The role of business intelligence in the healthcare industry
Many industries, including healthcare, are seeing a significant transformation aided by business intelligence. Business intelligence (BI) is used to deduce meaningful information from raw, unstructured data. The insights obtained using BI tools and technologies help businesses make intelligent decisions and better serve their customers.
The healthcare industry uses business intelligence to innovate patient care, reduce costs, earn better revenues, improve claims management, and streamline supply chain management. It also plays a role in making healthcare more accessible.
Tech-enabled business analytics solutions enable informed decision-making assisted by insights gained from studying various patterns and behaviours and predicting future trends.
Enhanced patient care
BI can revolutionise patient care systems and lead to benefits for both patients and the healthcare industry. Today, most people are health-conscious. They use devices to monitor their medical data such as heart rate, blood pressure, sugar levels, etc. This data can be made available to healthcare providers through proper channels for centralised storage and access. BI applications can use the data and make it easier to monitor and treat patients, and intervene proactively, when required.
If a critical patient’s treatment needs collaborated decision making across various departments, insights from centralised BI tools can help immensely. Time is of the essence in such cases to save lives. BI-based visualisation can help healthcare providers make better and faster decisions to provide timely and elevated care.
BI tools can also help provide personalised healthcare based on medical and family history. Once the complete gamut of information is made available to healthcare providers in one place, better and more personalised treatment plans can be formulated. This also eliminates the need for unnecessary repetition of tests. In case of multiple lines of treatment for a patient, comprehensive records of family history, patient history and treatment will be available for their healthcare providers’ immediate reference
Improved levels of preventive healthcare
Accessibility to the complete historical data of patients (clinical, genetic, social, etc.), helps BI tools predict the risk of diseases. Predictive analytics help pre-empt potential health challenges for some patients, thus enabling the prevention of certain diseases, especially genetic and lifestyle diseases. In such scenarios, healthcare providers are able to make timely decisions and interventions which result in effective treatment.
Predictive analytics can also help understand the risk of relapse and create dynamic treatment plans that can cater speedily to patients’ health issues in cases of relapses.
A lot of medical data including patient data and lab data is available to the healthcare industry. This keeps growing by the second. Insights gained from business analytics services using this data, used at macro levels, can proactively help monitor any issues or outbreaks needing policy decisions.
Better cost management
Hospitals can study trends to understand patient inflow and better manage the associated end-to-end logistics till patients are discharged.
Waste associated with treatment is a cause of huge concern to the healthcare industry. Insights from BI tools can help optimise processes and reduce wastage.
BI tools can use patient inflow data from hospitals to ensure optimal utilisation of healthcare infrastructure. Similarly, fund allocation among departments can be optimised by leveraging insights from BI tools. Thus, funds can be utilised where they are needed the most.
Databases like Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) help collate the complete data associated with healthcare such as clinical, patient-related, administrative and financial into one silo to give a complete picture. This enables easier and error-free financial decisions. BI can help hospitals to break down workflows to improve processes to better leverage business process automation solutions.
BI tools, especially cloud-based ones, are not prohibitively expensive. This makes widespread implementation viable. Thus, using BI in healthcare can make improved healthcare more affordable for patients as well.
Insurance companies in healthcare can use BI tools to monitor and detect fraud claims and ensure faster claim processing for patients and hospitals, thus enabling a better overall experience for all stakeholders.
Decision makers in the healthcare industry can use BI tools to decide on the various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be monitored. Further, BI tools can be used to track these KPIs and assess their performance. The results can be used to make timely decisions.
Speed and accuracy count for a lot in the healthcare industry. BI can help analyse shortcomings and eliminate errors through timely corrective actions to obtain better results in the future. The impact of BI on healthcare has only just begun to be seen and felt. The promise and possibilities in the field are endless.
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