Keeping pace with industry

Hamman poses for the cameraMary Hamman joined UWL in fall 2013. She is grateful to have university support to improve her knowledge as industry evolves.

Professor masters hospital analytics tool to recreate for classroom use

Associate Professor Mary Hamman is a popular teacher, but she is also an effective learner. She regularly seeks out industry input to develop her courses.

Last summer Hamman worked with an industry partner — the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) — to learn how to use a tool they created that more than 60 hospitals throughout Wisconsin now use to analyze data. With help from WHAIC, Hamman developed a demo version of the tool for classroom use. Hamman received a $4,400 faculty development grant to fund her project and allow her to take a course in Tableau Data Visualization that will allow her to teach her students to use this popular software platform.

“My motivation is to make sure my students are ready for the job market,” says Hamman. “To do that, I need to know what tools they need to know, and that requires industry partnership.”

Hamman has shared the tool with other College of Business Administration faculty members. It has been used in three, upper-level UWL courses in economics and management thus far.

The tool gives students access to mock hospital discharge data, so they can analyze issues such as population health and patient access. They can also compare data between hospitals based on size or region.

Practice using tools like this is increasingly important as applicants to healthcare analytics positions are often asked to demonstrate their knowledge of tools as part of the interview process, says Hamman.

Hamman, who led the development of UWL’s minor in healthcare analytics management, got the idea for the tool from the board of advisors for the minor, which includes 17 senior-level executives involved in healthcare throughout the state.

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