The Importance of Healthcare Business Intelligence

Healthcare business intelligence is about how and when we use the data that the healthcare industry collects. The industry as a whole is and has been putting a lot of valuable time into putting all medical records and healthcare data into big data warehouses or other data storage systems. But, if we don’t use this data, it’s a waste of time.

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/pandpstock001

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/pandpstock001

Healthcare business intelligence is about taking this data and using it to improve many facets of healthcare: quality of patient care, cost effectiveness and efficiency, reduce waste, create consistency, conduct future research and satisfy new governmental requirements. Hopefully using the intelligence we’re gaining from all these new systems and processes means we will achieve all of these things in the future.

But how do we use this intelligence? This has to do with adopting an effective data storing system and also a good model for analyzing such data. If your systems aren’t working, neither will the intelligence you get out of them.

Electronic medical records are one way to store data. But they hold static information and do not always keep up with the changing data or the different needs or the reports we need to get out of such data. More flexible data warehouses might be more useful, as they simply hold data, but in its early stages so that it is available to produce whatever report and in whatever format might be needed.

The sole use of data warehouses, not electronic medical records seems to be gaining popularity. Maybe for some organizations electronic medical records are more useful, or for some both are. But the overwhelming majority seem to support electronic data warehouses. But, unlike electronic medical records, it seems organizations need to have a solid action plan on how to incorporate such data warehouses.

image courtesy of freedititalphotos.net/cooldesign

image courtesy of freedititalphotos.net/cooldesign

Once the data is stored, the next step is using it, and deciding who uses it, who has access to it and what kind of access those people have. Having nurses or doctors take care of healthcare business intelligence is likely not the most efficient way to use them. On the other hand, most healthcare organizations have IT teams who man the data warehouses, reporting and all other aspects of healthcare business intelligence. But for some larger organizations, maybe that is not enough. Larger hospitals and the like are hiring data analysts, or other data specialists to actually be in charge of the data that is going in and out of the hospital. This person “owns” that hospitals healthcare business intelligence.

Healthcare business intelligence is a relatively new term, and new aspect in the healthcare industry. It will likely take on new meanings, new jobs, and new ways to change the healthcare industry. Either way, it is the all-encompassing way in which we use the vast amounts of healthcare data that is out there for the better for everyone.