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Customer Experience and Design

What’s the Best Approach to Healthcare Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence for healthcare is a hot topic right now. Just about every list of top priorities for healthcare organizations includes business intelligence or analytics. This was evident during the recent HIMSS Conference, where the number of options presented by vendors was impressive.

So this begs the question: “What is the best approach for implementing Healthcare BI at your organization?”


Fortunately or unfortunately, there isn’t one best answer to this question. There are a number of factors that would influence the approach to be used including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Is this the initial journey into business intelligence for your organization?
  • Is there enterprise support for business intelligence (i.e. is it one of the stated business goals for the year?)
  • Do you have an overall business intelligence strategy?
  • Are the critical business issues for which business intelligence could provide immediate benefits?
  • Is your organization prepared for business intelligence? Do you have the right skill sets, governance and processes to support a BI initiative?
  • Do you currently have business intelligence technology in-house that will support your objectives?

The answers to these questions will drive the best approach to business intelligence for your organization.


There are many options to business intelligence for healthcare organizations. The diagram below highlights several of these options:


Each of the options above has strengths and weaknesses. For example, a package application might work well for your organization if it offers the majority of the analytical capabilities you need. However, if you are looking for something that is highly customizable or that is unique to your organization, it might not be the best choice.

Additionally, the different options are not necessarily mutually exclusive. An enterprise healthcare business intelligence platform might take components from several options to provide the required capabilities. For example, the business intelligence solution provided by your clinical transaction system vendor might provide the clinical reporting and analytics capabilities you need, but might need to be augmented with other components to provide the remaining required capabilities (ex. Financial or operational analytics).

Even within each option, there are different approaches to consider. Many organizations take a prototype approach, especially if it is their first foray into business intelligence.

As you can see, options abound for healthcare business intelligence. Choosing the right approach and option are critical first steps to success.

Do you have any questions about what business intelligence approach is best for your organization? Let us know, and we’d be happy to help. We would also like to invite you to attend our April 21st webcast: Jump Start Your Healthcare Enterprise Analytics with Core Measures. We will demonstrate how top healthcare organizations are realizing the benefits of data analytics in such core areas as core measures, clinical alerting, surgical analytics, service line profitability, diabetes management, revenue cycle management, claims management and utilization. Register Today

You can also see us today in Las Vegas at IBM Impact. We are in the Industry Zone at IZ-4 or check out our IBM Impact landing page.

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