Best Practices for Implementing Healthcare BI Services

Business intelligence services can turn data into actionable insights that directly inform decision-making in various healthcare settings to influence patient and population health and cut costs by pulling together business operations, enterprise information, financial data and more.

In order to avoid missteps that result in low healthcare BI ROI, the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) has outlined several best practices. It’s important to remember that every healthcare organization is unique, featuring different sets of goals and needs, and so the business intelligence solution also must be unique to the organization. A vetted healthcare BI vendor will ensure your efforts maximize your BI ROI.

Gather Information

Start by defining the current state of your business intelligence needs for clinical, financial, operational and regulatory areas. Set goals for your BI program: what you want to discover, what actions you aim to take based on knowledge gained, etc. Take inventory of all of all healthcare BI technology in use and what assets are on-hand, such as data, analyst, staffing and skills. Assess current processes, technology and outcomes to set a baseline for improvement.

Create a Healthcare BI Roadmap

Based on what you learn during the information gathering portion of the process, draft a roadmap for your BI program, processes and infrastructure to support the initiative. This is a critical step in the process that will allow you to achieve long-term success while monitoring results along the way.

A healthcare BI roadmap should include a program governance charter and structure, including team members, leaders, how the program will be situated within the organization, responsibilities, costs and expected ROI. This roadmap also should cover data governance, both needs and challenges within the current system and technology, and analytics capabilities and infrastructure considerations. Data resources, staffing the program, stakeholders, and change management for implementation also should be considered during the roadmap-building phase.

Monitor and Measure Outcomes

Building on the roadmap and the goals set out for BI program success, identify a set of metrics so you can continuously monitor and measure outcomes against set benchmarks. Create a standardized reporting system that pulls data related to your desired outcomes. Include team members across related disciplines who can help review and analyze the data in order to produce actionable insights.

Manage, Improve and Control for Success

Performance evaluation is a critical part of the ongoing success of any healthcare business intelligence system. Create a system of accountability to ensure appropriate changes are implemented if desired outcomes aren’t met, and evaluate and implement changes to the program depending on results. Keep a log of lessons learned along the way in order to anticipate potential areas for improvement in the future.This kind of tracking will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your BI efforts, and adjust as necessary.


Learn more about how to provide measurable ROI from your BI in our white paper.

Sign up to receive our latest insights