Health Information Technology and Business Intelligence Possess the Power to Transform an Entire Population’s Health

By Ron Ritchey, MD, MBA, chief medical officer, eQHealth Solutions; a HIMSS Gold Corporate Member and National Health IT Week Partner

During National Health IT Week, champions from across the industry are uniting to share their voices on how health IT is catalyzing change in U.S. healthcare. The following post from a National Health IT Week Partner is one of the many perspectives of how information and technology is transforming health in America.

Ron Ritchey, MD, MBA

Looking Back

Reflecting on National Health IT Week has made me think of how far the industry has come in the effective use of health data and technology to reshape the way we deliver care to patients. The explosion of innovation and growth over the last 35 years, since I began my practice, has been miraculous to see and be a part of. In fact, I was reminiscing not so long ago – the capabilities we now have at our fingertips would have been thought to be out of a futuristic cartoon, and today, they are commonplace.

Business Intelligence and Healthcare Analytics

Supporting healthcare through IT transformation is one of National Health IT Week’s main focuses this year. From my perspective, top of the list of transformational technologies is business intelligence (BI) and healthcare analytics. Tremendous progress has been made in the last five to 10 years, and we can expect even more on the horizon as these technologies continue to transform, evolve and enrich healthcare delivery.

A Clinical Perspective

Health data typically resides in multiple locations and can be difficult to measure. However, given the powers of BI and healthcare analytics, it is no longer just a vast collection of facts. Healthcare analytics now turns data into actionable information at the point-of-care and beyond.

Using technology and statistical methods, predictive modeling can help healthcare providers efficiently search through vast amounts of information, analyzing it to predict outcomes for individual patients and stratifying them into risk groups and categories.

Additionally, clinicians can now identify trends and patterns allowing for quicker course correction when necessary and assess the likelihood of future risks and co-morbidities. With the insights predictive modeling provides, you get a clearer view of your healthcare landscape, understanding where to focus and who is in the most need of your attention.

Ultimately, the triple aim still seems appropriate; the goal being to improve health outcomes, improve patient satisfaction, increase resource utilization efficiency and reduce costs.

Beyond the Clinical Value

Not only can business intelligence and healthcare analytics be leveraged for clinical assessment, but also for operational efficiency and financial measurement. There are likely thousands of ways to drive impact, these are a few that are top of mind for me:

  1. Regulatory compliance reporting
  2. Total cost of care analysis
  3. Provider network efficiency
  4. Claims and clinical review data
  5. Internal productivity measurement

Data technology will continue to progress as it navigates the evolution of our healthcare system and what an exciting time to be part of an industry with such impact it has in our nation.

#NHITWeek #IHeartHIT

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

National Health IT Week | October 8-12

Healthcare Transformation | Access to Care | Economic Opportunity | Healthy Communities

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