Location Intelligence and Mobile BI: Advancing Data Analysis in the Healthcare Industry

April 4, 2012
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You work for St Vincent’s Medical – an independent authority responsible for monitoring a regional network of public hospitals and healthcare providers.  As detailed in a recent IT Business Edge article – “Health Care Providers’ Interest in Business Intelligence Growing” – many organizations and institutions in the healthcare industry, specifically in the US, are beginning to realize the benefits of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions.

You work for St Vincent’s Medical – an independent authority responsible for monitoring a regional network of public hospitals and healthcare providers.  As detailed in a recent IT Business Edge article – “Health Care Providers’ Interest in Business Intelligence Growing” – many organizations and institutions in the healthcare industry, specifically in the US, are beginning to realize the benefits of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions.

Many healthcare providers and administrative bodies have began using BI tools to unlock actionable information within their data sets and achieve higher standards of care, and better medical outcomes, in the face of tighter budgeting, increasing costs and tough regulatory environments.  You’ve been considering a BI deployment, but are uncertain about the key metrics or functions that St Vincent’s Medical should analyze and report on.  And, with a multitude of geographically dispersed assets (medical equipment and vehicles), infrastructure (hospitals and care facilities) and personnel (paramedics, doctors, nurses and administration staff), how can you effectively track, monitor and share pertinent information?  Simple.  Ensure your BI solution contains integrated Location Intelligence (LI) capabilities and Mobile BI functionality.

Mobile BI – the ability to receive reporting and analytics on-the-go via mobile devices – and LI – the ability to combine location-based data and traditional metrics captured within a BI system – empowers you to uncover otherwise hidden trends, patterns and relationships; no matter where you, or your assets are located.

Just ask Yellowfin

So, what can a BI platform, encompassing LI and mobile analytical capabilities, bring to a medical institution’s critical business processes and operations?

Just ask Yellowfin how, at:  http://www.yellowfinbi.com/YFContact.i4

3 ways Location Intelligence and Mobile BI can be utilized by the healthcare industry

Combining LI and mobile capabilities would enable you, and the team at St Vincent’s Medical, to utilize reporting and analytics in three key ways:

  • Clinical applications:  Patient safety and quality of care can be documented and tracked to uncover unsafe or substandard practices. This information can then be used to identify areas where healthcare professionals may need additional training or where stricter regulations and procedures should be put in place.  For example, the number and type of medication errors can be tracked and documented across different medical institutions.  That data can be drilled down on to establish in which wards, on what day, and at what times the errors occurred. From there, the nurse or doctor responsible can be identified, and that individual’s history can be profiled to discover how many medication-related errors that person has made, the nature of those mistakes, and the timeframe over which they occurred.
  • Financial applications: Track billing errors across different regional facilities. There are a multitude of systems that collate patient and treatment information across St Vincent’s network, for which you’re responsible, to establish what services and procedures should be included in a claim.  BI tools can be used to match charges with outgoing claims and patient flow rates between facilities, to reduce the number of billing errors, and decrease the number of denied claims.
  • Operational applications:  Integrate data from multiple operational systems to produce reports that allow individual medical institutions to gain greater insight into their operating environment.  Monitor hospitals in your jurisdiction by integrating information from a number of different systems, to achieve an up-to-the-minute picture on the number of free hospital beds, and location of medical emergencies and emergency vehicles, to decrease the number of ambulance diversions.

Aberdeen Research: Business Intelligence in healthcare

Back in 2008, the Aberdeen Research report – “Business Intelligence in Healthcare: Have Providers Found a Cure?” – exposed the significant potential benefits of BI for the healthcare industry and healthcare professionals.

Respondents were divided into three distinct categories:

  • Best-in-Class (20%):  Those who engage in “practices that are the best currently being employed and are significantly superior to the Industry Average, and result in the top industry performance.”
  • Industry Average (50%):  Those who engage in “practices that represent the average or norm, and result in average industry performance.”
  • Laggards (30%):  Those who engage in “practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry, and result in below average performance.”

Results

Ninety-five healthcare providers participated in the survey. Results, recorded over a 12-month period, revealed that:

  • Best-in-Class achieved a 7% reduction in adverse events per patient and unplanned re-admissions, compared to 1% reduction for Industry Average institutions, and a 2% increase for Laggard organizations.
  • Best-in-Class organizations achieved a 15% increase in patient satisfaction scores, compared with 6% improvement by Industry Average and 4% improvement by Laggard organizations.
  • Best-in-Class providers decreased the amount of overtime incurred by 11%, while Industry Average organizations realized a 1% decrease and Laggards experienced a 12% increase.
  • Best-in-class organizations also reported an average 3% drop in the number of ambulance diversions compared with a 3% increase for Laggards.

Conclusion

BI solutions, with integrated LI functionality and mobile reporting capabilities, offer healthcare providers the opportunity to improve patient care and operational efficiencies by improving clinical, financial and operational procedures, enabling them to better manage and allocate limited resources.

 

The importance of where: Location Intelligence and Mobile BI

Gartner’s 2012 BI Magic Quadrant survey indicated that the majority (53%) of organizations will deliver some form of mobile analytics by year’s end.  The same report revealed that many organizations, across a diverse range of industries, are beginning to apply BI and analytics to new business areas. As a result, respondents listed “geographic-intelligent functions” as one of the standout new product requirements for 2012. 

The insight able to be leveraged by assessing location-based data on mobile devices is enormous. LI is the glue that binds organizational data assets together, generating context, meaning and exposing crucial relationships between data types. Mobile BI is the platform of the future for reporting and analytics, as executives abandon their desks, and spend more time amongst assets, employees and customers.

With the intensification of trends towards globalization, outsourcing and the instantaneous (driven by our constant connectivity courtesy of the Internet), not knowing will no longer be an excuse, no matter where you, or your company’s operations, are located.


 

For more on LI and Mobile BI, simply visit:

 

Further reading: Still not convinced?

Still not convinced? Check out some of our recent blog posts on Location Intelligence: