Most of the participants in an ANI preconference session on business intelligence (BI) indicated their organizations have a cost accounting system—but few believe theirs is effective. 

The numbers mirror a national trend, instructor Steven Berger shared with attendees. “At least 90 percent of hospitals in America do not have cost accounting systems that allow them to affect behavior,” said Berger, founder and president, Healthcare Insights, LLC.  Steven Berger 1  

During ANI, Berger discussed ways to create a data strategy and BI plan, steps for selecting a BI system, and ways to conduct a BI gap analysis. 

Getting There from Here

HFMA has indicated that BI—the ability to collect, analyze, and connect accurate quality and financial data to support organizational decision making—is one of four key capabilities hospitals and health systems should develop to succeed under value-based business models of care. 

An organization’s ability to deliver timely data will be driven largely by the degree to which data collection and analysis can be automated, Berger told healthcare finance professionals. As healthcare organizations work to implement electronic health records and healthcare IT systems, the ability to deploy these systems to drive timely reporting of quality and cost data should be a priority from both a clinical and financial perspective. 

 There are 10 key components of a successful BI strategy for hospitals and health systems, Berger said:

  • Define BI for the hospital. (Just reporting, analytics, and dashboards, or all of the technical elements as well?)
  • Based on the answers to the first question, if the organization is just reporting ANI, define the linkages, dependencies, overlaps, and integration with reporting, analytics, and dashboards. If technical elements are included in the definition, incorporate technical materials into the plan as well).
  • Ensure commitment from executive leaders on down.
  • Establish high-level governance offices and roles in the organization for the BI strategy.
  • Document the current state of the organization’s BI environment.
  • Envision and propose a target state for what the BI framework and capabilities should look like.
  • Based on the target-state requirements, build a vendor/technology shortlist, considering potential multiple vendor co-existence scenarios.
  • Identify gaps between the current state and the target state.
  • Design a road map for closing the gaps and achieving the target state.
  • Select software vendor(s) and (if necessary) a systems integrator.

Positioning for Success  

Steven Berger 2Moving from volume-based to value-based leadership will test the skills and resources of hospitals and health systems, Berger said. For these organizations to use BI to their advantage, they must ensure that the organization uses the data to identify areas where improvement are needed—and then follows up with managers who fail to demonstrate the intended improvements. In most hospitals, when department goals aren’t met, “The manager is counseled--and allowed to stay on,” Berger said.

Publication Date: Monday, June 17, 2013