Introduction

Today, the global healthcare industry faces a variety of challenges, ranging from maintaining optimal clinical and operational efficiency, reducing readmissions and ED wait times, improving revenue cycle management, enhancing existing clinical workflows, clinical data analytics, and deciding how to adapt to value-based care in the new era. At the same time, global healthcare is transforming at a rapid pace due to factors such as legislation, processing of reimbursements, technological innovations and more. Multiple disciplines are seeing innovation at an accelerated pace, from genomics to biotechnology, robots to remote care, connected care to the internet of things, and the integration of clinical data. These breakthroughs will have a considerable impact and profound effect on patient care and health outcomes. 

The universal need to attain a better operational workflow, improved patient care, and reduced healthcare costs have elevated healthcare providers, payers, and manufacturers attention to healthcare data management and analysis. The digitization of electronic health records (EHR) and clinical data, mobile, wearable technologies, and IoT devices contributes to the massive amount of data being collected. This data is spread across numerous platforms and multiple sources. In this regard, business intelligence (BI) systems come into play to help manage and integrate data, transforming it into actionable insights that can improve patient care, reduce costs, and optimize service provision. 

Business intelligence is a broad term used to refer to methods, processes, infrastructure, applications, and technologies designed to transform raw data into meaningful and valuable information that optimizes decisions and improves business operations and growth. Business intelligence itself is a reasonably new innovation, and the framework for healthcare business intelligence is based on this same concept; however, the data is gathered directly from patients and derived from various sources. The purpose of healthcare BI differs slightly from that of business intelligence. With healthcare business intelligence and its insights, organizations can opt for different ways to decrease costs, improve operations, and focus on improving patient care. The healthcare BI has the potential to positively impact all the stakeholders, including patients, physicians, clinical staff, employers, payers, and providers, with insights and the ability to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and patient outcomes. 

The role of data in healthcare transformation

A digital data trail follows us everywhere we go, and almost every major global technology firm gathers, aggregates, and monetizes personal data in exchange for free online services. The healthcare ecosystem is no exception. This data-sharing model can be applied to medical discovery or expanding treatments for rare-disease patients. Over the past few years, digital health has skyrocketed as big data, artificial intelligence, and other technologies have entered the market and gained traction. The healthcare industry’s massive digital data and its diversity in format, type, and context make it difficult to integrate healthcare data into conventional databases, making it difficult to process. However, leveraging appropriate business intelligence tools, data can be converted to useful, actionable information, opening the door to remarkable advancements and value-based healthcare while reducing costs. 

Healthcare data analytics enables caregivers, administrators, hospitals and other healthcare units to strategically move the core focus of their organization from ‘volume of patients’ to ‘value provided to each patient’ while making better medical and financial decisions and delivering an ever-increasing quality of patient care. Additionally, organizations using healthcare data analytics platforms will be able to increase access, improve care, and reduce operational costs while creating a positive financial margin in a dynamic health economy. Furthermore, Business intelligence tools will help better understand the patient experience, environment, and lifestyle, particularly during clinical trials. A data-driven approach to healthcare could increasingly determine whether to accelerate or halt the development of new innovations. 

Harnessing the Power of Data and clinical business intelligence across Health Systems and Institutions for the transformation of the healthcare sector

Healthcare oganisations evaluate themselves based on various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as patient satisfaction, staff-to-patient ratio, and patient wait time. Healthcare BI solutions help organizations realize the full potential of their healthcare business by providing actionable insights based on the vast array of data from clinics, specialists, hospitals, and insurance companies. Furthermore, healthcare organizations can create reports and visualizations with BI tools using data from patient surveys, questionnaires, electronic health records, and other sources. Through business intelligence and its insights, organizations can improve patient outcomes, enhance profits, and improve the patient experience. 

Let’s look at some of the Business Intelligence Use Cases for Healthcare Organizations where business intelligence software can add value and transform healthcare data analysis processes. 

Clinical Research Support for cancer patients

Clinical trials assess the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, devices, and procedures before they are approved for general use. However, the path from design to approval is long, complicated, and costly. With the ability to access all relevant data in real-time across all organizational boundaries and integrate up-to-date information into research processes, BI can benefit medical researchers and physicians to analyze clinical data based on structured and unstructured information. Furthermore, BI can create patient cohorts for clinical trials and quickly determine Patient/Trial matching. 

Deploy Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)

Evidence-based medicine endeavors to apply the best available evidence obtained through the scientific method to make better clinical decisions. Furthermore, Evidence-based medicine involves gathering evidence of a patient’s health and comparing the symptoms to a larger patient database, enabling faster, more accurate, and more effective diagnosis and treatment. Business intelligence tool helps consolidate and analyze information stored in large patient databases generated from multiple, disparate sources. 

Reducing the need for re-admissions

Patients and healthcare organizations alike find readmissions unpleasant and costly. Readmissions within one month of discharge result in increased hospital costs. BI tools can sort readmission rate by identifying high-risk patients based on patient trends, medical history, diagnostic information, patient demographics, and real-time data from medical equipment, and then administrators can provide instructions and implement practices focused on offering better care, so they aren’t required to return for additional treatment soon after discharge, thereby reducing preventable readmissions. Furthermore, organizations can use BI tools to track and analyze other KPIs, such as average stay length, to determine the reasons for preventable readmissions. 

Analyzing treatment costs

Like all businesses in the health care industry, organizations aim to keep expenses as low as possible while providing excellent service. By using BI tools, health care organizations can identify any anomalous treatment costs based on categories such as the condition treated or age group. If, in case, treatment costs for a group of patients or a specific condition exceed what the organization expected or budgeted, an administrator can dig into the data to discover why. 

Managing appointments

It is very important for patients to be able to schedule appointments during convenient times, but there is also a need for health care organizations to manage appointments to avoid overstretched staffing levels. Patients’ satisfaction and health can be negatively affected if their appointments are not planned in a timely manner. By using BI reports and visualizations, health care organizations can track appointment wait time and optimize appointment management. BI tools can demonstrate the trends behind appointment wait times during various times of the day, week, or year, enabling organizations to make hiring and scheduling adjustments to address demand. 

Optimize Supply Chain Processes

About a third of hospitals’ overall operating expenses go toward managing their supply chains. Business intelligence can play a significant role across the healthcare supply chain, from order placement to order fulfilment and invoicing. With real-time visibility into supply chain operations, hospitals can avoid expensive supply round-trips and wasteful expenditures that affect care delivery. Supply chain data can be combined with procedural data to improve forecasting capabilities, ensuring that the right products are available at the right place, at the right time, and at the right price. Additionally, supply chain data analysis can help automate routine procurement tasks so that staff can focus on strategic initiatives. 

Detect and Prevent Fraud

Healthcare fraud can take many forms, including billing errors and false claims that result in improper payments. Hospitals have to store and manage massive amounts of claims, billings, and other information. Verification and processing of claims could take weeks or months because of the volume, velocity, and variety of data. Detecting fraud and gathering evidence for legal action also take a long time and could cause substantial financial losses for the organization. With Clinical business intelligence, healthcare organizations can detect anomalies much faster and trigger notification immediately, which significantly reduces healthcare fraud risk. 

Provide Real-Time Information

Real-time information can help physicians improve patient care, including information about patients’ visits to emergency rooms, length of hospital stays, new diagnoses, and treatment progress. Hospitals can gather and analyze real-time information using technologies such as IoT sensors to optimize their clinical, administrative, and business workflows. Using business intelligence tools, healthcare organizations can analyze real-time data to offer proactive healthcare and assure data-driven decision-making, improving quality and lowering costs. 

Conclusion

Business intelligence software is going to revolutionize healthcare data analytics and the healthcare industry on many fronts. Healthcare organizations can take advantage of the opportunities that healthcare business intelligence tools offer in technology, medicine, and finance to deliver better patient care and increase value. But to achieve this, all stakeholders must work together and innovate – including providers, payers, pharmaceutical producers, government and policymakers, and scientific and research communities. By implementing the right enterprise Business Intelligence solution, healthcare organizations can improve the productivity and efficiency of departments across a healthcare organization, including patient care, administration, financial and labor. Additionally, it can assist healthcare providers in making quick and critical decisions, driving collaboration between departments, and enabling them to be more agile. 

Suppose you plan to implement an enterprise Business Intelligence solution in your healthcare organization. In that case, Sparity is one such technological partner that provides comprehensive business intelligence consulting services and assists healthcare providers to derive substantial business value from clinical data for quality patient care. 

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