Making Business Intelligence Effective

The need to use a wide range of sources of healthcare data forces both providers and health plans to look at their data and technology investments in innovative ways. This innovation is necessary to gain maximum return on investment for BI initiatives.

Healthcare business intelligence (BI) can help organizations use data to improve quality of care, increase financial effectiveness and operative efficiency, conduct research and satisfy regulatory requirements. BI and analytics have consistently proven effective tools to define patient behavior and risks associated by using data from various streams like claims, clinical systems, lab records and social channels.

The Analytics Challenge

Hospitals have made significant investments in electronic health record (EHR) technology, along with related updates to hospital billing, materials management, costing and quality systems, but they find that the promised analytics and reporting are not adequate.

To tie together data from these disparate systems and even to optimize access to data within an integrated system, a BI strategy is needed. A typical BI strategy encompasses:

  • data governance;
  • data staging and warehousing;
  • tools for query, reporting, and dashboards;
  • and a staffing model to build the initial framework and expand the architecture to serve changing business needs.

Many healthcare enterprises including providers, payers, health plans and independent services providers have made massive investments on the BI front by acquiring BI tools, technologies, platforms, hardwares and solutions. But ineffectively utilized BI infrastructure impacts ROI directly.

How BI Impacts ROI

Measuring the ROI for BI technology acquisitions is seen as a key management process that many companies ignore because calculations can be complex. New BI investments generally have direct, indirect and related expenses, so calculating the appropriate investment can be tricky.

Calculating benefits and return is also a challenge. Once again, IT projects generally have both tangible and intangible benefits. And many of the benefits may not be easily assigned a monetary value. To top that, many CIOs and BI leaders face the challenge of utilizing existing BI infrastructure rather than buying a new one.

Many factors can result in low BI ROI, including: data silos; high setup and maintenance costs; missing, undefined or changing BI vision; too many BI tools and infrastructures; mortality rates of analytical algorithms; lack of automated data; substandard ETL and BI coding; underestimating existing BI capabilities; and forgetting that change is constant.

Healthcare organizations and healthcare tech solution providers can maximize BI ROI with innovative and optimal usage of existing BI infrastructure with the right approach.

The BI Solution

Fortunately, healthcare companies can make BI more effective with the help of a skilled IT vendor. Several steps can help maximize BI ROI, including evaluating current BI capabilities, consolidating BI solutions, implementing automation, removing redundancies, optimizing systems, and monitoring for continuous improvement.

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

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