Guest Column | August 13, 2013

Why Measurement Matters

Stacey Humphrey

Healthcare Business Intelligence (BI) & Analytics have been in the spotlight recently, and they will continue to be a top priority for healthcare organizations. But the focus of BI and analytics is changing – from implementation to leveraging data to drive improvements in the delivery of healthcare.

Why the shift? The reasons are numerous: regulatory reform pressures courtesy of the Affordable Patient Care and HITECH Acts; changing demographics yielding an aging and more chronic illness prevalent population; and seismic, risk-laden changes in care delivery and payment models.

Changes in how healthcare is paid for, in particular, will dramatically alter the landscape for healthcare providers. The transition to pay-for-performance models will focus providers on care delivery that keeps patients healthy and proactively improves the health of a population. Services delivered will be reimbursed based on value, determined by effectiveness and outcomes, as opposed to mere quantity.

Navigating this shift will rely heavily on data – digitalized information about the health of individual patients and populations of patients. As a result of electronic health records (EHR) adoption, clinical data is becoming increasingly available electronically, and it’s possible to combine it with administrative data (primarily claims and other financial data), as well as operational data (from the systems that run hospital processes).

BI & Analytics, long in use in other industries, can now be applied to integrate diverse healthcare data sources and to create meaningful measurements and metrics. Measurement provides the means to objectively evaluate how a healthcare organization is performing and drive care delivery improvement and cost reductions. You need to be able to measure what you’re trying to accomplish.

By Stacy Humphrey, director of product marketing, Dimensional Insight