I have worked clinical in the health care industry for over a decade and it amazes me to witness the data revolution of the Healthcare industry happening right in front of my eyes. Pressure from a wide range of sources are forcing both providers and health plans to look at their data and technology investments in new and innovative ways to gain competitive advantage and insure compliance. Healthcare business intelligence can provide organizations the ability to use their data to improve quality of care, increase financial efficiency and operational effectiveness, conduct innovative research and satisfy regulatory requirements.
One of the first things healthcare organizations need to do is leverage their data to its fullest potential, this quires a pragmatic, yet flexible plan that is inline with the business goals and objectives of the organization. Health care organizations need to understand where they are, where they need to be and how to get there. This is critical in ensuring the journey is as efficient as possible and that the correct data is collected and analyzed efficiently. It is important to note that the creation of an enterprise roadmap will provide a solid framework for the creation of a world-class data environment.
There are numerous ways healthcare providers can leverage a business intelligence platform to make smart decisions across myriad challenges in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare organizations need visibility into the full scope of financial operations.
- Business intelligence enables healthcare providers to drill from reports into detailed analyses of costs and revenues, view data underlying cash flow statements, and compare planned versus actual income and margin.
- Analytical capabilities allow providers to analyze current care practice patterns to identify unnecessary or under-utilized services, execute cash flow analysis, forecast collections, and monitor underwriting requirements.
- Reporting capabilities enable healthcare organizations to meet statutory reporting requirements and ensure accountability from financial analysts to business unit management, executives, and directors.
Quality performance and safety analysis
- Business intelligence can analyze an individual's history and risk profile to determine the likelihood of increased resource consumption based on information such as accelerated use of healthcare services, drug use and patient demographics.
- Providers improve performance by leveraging evidence-based performance data, tracking variations in quality, providing patient dashboards, setting alerts, and checking drug interactions
- Performance comparisons across quality, patient access, patient satisfaction, utilization, and financials are made possible by monitoring the quality of their care according to the Health Plan.
Reporting on patient satisfaction supports the goal within healthcare organizations for increased accountability among healthcare providers, and it can also be leveraged for marketing purposes.
- Healthcare providers use business intelligence to analyze the success of marketing efforts designed to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of their products and services, create an increased feeling of overall wellness, and reduce workplace absenteeism.
- Advanced analytics allow providers to determine the most cost-effective marketing techniques by tracking campaign costs against budget, calculating the ROI for campaigns, and comparing performance against goals.
- Healthcare providers use dashboards to show which products and services are profitable in specific patient segments and measure how their marketing efforts and corporate communications alter brand perception and affect brand performance.
Patient care analysis
By increasing information sharing with patients and offering patients self-service functions, organizations using business intelligence allow patients to take ownership of their care, leading to improved outcomes.
- Business intelligence enables the right people to access the right information at the right time, delivering a single platform to healthcare providers for sharing information with patients for better decision-making and connecting patients across hospital, nursing home, physician office, and community social support settings.
- Support safe care delivery, assists clinicians in evidence-based clinical decision-making, and facilitates seamless care coordination across clinical settings.
- Providers have the ability to monitor and forecast patient diagnoses and use of healthcare services in order to improve patient care, reduce wait times, and administer more effective treatments with better clinical outcomes.
Operational performance and cost management
Healthcare organizations can respond to the intense pressure to cut costs by employing information solutions that monitor opportunities to improve operations, spotlighting inefficient uses of resources and unnecessary overhead costs.
- Providers identify areas that are under performing and need immediate action. In addition, with so much emphasis on controlling costs, healthcare providers need to closely monitor expenditures and determine the best allocation of funds.
- With analytical capabilities, providers drill down into unusual costs, ascertain best practices of the most profitable business units, and identify utilization patterns.
- Web-based reports enable providers to measure employee and physician performance and productivity, while dashboards allow them to track the success of pay-for-performance initiatives.
This is truly an exciting time to be involved in both the healthcare and the technology industry. Moreover, the applications of business intelligence in the healthcare industry are far-reaching and can become the platform upon which the organization assesses performance and makes critical decisions that fits the needs of the healthcare organizations and improves the overall patient experience. I can say with confidence that those organizations that leverage effective BI platforms for superior analytics, flexibility and impressive information delivery capabilities, are unquestionably ahead of the game and will survive the tough and rumble road of healthcare in the years to come.