Keys to Creating a Supportive Culture for Healthcare BI

The demand for business intelligence (BI) continues to grow in the healthcare market as organizations look for ways to transform a wealth of patient data into insights to improve finances, quality of care and operational efficiency. BI, analytics and data warehousing comprised the top software category that organizations said they planned to implement in 2016, according to TechTarget’s 2016 IT Priorities Survey More than a quarter of respondents surveyed listed these as top priority over other software-focused projects.

Revenue from BI software purchased by organizations is being driven by self-service applications, which gives users more control over analytical queries, dashboards and other features. This shift from larger-scale, centralized BI systems puts data discovery and interactive analysis in the hands of end users. A growing number of organizations are also investing in data visualization tools to make the technology more accessible for less experienced users.

No matter how sophisticated or simple it is or what it can achieve, any BI system requires the support of users to produce meaningful results. Lack of user adoption is one of the most common reasons these projects sometimes fail to live up to expectations. Before implementing a system, it’s important to consider the culture of your organization and existing technology capabilities.

For organizations striving to become more progressive in these areas, purchasing and installing BI technology isn’t enough. Its success depends on how well employees accept the technology and how often they use it. What can you do as an organization to build moral support for a BI system and get staff excited and motivated to use it? Follow these four steps:

Get buy-in from the top down.

Support from executives and managers is vital for driving adoption of BI at all levels and across all departments. That’s why it’s crucial to get the input of business stakeholders from the beginning of the project, so their expectations, requirements and objectives can be incorporated. Make sure they understand the potential of BI and its value. Invest in tools that will deliver the information administrators need in the most convenient way possible. Some administrators might be hesitant to embrace BI due to a lack of education about analytics or fears that tools will be too complex or require more technical expertise than they have.

Provide users with relevant, actionable data.

BI systems should do more than produce data; they should provide information that helps users to take action. For the data to have credibility, it must relate to their job. They must also be able to receive insights in time to fix issues before they snowball. Dashboard metrics are especially popular BI tools because they quickly measure performance in key areas and prompt users to respond. Tools that allow users to drill down into the data and customize reports are also helpful for those with limited time to dig through records.

Illustrate the end result.

Whether the goal of your BI system is to cut costs, improve patient care, streamline regulatory reporting or all of the above, demonstrating its positive outcome is key to bringing everyone on board. Physicians, clinical directors, financial managers and other users must be able to understand how this data benefits them in their roles and their responsibility for using it. Making sure they can easily access the technology via desktop, tablet or smartphone may motivate them to embrace it sooner.

Build an in-house support team.

Providing the proper training and resources once a BI system is live is crucial for keeping users engaged with the technology. Not every organization can afford to hire data experts or business analysts, but it helps to have a liaison or team of employees who are comfortable addressing questions about the system, especially if tools are complex or present a steep learning curve.

Learn more about how to implement a BI system that will provide a measurable return on investment  in our white paper.

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