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November 29, 2012

BI: A Health Care Win

By Stefanie Hoffman

Business intelligence and analytics solutions are gaining ground in every vertical as a way to accelerate productivity, make better business decisions and cut costs. This holds especially true for the tech-resistant health care industry. In fact, BI and analytics adoption is not only strong in health care verticals, it’s expected to grow, with the energy around related solutions accelerating at a frenzied pace.

According to the Business Intelligence Perception 2012: A Wave is Coming report KLAS, a rising tide of health care providers will make BI purchases over the next three years. Specifically, 52 percent of providers are looking to either buy (33 percent) or replace (19 percent) their BI tools. Other providers are planning to implement a kind of “hybrid strategy” with BI, relying on vendors to fill in gaps where their organization has fallen short.

“Seventeen percent of the customers we spoke with said that they are using multiple BI solutions to meet various departmental and reporting needs,” according to the report’s author, Joe Van De Graaff. “And that number is likely to grow.”

Embracing BI comes as an about-face for the health care industry, which has shied away from disruptive technologies and trends — arguably with good reason. Among the industry’s biggest concerns are security and privacy of patients’ medical information, protected by stringent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and other federal compliance mandates. Health care providers are gravitating to BI, though, for the benefits: the ability to identify inefficiencies, analyze performance metrics and find supply chain inadequacies, to name a few.

BI adoption is expected to flourish as hospitals and medical organizations seek solutions that feature predictive analytics, data modeling, forecasting, trending and other functions, which are designed to help them overcome regulatory challenges that have served as barriers to entry when adopting new technology.

BI can address compliance hurdles by leveraging sophisticated reporting capabilities, according to a HealthcareITNews.com article. Intelligence-based tools give users the ability to access detailed security and patient info used to in health care compliance audits, as well as meaningful-use, ICD-10 and ACOs.

And that’s just the beginning. Business intelligence and analytics are being used in patient care as a way providers can transmit and share health care information with patients and to assess information, make better-informed medical decisions and facilitate seamless patient care and communication across related departments.

Like other verticals, the health care industry will rely on BI tools for financial analysis, including finding areas to cut costs and generating concrete data on which to base multi-billion dollar decisions.

Health care organizations are turning to BI and analytics tools to assess risk and ascertain security stance. This entails identifying risk areas, tracking security threats and locating vulnerabilities that threaten to compromise sensitive customer data and place healthcare organizations at risk of non-compliance.

For more on this health care talk, keep an eye on the IBM Cognos TechTalk Intelligence Center. It’s as dynamic as the data, applications and processes it serves to advocate. We encourage you to check it out today by clicking here.

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