Today, healthcare companies have access to more data than ever before and are seeking ways to harness the power of business analytics to improve business operations. Business analytics is widely used in the healthcare industry to reduce healthcare delivery costs, increase process and operational efficiency, and improve quality of care. Data sets in the healthcare industry are complex, and as a result, a clearly defined BI strategy becomes essential. It is also the reason why business analytics in the healthcare industry is relatively in its infancy stage.
Role of Business Intelligence in the Healthcare Industry
Optimizing Business Operations
Business analytics can be utilized in a number of ways to improve various aspects of healthcare operations. For instance, hospitals can analyze patterns in emergency-room care and consequently refine their staffing strategy to determine how many ER attendants are required during different shifts. Optimizing this number will considerably save hospitals nursing costs, which is avoidable. Business analytics can also be used to improve other hospital operations including optimizing inventory, hospital equipment, and specialized care facilities.
Hospitals and clinics can take a closer look at their suppliers by analyzing inventory data, EMR, and other metrics. Using such business intelligence tools, they can determine when they are overpaying the suppliers, underutilizing devices, or having wastage in their supply chain. By comparing pricing across various suppliers and analyzing their cost base, hospitals can better negotiate prices with their suppliers.
Improve Patient Outcomes
The healthcare industry has access to a huge amount of patient data. They can analyze patient data across patients with similar cases and analyze patterns to implement preventive care measures. They can categorize patients on the basis of the level of risk using predictive modeling to improve the care quality. For instance, IBM has developed a predictive model to accurately identify patients that are at the risk of heart disease by collecting structured and unstructured data from a large pool of patients.
Estimating Insurance Costs
Business analytics can help companies determine insurance costs and also predict and refine other medical expenses. For instance, medical institutions can map insurance provider data to patient data in order to create accurate models and healthcare plans. Since most insurance companies are moving towards outcome models; hospitals are willing to work with insurance providers to promote patient outcomes by recommending efficient treatment programs. Insurance companies are willing to lower premium payments for preventive care, as it decreases the cost of overall claims for them.