has built an elegant yet powerful solution to collect implantable medical device data at the point of use and then immediately categorize and perform a real-time check on price and transaction compliance with supplier contracts. Insights on that data are delivered through their analytics platform, Kermit Insight. With a clear, impartial window into their PPI spending patterns, healthcare supply chain, surgeons and hospital executives can collaborate to optimize operations, reduce costs and manage spend. In 2019, Kermit managed 40% of the implant spend for surgeries in the Mid-Atlantic region, and their hospital customers saved $21 million.

Building a Better Analytics Framework

Kermit Insight was initially built on GoodData, and the Kermit team would build dashboards to embed within the Kermit enterprise application. Though that stack worked for some time, it became increasingly clear as Kermit’s offering grew that they needed the industry-best in an analytics platform. After running into limitations with GoodData, they made the switch to Tableau Software. To aid in that transition, Kermit was introduced to InterWorks.

The first phase of InterWorks’ involvement was to recreate the Kermit dashboards in Tableau. The Kermit team liked the design of their previous dashboards, so the focus lay primarily on making sure everything performed correctly in Tableau. Working directly with Kermit CEO Richard Palarea and Associate Project Manager Kimberly Alvord, InterWorks Solution Lead Jimmy Steinmetz and Data Engineer Tobiah McConnell jumped in and led the dashboard rebuilding effort. Jimmy and Tobiah also helped to ensure that clean, reliable and secure data kept flowing from Kermit’s data warehouse to their Tableau dashboards. In the healthcare world, the ability to navigate strict compliance requirements is a must, and that’s exactly the kind of expert guidance InterWorks provided throughout our work with the Kermit team.

The Benefits of Outsourced Tableau Server Management

As in any analytics environment, sharp dashboards are only one part of the equation. Even after rebuilding dashboards in Tableau, there were still plenty of opportunities to improve dashboard load times and individual query performance. For these needs, Kermit opted for data warehousing and ServerCare by InterWorks for concierge management of their Tableau Server environment. InterWorks helped them set up their entire Tableau Server instance from scratch, which ran on Linux and was hosted on AWS EC2, fronted by an AWS Application Load Balancer. InterWorks even configured the network for Linux. This proved to be cost-effective for Kermit, who have managed to grow their business with only two application developers and one project manager. It was apparent that InterWorks could provide valuable services that didn’t tie up Kermit human resources with new technology to manage.

Key Benefits

  • 24/7 Tableau Server monitoring
  • Regular performance tuning
  • Quarterly Tableau Server health checks
  • Version update management

ServerCare is being employed by Kermit for server tuning to meet the performance needs of their dashboards. This ongoing monitoring of their server environment will ensure that the Kermit team will not need to be concerned when performance requirements need to change. ServerCare also provides Kermit with quarterly Tableau Server health checks and periodic version updates as needed. On the hosting front, InterWorks has helped them evaluate workloads and scale AWS as demand grows.

Kermit knows their subject matter expertise must be deployed to hospitals to return the balance of power to those hospitals in the implant spend category from suppliers who know much more about spend and utilization. The services provided by InterWorks ensure that Kermit is concentrating on those important tasks and that the healthcare IT solutions remain highly available.

The Next Level of Performance

With the new iteration of Kermit Insight on Tableau, the Kermit team has been consulting with InterWorks for the next level of analytics mastery. InterWorks has proposed upgrading to Snowflake – a high-performance data warehouse hosted in AWS that pairs well with Tableau. Whatever the next chapter entails for Kermit, InterWorks stands ready to pitch in as trusted advisors.

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