As 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!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------