There is nothing new to the thought that someone with an MBA in health administration should be comfortable with the idea of analyzing and using data. If healthcare is to become more efficient and cost-effective, executives must make use of all modern management tools, including software analysis of basic business metrics.
One of the ways the industry is beginning to adapt is though the implementation of real-time information technology. Rather than depend on the post facto analysis of reams of reports, managers take advantage of systems that can provide them with insights and information as things happen. In healthcare, in particular, real-time analysis is of particular importance because the underlying service is the guarding and improvement of patients’ well-being. Proper care requires timely reaction to the changing conditions and symptoms of a particular person.
In addition, timely reaction to aggregate data can help a healthcare provider improve its overall operations. For example, vendors like Xerox are developing software that can analyze healthcare delivery of hospitals on a real-time basis, as eWEEK reported.
“Analytics simplify the process of identifying and addressing care and operational inefficiencies and tracking progress. Given the complexity of health care processes and the massive amounts of data collected in between, it is nearly impossible for anyone to consider all the factors that influence health and business outcomes,” [said Justin Lanning, senior vice president and a managing director of health care provider solutions at Xerox]. “Software programs, however, can be designed to consider multiple factors simultaneously and analyze relationships between processes and outcomes in hundreds, if not thousands, of combinations.”
Such analysis can occur on updated information as it becomes available, given executives the ability to more closely monitor how well the organization performs. IBM has real-time asset management. Although tracking physical assets is important in most industries, doing so in real time is particularly important in areas like healthcare, when equipment is vital to performing basic services, is mobile, and is expensive. In addition, IBMs software also manages the location of care providers and of patients to aid in getting the right equipment to the right places at the correct time, as well as effectively scheduling usage of costly equipment.
Oracle offers software to “ spot trends, forecast future performance, estimate whether they are on target to achieve organizational goals, and address situations before they impact the bottom line.” Monitoring 120 typical industry key performance indicators, managers can get instant answers to the current state of operations rather than trying to sift through dozens of reports.
In its use of information technology, healthcare has lagged behind many other industries for a variety of reasons, including its traditional insular cottage-industry structure. Going forward, only the organizations that can adapt to use the newest methods and provide the best of care, and the best of operations, will be the ones that survive competitive pressures.