The Four Pillars of Healthcare Business Intelligence

Dan Reber, VP of Product Strategy and Development, PrecisionBI

Healthcare organizations are plagued with multiple systems that are home to troves of information. Some of these solutions speak to each other; however, most do not, leaving data siloed and unable to be used in an impactful way. Healthcare business intelligence (BI) can assist by enabling access to and easy analysis of information to optimize decisions and performance. Using BI, you can report on key business and clinical metrics from many data sources, identify areas for improvement and increase revenue. Better information allows for more accurate and informed decisions.

When thinking of BI solutions, there are four pillars that serve as cornerstones for successful initiatives. These are:

  • Self-Service BI: Data is required to run a healthcare organization optimally. Anyone in the organization, with the proper permissions, can get the data they need without contacting IT and waiting for a reply. Role-based permissions and membership ensure that everyone has access to the information they need to perform their job without being bogged down with material outside of their responsibility – including the C-suite, financial team, and clinical staff. Self-Service BI is governed data for the masses.
  • Collaborative BI: Healthcare data is complex; assuming a few individuals can handle all analytical requests may lead to significant backlogs and inaccurate reports. In a collaborative environment, many people can create nuggets of information, build the definition and then others can add their expertise to extend the definition. Each step is reusable so that colleagues can expand on each other’s work instead of starting fresh each time. Reporting governance helps ensure integrity throughout the process. An example would be a CMO creating a report based on diabetic patients. In discussions about hosting a diabetes clinic, the CFO can simply place financials over the previous report instead of building from scratch.
  • Enterprise BI: Data can be brought in from any system within an organization, including payroll and electronic health record solutions. Enterprise BI delivers a more holistic view of the information so you can see the entire picture instead of a siloed slice of it and allows for a single source of the truth.
  • Automated (Closed-loop) BI: Your organization has a vast amount of data, use it! Let information work for you to make your daily job easier. For example, your MACRA improvement processes can include the creation of patient lists that are electronically sent to an interactive voice response system to automate phone calls. Automated BI can lead to betters scores on your MIPS/CPC+ measures without having to lift a finger.

These four pillars will establish a robust BI process. However, they are only as good as the data behind them. The foundation of all BI initiatives is reporting governance – the management of the accessibility, the usability of information to preserve data integrity, and the definition of the required reports to run an organization. Collaborative reporting governance takes this to another level, allowing reports to be created without compromising data by using agreed upon terms for reporting and working together to improve the overall practice and effectiveness. Done correctly, BI can improve performance and key metrics while simultaneously empowering employees and making their job easier.