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Scott Wanless

Every day the news is filled with stories about healthcare business intelligence, and the tide is rising. But the business intelligence "connection" may not be clearly visible. Over the next few months, I will use this blog to pass along tangible examples of healthcare business intelligence. I will explain the role of business intelligence in each situation, pointing out the business analytics, performance measures, potential analyses, etc.

This will not be a deep analysis by any means, but hopefully you will find a few ideas that will help you in your efforts.

Thanks for reading!

About the author >

Scott is the Healthcare Analytics Director for Cipe Consulting Group. He has more than 30 years of experience in business intelligence strategic planning, analytics application development and business analysis across numerous industries including hospitals, physician groups, healthcare payers, laboratory research, insurance, lending, manufacturing, retail and state government. Scott can be reached at scott.wanless@cipeconsulting.com.

Editor's note: More healthcare articles, resources, news and events are available in the BeyeNETWORK's Healthcare Channel featuring Scott Wanless and Laura Madsen.

The American Nurses Association announced that it opened up its database of nursing and quality measures called National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators┬« (NDNQI┬«) for research purposes.  More details can be found at https://www.nursingquality.org/

The amount of data for clinical improvement purposes is significant:

  • 11 years of data submitted quarterly
  • 1500 hospitals represented
  • 12,000 individual nursing units
  • 18 key quality measures

The primary goal of research in this area is to essentially show how nursing practices affect patient outcomes.

From a healthcare business intelligence viewpoint, consider the following business questions:

  • Nursing Needs.  What are the different nursing needs for medical specialties, surgical units, clinics, long-term care units, etc.?
  • Nursing Skill Mixes.  o we have the right nursing skill mixes in place?  Why or why not?
  • Staffing.  Are we staffed correctly at the right times of the day?  Of the week?  Of the month/season/year?  Does "correctly staffed" mean financially correct?  Clinically correct?  Operationally correct?  Some mix or balance?
  • Training and Experience.  Do our nurses have the training and experience needed for our patient mixes?  Are they supported with the right blend of equipment, supplies, assistance, etc.?
  • Making a Difference?  Are our nursing improvement efforts making a difference in terms of patient health outcomes?  How do we know?

The NDNQI alone represents a potentially valuable database to mine.

But the point of business intelligence is to combine databases to answer questions that cannot otherwise be answered...profitability, efficiency, effectiveness, quality, satisfaction and value.

I am looking forward to reading more about how the various researchers who subscribe to the database are combining it with other data to answer these types of questions.

Thanks for reading!

Posted December 8, 2009 2:48 PM
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