4 Ways BI Can Help Prevent Harm in Healthcare

preventing harmAs healthcare moves away from the traditional fee-for-service compensation and towards value-based care, preventing harm escalates in importance. Risk surrounds almost every aspect of healthcare, so it can be difficult or confusing to track all patients manually. In addition, it usually results in a reactive care process. With so many potential sources for harm, the question becomes: how can you prevent harm in an efficient and accurate way?

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Business intelligence can give you greater insight into your hospital data, and therefore help you more accurately identify ways to reduce harm. Business intelligence allows you to better organize and store information, as well as create alerts when something is potentially wrong. Here are 4 examples of how business intelligence can help your healthcare organization reduce risk by becoming more proactive to potential harm. (more…)

3 Ways Business Intelligence Can Help Control Diabetes

diabetesDiabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S.: doctors diagnose around 1.4 million Americans with diabetes each year. What is perhaps even more alarming is the fact that the number of cases has been increasing. For example, 1 in 3 children born right now will have diabetes. If current trends continue, the number of diabetes patients is expected to double or triple by 2050. Diabetes is also the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.¹ These staggering statistics demonstrate the need for proper control and procedure for treating this disease. What can healthcare organizations do to help those who have diabetes?

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Surprisingly, business intelligence can actually help with diabetes treatment. It can assist providers in identifying risks or gaps in care and analyze data in a timely manner. Here are 3 ways healthcare organizations can use BI to help with diabetes treatments. (more…)

How to Assemble a Winning Healthcare Analytics Team

healthcare analytics teamIn my last blog post, we looked at how healthcare organizations can bridge the gap between clinicians and IT. Communication and teamwork are critical to bridging that gap.

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But how do you build that team? What roles do you need to fill? Here are 4 roles that are critical when you’re assembling your healthcare analytics team, keeping in mind that more than one of these roles might be filled by the same person. (more…)

3 Ways Healthcare Can Bridge the Gap Between Clinicians and IT

clinicians and ITBusiness intelligence is causing a paradigm shift in the IT world, especially when it comes to healthcare. It’s not every day that you find someone who is an expert at coding and who also intimately understands the clinical side of the house and the objectives it is aiming for with a business intelligence implementation. Yet that’s what is required in healthcare today, and it is causing a big headache for many hospitals who need to bridge the gap between clinicians and IT, but can’t figure out how to do it.

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What hospitals need is to find clinical people who have a data mind. Without that person, there will continue to be this disconnect where IT can’t understand what the clinical side needs and the clinicians can’t understand the technical work that goes into that. This results in a less-than-ideal business intelligence implementation.

So how can you find that rare gem of a clinician with a data mindset? Here are 3 tips. (more…)

3 Healthcare Analytics Predictions for 2016

healthcare analytics predictionsNow that the New Year is upon us, there is a lot of “looking forward” and prognosticating about what will happen (or not happen) in 2016. In the healthcare industry, 2016 will certainly be a dynamic year that will bring lots of new challenges and opportunities.

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Given continued innovation and increased regulation, providers are constantly adapting to the rapidly evolving environment. What is in store for the healthcare industry in the New Year? Though it is impossible to predict every challenge the industry will face, I can forecast three trends that will take healthcare by storm in 2016, which will all be enabled by analytics. (more…)

Holiday Wish List for Healthcare Business Intelligence

Holiday wish list graphic2014 was a busy year for those of us who work in healthcare technology with hospitals having to manage changes to the meaningful use program, coming under continuing pressure to lower costs and readmissions while improving patient care and outcomes, and figuring out how to deal with an onslaught of data generated by an ever-increasing number of apps and devices.

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to reassess what has worked and what hasn’t worked in healthcare over the last year, and renew ourselves for 2015. (more…)

4 Ways to Get Started with Population Health

Human resource conceptPopulation health – it seems everyone in healthcare is talking about it, but few have actually done much about it. Population health can certainly seem overwhelming, and as a result, many organizations just freeze and do nothing about it. But like many things in life, with population health, it’s important to work on the little things first in order to make progress on the big initiatives.

So what exactly is population health? Here is a definition from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI):

Population health is defined as the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. These groups are often geographic populations such as nations or communities, but can also be other groups such as employees, ethnic groups, disabled persons, prisoners, or any other defined group.”

Improving population health is one of the three goals of the IHI’s Triple Aim, which seeks to:

  • Improve the patient experience of care
  • Improve population health
  • Reduce the per capita cost of healthcare

The IHI believes that all three of these must be done in conjunction with each other to optimize health system performance.

If you are looking to embark on a population health initiative, here are 4 small ways to get started that can serve as the initial steps for a larger initiative. (more…)

3 Ways Hospitals Will Benefit from Getting Meaningful Use Right

female-doctor-with-clipboardIn my last two blog posts, I discussed the challenges and benefits of meaningful use. In my first post, I talked about how many in healthcare view meaningful use as less than meaningful. In the second post, I looked at the flip side and how organizations can actually find meaning in it. In this blog post, I’d like to further examine this topic and the great benefits to healthcare that I think are possible if we are actually able to get meaningful use right. Imagine that!

Let’s go back to our meaningful use timeline for a moment:

  • Stage 1 started in 2011. In this phase, healthcare organizations had to prove that they had technology in place and that they could use the technology as they should.
  • Stage 2 started this year, and is proving to be much more difficult than Stage 1. In Stage 2, in short, providers must be able to get the data and validate that they are getting everything and can report it electronically.
  • Stage 3, which will start in 2017, is when healthcare organizations will have to prove that they are getting value from their electronic health records. This is where the rubber meets the road and we’ll really find out what meaningful use is made of.

So what will happen in Stage 3 if we get everything right and figure out how to meaningfully use this technology that we’ve implemented? I think there are three results that could dramatically help healthcare. (more…)

How to Find the Meaning in Meaningful Use

nurse at computerIn my last blog post, I talked about some of the challenges of meaningful use, and about how many healthcare providers view it as less than meaningful. It’s hard for clinicians to embrace this initiative when they view the change that comes with it as making their jobs harder, and they can’t readily see the benefits of it.

So where do we go from here? How do we find the meaning in meaningful use? (more…)

Is Meaningful Use Less Than Meaningful?

Is Meaningful Use giving you a headache?Whenever I mention the words “meaningful use” to someone in the healthcare industry, I am usually met with a sigh and an eyeroll. And that’s if they’re being nice.

Meaningful use is getting a bad rap these days, with many sharing the sentiment that meaningful use seems, well… less than meaningful.

Fact is, meaningful use is hard – probably harder than many providers thought it would be. In fact, new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that only 18% of doctors may be eligible for meaningful use incentives¹, while John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston (and someone who is outspoken on many health IT issues), estimates that 80% of hospitals will fail to attest to meaningful use Stage 2 on time².

Meaningful use started with such promise when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created incentive programs so that hospitals could improve patient care and outcomes through the “meaningful use” of electronic data from certified EHR systems. As of October 2013, 85% of eligible hospitals and more than 60% of eligible professionals had received a Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive payment through the program for Stage 1. So what went wrong? (more…)