Today’s healthcare facilities produce a staggering amount of data from various systems such as electronic medical record systems (EMR/EHR), patient administration systems, clinical decision support systems (CDSS), human resources, financial systems, insurance systems, government agencies and more.
That trend is only expected to accelerate.
If you’re struggling to meet operational and profitability goals, rest assured, the answers are buried somewhere in your numbers.
Business Intelligence (BI) is an information infrastructure that analyzes multiple data feeds and delivers key insights. It can help providers improve decision-making, drive revenue growth, optimize operational workflows, and even identify hidden areas of waste that can be quickly corrected.
Whether direct or indirect, healthcare BI dashboards can dramatically improve the facility’s margins and bottom line.
It’s not just about managing volume though. Healthcare data is notoriously complex. Information flows from a host of disparate systems are making it difficult, if not impossible, to see the big picture ROI. So how do you cut through complexity and steer operations towards better margins and improved patient outcomes?
Using Big Data to Cut Healthcare Costs
Maybe you’ve heard of BI, but you’re less familiar with its practical applications in healthcare. Here are three ways BI dashboards promote efficiency in a healthcare facility management setting:
Precision. If you’re like most healthcare operations, you’re still asking individual departments to deliver monthly reports. The problem is, in an industry as complex as healthcare, you don’t get a clear idea what’s driving admissions or how staffing policies affect wait times. Those kinds of insights not only require a multi-layered analysis, but they also require more current data.
Fortunately, as technology is proving out, healthcare dashboards can get you there.
Instead of waiting on reports — and taxing your staff to produce them — you can use BI to view real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), custom metrics you design to help answer critical questions. These KPIs integrate raw datasets from multiple departments and stakeholders, producing insights that are comprehensive and unbiased.
Business Intelligence can even access data from individual health records, without revealing HIPAA-sensitive information, creating opportunities to analyze community health trends, evaluate treatment outcomes, and flag patients who are at high-risk of disease.
The process saves time and labor, but it also produces superior results. Better information means your team can work on solving problems and improving the quality of patient care rather than debating them.
Agility. When it comes to cost-cutting, something as big and complex as healthcare is bound to have low hanging fruit. Solid KPIs can reveal inefficiencies as they emerge. For example, if patients are experiencing excessive wait times, you can improve staffing policies to account for peak intake times by analyzing admissions. You might also evaluate costly readmissions and pinpoint contributing factors.
Once you’ve uncovered waste using real data — not guesswork — you can continue to optimize. New, targeted policies can be rolled-out on an ongoing basis. The data will always be fresh.
Support. Mistakes cost money and sometimes lives, especially in healthcare. The most important decisions are made in a matter of hours, minutes, or even, seconds. Having the right information sent to the right practitioner at the right time can make all the difference.
A well-developed BI solution will deliver information via mobile device. Clinicians and specialists can view each other’s notes, cutting down on evaluations and unnecessary paperwork. Physicians can sift through test results and review trends to predict outcomes based on those combined factors.
On a broader scale, predictive analytics can help map disease patterns and other complex phenomena. It can help you determine where to build the next facility or how to better support existing ones.
On the Cutting-Edge
Although critically necessary, the concept of healthcare dashboards are relatively new, but the uses are wide-ranging and have the potential to transform healthcare operations.
While BI isn’t the only key to data survival, it can help you resolve longstanding issues that are gnawing at your budget and destroying profits. As demand continues to surge and innovation roles out more tracking and medical devices, health organizations sit at a critical juncture — start embracing big data now, or eventually get crushed by it.