Success story

HCA Healthcare uses innovative data platform to save lives

HCA Healthcare

Fast facts

Industry: Healthcare
Region: NA
Headquarters: Nashville, TN
Company size: 273,000+ employees in 1,800 care sites

The products we run affect people’s lives deeply, and we need partners who are there to work with us 24x7. Our relationship with Red Hat is critical to ensuring service quality in the clinical environment.



HCA Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare service providers in the United States, uses data and technology to support modern healthcare. A cross-functional team of clinicians, data scientists, and technology professionals at HCA Healthcare used Red Hat® solutions to create a real-time predictive analytics product system to more accurately and rapidly detect sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.

2019 Red Hat Innovation Awards winner

The path to success

Challenge: Use data insights to save lives

HCA Healthcare wanted to use its data to find new, innovative solutions to healthcare challenges. “We’re as much a technology and data company as we are a healthcare company,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare. “But the massive volume of data we’re collecting is useless if it doesn’t help us improve patient care.” HCA Healthcare’s leadership identified sepsis rates as a key challenge that data could help solve. Sepsis, a condition where the body’s immune system has an overwhelming response to infection, is responsible for 270,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone.1 The group sought to use predictive data analysis to establish a standardized, digital approach to sepsis detection. “To support our care providers with modern tools like machine learning and cloud computing, we needed a platform that is flexible, scalable, and fast,” said Dr. Edmund Jackson, chief data scientist at HCA Healthcare.

Case study

HCA Healthcare saves lives with early sepsis detection platform

Solution: Build a scalable foundation for innovative patient care

HCA Healthcare created the Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy (SPOT) platform to collect and analyze clinical data and signal caregivers in real time to initiate early sepsis care. HCA Healthcare used Red Hat open source software to create a scalable, container-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) foundation for SPOT. The group also used Red Hat automation, management, and analytics software to support real-time data collection, analysis, and proactive notification processes. “Red Hat solutions are a great middle ground between unsupported open source and supported closed source,” said Jackson. The lifesaving SPOT platform has now been deployed to more than 160 hospitals to monitor more than 2.5 million patients to date.

Results: Improve patient outcomes with data analysis

With its new platform, HCA Healthcare is able to detect and identify sepsis up to 20 hours earlier than traditional screening methods–helping to save lives. “When every hour counts in decreasing the risk of death, the ability to have an algorithm run in the background in real time, without downtime, to detect those signals is absolutely game-changing,” said Perlin. In addition, HCA Healthcare has used its new technology capabilities, like real-time machine learning algorithms, to establish a learning health system that decreases the risk and cost of innovation. “The products we run affect people’s lives deeply, and we need partners who are there to work with us 24x7,” said Jackson. “Our relationship with Red Hat is critical to ensuring service quality in the clinical environment.”

HCA Healthcare and healthcare in general are at the beginning of a digital transformation journey. The platform that we’re building lets us gather data from all of our sites in real time, run any algorithm on it, and apply results to bedside care. This is a journey of thinking differently about the clinical setting and how technology can support it. SPOT is just the beginning.