Business Intelligence for Hospitals

Business Intelligence for Hospitals: How to Leverage?

Business Intelligence is essentially an umbrella term that includes infrastructure, best practices, and applications needed to analyze data and support decisions. In the age where data holds unlimited transformative potentials, hospitals and healthcare institutions are diving headfirst to harness the power of data through business intelligence (BI) services. Research which had valued the global business intelligence in healthcare market at 4.6 billion USD in 2018, now estimates its expansion at a CAGR of nearly 13 percent over the next few years till 2025. The growth in BI and Big Data solution investments by hospitals mainly arise from their need to provide better services to patients and improve functional workflows between the organization, product manufacturers, suppliers, and payers.

Benefits of adopting BI services in hospitals

Business intelligence for hospitals has paved the way for the healthcare sector to focus more on delivering better value to patients, instead of just aiming to increase the volume of patients.

Business intelligence for hospitals has paved the way for the healthcare sector to focus more on delivering better value to patients, instead of just aiming to increase the volume of patients. 

• Improved decision-making capabilities

  • The ever-evolving patient demands, coupled with that of referring doctors, along with a continually changing legal and political landscape require hospitals to develop a higher level of agility in responding to changes with optimized operations, effective strategies, and also enforce transparency. BI services provide the hospital management with a clear picture of the key performance indicators which are essential for better decision-making to address these situations and ensure seamless business operations.

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• Enriched patient satisfaction

Business Intelligence for hospitals helps in providing a comprehensive health report of patients, collating various test reports in a visual format that offers detailed insights into the patient’s health. Patients and their families can look forward to the much-needed clarity and transparency in dealings with the hospital procedures. Availability of comprehensive data ensures a better patient-hospital relationship, eliminates carrying out redundant tests, and reduces unnecessary expenditbiure. Moreover, this also helps the hospital to offer customized care to individual patients, which automatically boosts patient satisfaction.

• Better expenses management

Data analytics have enormously helped healthcare institutions in optimizing the costs of patient treatment and minimize wastage of resources. BI services help in organizing hospital data, starting from financial and clinical to administrative and patient satisfaction information, which aids in the effective management of costs based on data. Streamlining of departmental information ensures easy calculation of expenses and variables, and also eliminates human errors.

• Enhanced risk management

One of the greatest benefits of BI in hospitals is the use of predictive analytics in tackling medical challenges. The ready availability of comprehensive patient records helps in the timely mitigation of risks and can significantly reduce the number of emergency visits needed by a patient. Using electronically recorded information and predictive analytics, hospitals can predict and avert potential health challenges, based on the social, clinical hereditary parameters of patients.

Use cases of Business Intelligence in hospitals

• Centralization of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Business intelligence for healthcare is increasingly being used in operationalizing EHR contents in facilitating evidence-based medical practice and enhancing the quality and safety of healthcare services. EHR or Electronic Medical Records (EMR) contain detailed relevant information about the health status of individual patients, which can be displayed, accessed, and shared among authorized personnel and departments. Using Business Intelligence in EHR is especially helpful for organizing and extracting vital clinical details of each patient. The vast storehouse of clinical datasets from an integrated healthcare information system like EHR is ideal for applying BI technologies that also offer proper guidance to decision-making bodies for better governance.

• Patient experience and preventive care

With increasing competition in the healthcare sector, top hospitals strive to deliver a superlative patient experience that fuels brand growth and visibility. Business Intelligence helps healthcare providers to slice and dice real-time performance metrics to reveal trend lines, carry out complex comparisons, access current as well as historical records based on different geographic locations, economic and even social demographics. Business Intelligence also helps to streamline and manage health insurance denials and approvals, which constitute a considerable part of patient experience at a hospital. In other words, it helps healthcare providers to acquire a holistic view of operations, and also offers actionable insights department-wise, to further fine-tune business performance.

Interestingly, Business Intelligence for hospitals has found increasing use in preventive care, where physicians offer consultation and medication that can save patients from getting impacted by certain ailments. This is only possible through Big Data, which offers insights into a patient’s risk of developing a particular disease, based on individual-specific health data.

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• Facilities management

Business intelligence in healthcare helps in tracking indicators such as patient follow-ups, patient ratings, appointments or surgeries per doctor, hospital staff vs. patient ratio, readmission rates, medication errors, and scheduled appointments per department or specialization. Additionally, it also provides useful information to the hospitals regarding logistics management for patient throughput, the flow of patients in triage, and helps in better managing bed availability, patient discharge, and admissions, which ultimately improve the overall facilities offered.

• Integration with existing infrastructure

The power of business intelligence for hospitals lies in smoothly integrating with the existing hospital operational framework, to upgrade it without impacting current workflows or continuity. Healthcare service providers can easily employ third-party tools, and incorporate them with the existing IT infrastructure; this is useful for report generation, using charts and maps, and graphs. For example, hospitals can integrate Dynamics 365 for healthcare with Power BI to extract accurate data and visualize. Integrating BI tools enables easy access to health records and business data at any time and any place, using smartphones, computers, and laptops. Moreover, it allows the regulation and maintenance of data access, thereby protecting sensitive patient information against privacy breaches.

• Telemedicine or e-health services

With the growing popularity of telemedicine or e-health services, healthcare providers can deliver better value and effective personalized treatment to patients remotely. Business Intelligence tools help in aggregating and measuring detailed data points throughout workflows across hundreds and thousands of remote medical consultations, from the hospital perspective. Varied metrics like the number of patient consultations, demographics, case mix, door-to-needle time, etc are measured for assessing and improving workflows, patient outcomes, as well as efficiency of hospital partnerships. These details help the hospitals to identify areas that require improvement for expediting patient cases.

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