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Healthcare - Value of BI Solutions

The core value of business intelligence in healthcare is in using the same data across the organization for primary decisions on clinical performance, business performance and strategic and tactical initiatives.

Having a total view of the patients medical history and healthcare is only possible with a complete view of patient data.

All healthcare organizations have massive volumes of data that provides holds valuable intelligence, which if available across organisations and providers, can be used to:

  • Increase clinical quality and service quality
  • Improve patient satisfaction
  • Increase revenues
  • Reduce costs
  • Support capital investment decisions
  • Support pay-for-performance programs
  • Improve access to healthcare services and facilities
  • Improve staffing
  • Improve marketing and customer information programs
  • Meet special market challenges
  • Increase the value of special initiatives such as lean six sigma
  • Lead the development of regional health information

Operational Efficiency

Doctors are not typical BI users. Their primary focus is on improving patient care. However, BI tools are proving valuable in ensuring patients are being treated in a timely manner, particularly in emergency rooms where patients with non-life-threatening illnesses will often walk out if they have to wait too long.

Providers of emergency medical services to hospitals and other health care providers use BI dashboards to allow doctors and hospital administrators to measure patient wait times, time to discharge, and return visits to get a complete view of emergency room efficiency and quality.


Preventative Medicine

Severe sepsis is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide, with 750,000 cases in the USA each year, killing one person a minute, and costing hospitals over $USD16.7 billion each year.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center [VUMC] developed a patient screening tool to help its clinicians more effectively detect and manage sepsis. Aggressive treatment protocols [ bundles] have been shown to lower mortality rates by 30 percent for severely septic patients and by 50 percent for patients who are at risk but have not yet developed the disease.

For sepsis patients, minutes can mean the difference between life and death. This makes continuous monitoring essential - early detection and early treatment of sepsis likely prevents patients from needing Intensive Care [ICU] stays, shortens their length of stay in hospital and save lives.


Clinical Services

A hospital’s Pathology and Laboratory department collects and analyzes patient specimens essential in guiding patient treatment. This requires efficient data analysis, operational management processes and fast process turnaround times.

Using business intelligence, reporting processes were automated and turnaround times reduced by 50 percent. In addition, department employees communicate more effectively and overall supervisory management has improved. With a hospital generating over 1million lab requests for collection, analysis and reporting of blood and urine specimens each year, the impact on overall hospital productivity is significant. In particular:

  • Increased confidence in data - streamlining the process of organizing and distributing data, as well as overcoming variation in procedures through active process management provides much more confidence in data and the ability to identify the cause of any delays.
  • Reduced Cycle Times - automated mechanisms to monitor and manage the processing of specimens across the entire operation with performance managed using scorecards. BI reduced lab result turnaround time by 50 percent.
  • Increased Patient Throughput - delivering results to doctors faster means doctors get to see more patients. This has a significant on the hospital’s overall productivity.
  • Improved Communication - employees are better able to identify what stage the specimen process is at.
  • More Effective Employee Management - new management tools and automated processes means supervisors can be more effective in managing lab staff. Employees can be held accountable for performance, and retraining requirements identified.

The value of business intelligence is in using the same data across the organization for a variety of decisions on clinical performance, business performance and strategic as well tactical initiatives.

These are just a few of the many types of analytical applications needed to succeed in the specialty healthcare industry segment. As the industry continues to move toward contracted services, the competition will heat up and this capability will become not only the way to succeed, but also the way to survive.

Next: Healthcare CEO Analytics

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