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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.

Infection control is as much a business issue as it is a clinical issue.
And infection surveillance is as much a business intelligence process as it is a clinical intelligence process.

Yesterday, an article called Hospital Monitors Infectious Diseases Using Real-Time Surveillance by Cynthia Johnson http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/TEC-248111/Hospital-Monitors-Infectious-Diseases-Using-RealTime-Surveillance provided a laundry list of business intelligence applications.  

Consider this:
  1. Targeting Interventions.  The central function of an infection surveillance system is to identify patterns and trends in the data in order to target interventions to prevent hospital-acquired infections.  From a commercial perspective, this is exactly what business intelligence does, except the "interventions" are business decisions and the "infections" are lost opportunities to increase revenues, cut costs and waste, improve efficiency, improve customer loyalty, etc.
  2. Improve the Bottom Line.  With the CMS now denying payment for never events and treatment for nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections, these interventions take on a new financial significance.
  3. Compliance Reporting.  Now that hospitals are required to comply with the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goals, the use of business intelligence best practices makes this reporting easier and smoother.  Plus, having the data warehouse backing up the reporting allows the hospital to drill into the numbers by facility, by provider, across time, etc. In addition, this data becomes reusable for the myriad compliance requirements from medical societies, governmental agencies and quality standards organizations.
  4. Sharing Best Practices.  Every facility can learn from sister facilities the practices, process improvements and techniques they are using to prevent infections and keep patients safe.

The parallels between clinical intelligence applications and business intelligence applications are becoming more clear as both sides become increasingly sophisticated.

And the ties between clinical quality issues and financial issues are becoming increasingly tighter.

Of all of the quotes in the article, this one points to the need for business intelligence more than any other...
"From a patient perspective, I would rather go to a facility where someone is gathering information and can look at patterns and trends versus one where they relied on a staff member's memory" 

Thanks for reading!

Posted March 18, 2010 10:36 PM
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