Healthcare BI Helps Physicians Improve Patient Care

September 22, 2011
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Healthcare BI 216x300 photo (healthcare bi)

Author:  Linda Rosencrance, Spotfire Blogging Team

Healthcare BI 216x300 photo (healthcare bi)

Author:  Linda Rosencrance, Spotfire Blogging Team

Yesterday’s post discussed how the integration of business intelligence and healthcare-related smartphone apps is helping physicians save lives. Healthcare BI can also help providers when it comes to determining the ideal size of a patient panel – establishing which patients are assigned to which doctors in a practice, according to this article.

Healthcare provider organizations, whose physicians draw salaries want larger panels to ensure they get the most bang for the dollars they pay their physicians. In that scenario, doctors would opt for a smaller panel. However, a physician who owns a practices wants a larger panel in order to bring in more money. 

The only way to settle this conflict between large panels vs. small panels is to do a detailed analysis of the factors that are used to determine the ideal panel size, according to the article. This analysis is really important because quality can suffer if a doctor is seeing too many patients.

Business intelligence is critical when it comes to establishing the ideal size of patient panels and then helping physicians manage those panels once they’ve been established. It’s also important to continue updating and analyzing the data that goes into determining the perfect size panel, i.e., how many patients are seen per day and how many days a doctor is available, because that data is constantly changing.

There are a number of reasons why it’s important to analyze the data frequently using business intelligence and analytics, according to the article. They include:

  • Improved continuity of care – patients are happier and healthier when they aren’t continually shifted around from one doctor to another. Not only that, but they’re more likely follow the advice of a doctor they know and trust. And this also makes sense because doctors know their patients better and are better able to get through to them.
  • Better workload definition – for providers, establishing patient panels using healthcare BI and reviewing them frequently helps them define their workloads more intelligently and identify workload issues before they become real problems.
  • Process and performance issues are revealed – if one doctor isn’t keeping up with the patients he’s assigned to see, there may be a problem with his job performance.

The truth is healthcare providers want two main things; enough time to really care for their patients; and to make enough money to support their practices. “This is an ever-present tug-of-war, as the first favors smaller panels and the second favors larger panels,” according to the article.

That’s why providers have to continually analyze the data that goes into determining a panel size. Using business intelligence makes this frequent analysis possible and it also makes the results more meaningful.

Want learn more about how BI is being applied in the healthcare industry? Check out our complimentary webcast tomorrow at 11 a.m. EDT with Allergan’s Grant Morgan and Spotfire’s Ben McGraw as they present a case study on Clinical Operations and Resource Management.