The Information Technology (IT) department has the responsibility of recommending, installing, and supporting the systems that healthcare practices rely on. In many cases, these include the analytical systems that influence the operational, clinical, and financial health of the business. These systems are typically expensive to implement and maintain, and so, IT will look for opportunities to maximize their investment value.
When it comes to analytics systems, they seek solutions that:
- Reduce unnecessary burden on IT staff – time is better spent on business-critical infrastructure needs that benefit the bottom line.
- Complement the existing IT infrastructure; i.e., the new system doesn’t introduce complications.
- Are free of expensive data warehousing requirements
- Are secure and compliant
- Are robust enough to unify and analyze data from disparate IT systems
- Empower staff with actionable insights that inform their decisions
- Can be implemented quickly (e.g., in weeks, not months)
Improvements to clinical quality can be achieved when these systems provide staff (e.g., clinicians) with direct, real-time access to actionable insights. This leads to improved treatments, patient care, safety, outcomes, and processes.
However, the availability of these insights (and the effectiveness of the systems they’re dependent on) are minimized when technical burdens are introduced. Examples include:
- “Report requests” that compete with other (non-reporting) IT priorities
- Restricting data access to IT staff
- The effort needed for IT to manually produce reports
- The value of the reports based on the total time taken, from request to delivery
- The resources required for IT to maintain or replace systems that produce the source data
An effective analytics platform frees IT from many, if not all, of these burdens. The system will empower all staff (e.g., business leaders, clinicians, etc.) to improve clinical quality. Without IT intervention, staff will have direct access to view report dashboards (predefined and customized) across financial, operational, and clinical areas. Insights are provided in (near) real-time, and they can also review historical trends. Finally, the investment in the life of the analytics platform is maximized when it can scale with the growth of the business and its associated technologies; e.g., it makes use of an open API.
The burden on IT is reduced when staff has direct access to the information that they need. IT no longer has to be the “middle person” because they can focus on business-critical infrastructure needs. Staff can take action on insights that improve clinical quality, whether it be the same day or over the long-term. Ultimately, these operational improvements improve the business and its bottom line.
HealthLevel is the creator of Foundations™, a radiology business operations platform. By combining financial, clinical, and operational data, it uses analytics to paint a complete picture of a business’s operations. It engages every team member to confidently take actions that improve productivity and increase the bottom line. Learn more.