Fishing From the Queen Mary

Self-Service analytics in healthcareAs Parag mentioned in our last blog post, monolithic enterprise analytics platforms are not designed  to empower departmental end users to quickly pose questions and get timely answers. Rather, the  process of identifying sufficiently detailed and actionable information is an iterative one, benefitting  from a short time span between receiving reports and gathering new information. The optimal  approach is to complement these top-down enterprise platforms with real-time, self-service  departmental analytics.

Healthcare systems are finding success letting departments use independent solutions that provide  the unique depth and breadth of insight they need, while still complementing enterprise analytics.  Enterprise platforms are not optimized to rapidly provide custom and useful insights for each  department. Without a complementary departmental analytics platform, some IT executives are  questioning the value and utility of the enterprise platforms themselves. As one hospital IT executive  expressed – “12 months and 12 million dollars for 12 reports is silly.” Using an enterprise system for  its appropriate functions (e.g. risk stratification, population health, revenue cycle management,  supply chain optimization), and supplementing it with a customized departmental solution, ensures  everyone gets what they need.

You might ask, what is the difference between a departmental analytic solution and an enterprise  platform for healthcare? Here are a few key differences:

  • Enterprise healthcare analytics put a lot of emphasis on retrospective claims data, whereas  departmental solutions tend to go deep into clinical data.
  • Enterprise solutions use data warehouses and data lakes that are loaded during non-peak  hours, whereas departmental solutions often are real-time or near real-time.
  • Enterprise solutions often require a data scientist or IT specialist to create a report, adding  distance between the creator of the data and the creator of the report.

At the other extreme, many end user applications and imaging systems now also include some kind  of analytics and reporting – it has become fashionable to have and advertise that as part of a  healthcare application. Please realize, though, that these clinical or operational applications are not  designed to share data with other programs – there is no technical or business case for those vendors  to share or aggregate their data. Typically, proprietary designs and competitive positioning interfere  with the opportunities for these systems to interrogate and report on this data in a unified manner.

Departmental and solution-specific analytics platforms must be vendor agnostic and integrate  information from all IT systems necessary to provide actionable insights. They must support the  iterative and individualized process of inquiry necessary to uncover meaningful and sufficiently  detailed information. And they need to do this quickly. So it’s not a question of choosing between  an enterprise platform or department analytics – they are different tools solving different problems.  The optimal solution is using both. You are not going to try to fish a river from the Queen Mary,  and you are not going to cruise to England in a Boston Whaler – you need the appropriate tool for  the job. So if your organization already has enterprise analytics, then you’re a step ahead. But don’t  be fooled into thinking that’s all your clinical departments will need. Analytics solutions like  Foundations™ complement the enterprise analytics system your organization is already using,  providing your departments with the insight necessary to succeed!

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