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The Five Tenets of Healthcare Business Intelligence: A Spotlight Q&A with Laura Madsen from Lancet

Originally published August 15, 2012

This BeyeNETWORK spotlight features Ron Powell's interview with Laura Madsen, Healthcare Practice Leader at Lancet and BeyeNETWORK Healthcare Expert.
Ron Powell: Laura, you’ve been one of the BeyeNETWORK’s healthcare experts for more than 3 years and you’ve written some of our most popular articles. It’s obvious that business intelligence and analytics for healthcare are top of mind with leaders of healthcare organizations. Why is there such a growing interest in business intelligence and analytics in these organizations today?

Laura Madsen: I would say the biggest factor, the one that has had the most impact in the interest in healthcare business intelligence (BI), is regulatory requirements. There were a number of initiatives kicked off by both the HITECH Act of 2009 and the ACA (popularly known as “Obamacare”) that have required healthcare organizations to invest in their data to improve population management, electronic health records (EHRs) and transparency. Much of that activity does require a traditional data warehouse to efficiently manage the requirements.

Ron Powell: You’ve recently completed writing a book, published this month by John Wiley & Sons, entitled Healthcare Business Intelligence: A Guide to Empowering Successful Data Reporting and Analytics. Why did you feel it was time to write this book?

Laura Madsen: I had considered writing this book when I started at Lancet in 2008, but the audience really wasn’t there. More often than not, most healthcare organizations weren’t ready for business intelligence. We were still trying to explain to them why managing their data was so important. But in came new legislation and the conversations changed quickly. 2010 was the first real boom year for healthcare BI, and there is now an active and interested audience for this type of book.

Ron Powell: What are the most important things healthcare organizations need to know about BI?

Laura Madsen: In the book, I refer to the five tenets of Healthcare BI. These are the things that healthcare organizations must address in order to be successful. I believe that the focus on data quality, leadership and sponsorship, technology and architecture, value and cultural implications may apply to every industry trying to tackle BI, but these are most impactful and very specific to how healthcare has to approach this work.

Ron Powell: Can you give us a brief overview of the types of things you cover in the book?

Laura Madsen:
I go into detail on each of the tenets. I provide guidance on what to tackle first, why each tenet is important and even provide some helpful job aids in a companion website. In addition, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the future of healthcare BI.

Ron Powell: If a healthcare organization doesn’t have a business intelligence solution in place, does your book provide any best practices for embarking on a BI project?

Laura Madsen: Absolutely, that was the focus. I wanted to provide a book that would give healthcare organizations a practical way to implement business intelligence. I share with them what has to happen first, second, third. In the final chapter of the book, there is a guide on what the first year of their BI program should look like, even a Gantt chart figure to help visualize what activities occur and in what order.

Ron Powell: This might be hard to answer, but I’ll ask anyway: What was your favorite part of the book to write?

Laura Madsen: Actually, this is really easy to answer! In the book I wrote case studies based on interviews I had with healthcare organizations that are doing some really incredible things with BI. These case studies were fascinating for me to learn about, and I believe that they will give healthcare organizations the inspiration to tackle the BI journey.

Ron Powell: How can our readers get this great book?

Laura Madsen: It’s available through Wiley’s website as well as Amazon.

Ron Powell: Thank you, Laura, for telling us all about your new book and about healthcare business intelligence.

  • Ron PowellRon Powell
    Ron is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010.  Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

    More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

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