By Nora Lissy, RN, BSN, MBA, Director of Healthcare Information, Dimensional Insight
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly half of U.S. adults suffer from at least one chronic disease, with a quarter of adults suffering from two or more. Effectively treating these conditions comes with a high price tag and is a leading cause of our nation’s rising healthcare costs. According to U.S. News and World Report, 86 percent of all healthcare spending is currently going towards the treatment of these conditions, equating to more than $3 trillion annually.
To decrease these staggering statistics, healthcare professionals are looking for ways to combat the rise of chronic conditions while keeping escalating treatment costs down. Thankfully, one of the most surprisingly effective tools for combatting these diseases is already being used by healthcare facilities across the country.
Business intelligence adoption is continuing to rise within the healthcare industry. According to a recent HIMSS Analytics study, 41 percent of hospital respondents reported they currently use clinical and business intelligence tools for their analytics, with that number expected to continue to increase over the next two years. As Big Data becomes cemented into the everyday healthcare landscape, physicians are realizing the true potential of business intelligence and data analytics to positively impact the healthcare industry as whole, including the effective management of prominent chronic diseases.
Below are three ways business intelligence can help improve chronic disease management and lower the rising costs of care.
By leveraging a business intelligence capability, physicians are better equipped to ensure their care plans are abided by. Through the use of work queues and alerts, physicians can gain insight and visibility into each patient within a population cohort, enabling them to use the most accurate and timely information when scheduling follow up appointments and determining appropriate care tactics. Business intelligence also provides insight into disease trends across a patient population allowing for more personalized and cost effective treatment plans.
For example, evidence has shown using corrective therapy alone for the treatment of diabetes is less effective at stabilizing and maintaining control than using a more individualized bolus and prandial treatment protocol. By using business intelligence to compare treatment options and analyze the outcome of diabetic patients, physicians and caregivers can see the effectiveness of different treatments across a patient population. This allows for both higher quality care delivery based on evidence-based best practices as well as a reduction in overall costs by surpassing the less-effective treatment options.
For example, business intelligence can help to analyze the efficacy of past treatment plans in disease populations and determine more effective, less costly treatments based on new evidence and advances in medicine. It also allows providers to analyze their current patient populations and identify risk factors that lead to the development of a chronic disease. Providers can then target those patients within their population that are exhibiting risk factors, but have not yet been diagnosed with a chronic disease. This enables physicians to create a clear, and more personalized care plan for each patient, while negating the costs of necessary treatment tactics. This also enables them to identify areas for educational opportunities and improvements in care delivery.
Business intelligence enables physicians to manage chronic diseases more effectively than ever before. Through the use of these tools, physicians are able to improve patients’ health status, reduce unnecessary costs and take advantage of industry best practices — ultimately driving better care delivery across the board.