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Today’s healthcare organizations produce an overwhelming amount of data—from clinical decision support systems (CDSS), electronic medical record systems (EMR/EHR), and patient administration human resources, finance, insurance, government agencies and more.

There is no end in sight. In fact, it is expected to continue its exponential rate of growth. The good news is that, buried within those numbers, are insights that can point the way to better profit margins, improved performance, greater patient satisfaction, and boosted operational efficiency.

If not handled strategically, the volumes of notoriously complex data, fed by multiple disparate data systems, can miss what’s most important: the bigger picture and the path to ROI.

Business Intelligence (BI) is a data-based infrastructure that integrates strategies and technologies to analyze multiple data feeds and deliver insights to drive the business towards efficiency and profitability. It can help providers sharpen decision-making, accelerate revenue growth, improve operational workflows, and even uncover areas of lost revenue or waste that can be quickly rectified.

BI dashboards for healthcare organizations are an affordable and efficient way to manage your operations, helping you dramatically improve profit margins and the bottom line.

Using Big Data for healthier profits

When BI is applied to the business of healthcare, you can cut through the complexity and magnitude of the data your organization stores and produces and confidently sharpen your focus on improved patient outcomes, greater efficiency, reduced waste, timely responsiveness to events, and enhanced profit margins.

Here are three features of BI dashboards that deliver greater efficiency and performance in a healthcare management setting:

1. Precision

Many healthcare facilities still rely on receiving monthly reports from individual departments. But within the large and complex industry of healthcare, monthly reports are—simply put—insufficient to the task. Valuable, actionable insights that can help steer decision-making to more efficiency are often unseen or overlooked. You won’t be able to get high-level perspectives, like what’s driving admissions or how staffing policies affect wait times.

Those kinds of insights come from what only BI healthcare dashboards can deliver: cohesive, multi-level analyses of real-time data coming from multiple, disparate data sources enterprise-wide.

Instead of waiting for reports—and burdening your staff with the time-consuming task of producing them — you can use Business Intelligence dashboards to monitor customized metrics that you design to help answer critical questions: these are your key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs combine raw datasets from multiple departments and stakeholders and output comprehensive, unbiased insights that only that data can reveal.

As privacy is an important issue, business Intelligence can access data from patient health records without revealing HIPAA-sensitive information. It can also provide opportunities to analyze trends in community health, assess treatment outcomes, and flag patients who have a high risk of disease.

As efficiency is critical to the bottom line, BI allows you to save time and labor while producing superior results. Having better information means your team can focus on improving the quality of patient care and solving other problems rather than debating them.

2. Agility

As with any industry, and especially with one as extensive as healthcare, there will be easier-to-reach low-hanging fruit to address first. Standard and customized KPIs can reveal inefficiencies as they emerge so that you can respond in a timely manner. For example, if your waiting rooms are filled with patients with uncomfortably-long wait times, you can use KPIs to analyze your admissions protocols and decide to adjust staffing policies to account for peak intake times. Or, you can assess trends in patient readmissions, identify contributing factors, and make adjustments to improve care and reduce costs at the same time.

Once you’ve uncovered inefficiencies using your real data and the tremendous depth of practical analysis that BI delivers, you can take the strides you want to take to optimize your organization operations. Specific, targeted policies can be rolled out as needed when needed.

3. Support

Mistakes can be costly—especially in healthcare. Some of the most critical decisions are made in a matter of hours, minutes, or less. Getting current, accurate, and relevant information in front of the right practitioner at the right time can sometimes make the difference between profit and loss, or even life and death.

Sophisticated healthcare BI solutions deliver information via a mobile device, making access to crucial information more convenient than ever. Clinicians and specialists can much more easily share notes, diagrams, insights, and data and cut down on time spent on evaluations and unnecessary paperwork. Physicians can review test results and trends and be informed to more accurately prepare for and predict outcomes.

With BI, support can also be provided through predictive analytics, helping map patterns of disease, anticipate patient health outcomes, or even help planners determine where to build a new facility or improve the support of existing ones.

Seizing the moment

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, healthcare dashboards can provide cutting-edge tools to help organizations get more efficient, more responsive, and more competitive. Instead of drowning in data, BI dashboards for healthcare can help organizations profoundly access and leverage their data to elevate operations in almost every way: streamline productivity, cut costs, respond more quickly to events, and improve the bottom line.

While BI may not be the only key to surviving data overwhelm, it can help you resolve longstanding issues that are slowing your productivity, weakening your budget, and undermining your profits. As demand continues to surge and technological advances continue to produce more profound solutions, it has never been a more opportune and necessary time to take advantage of the power of BI dashboards for healthcare.