Guide to business intelligence and health IT analytics

Last updated:January 2015

Editor's note

Technology is frequently used as a tool through which healthcare providers and their IT departments can monitor and improve the business and personal performance of every aspect of their organization. For example, an analytics program that is deployed to examine a patient population's medical data can then become the starting point for a provider's business intelligence program. The results found by mining patient data can inform future care decisions and help the IT team discover any technology-related operational malfunctions.

There's no doubt technology can be a valuable asset to healthcare practitioners when used properly, but convincing them to use new technology hasn't been a cinch. Some physicians neglect clinical decision support tools in favor of consulting a colleague. A downside of healthcare organizations installing new technology containing patient data is that it creates additional security concerns. The ability for new technology to analyze data without improperly exposing protected health information will be key to determining how much it can improve the delivery of healthcare.

1Clinical decision support and health IT analytics

How can providers mine health data for information without exposing patients' private information? That important question is examined in this section of the guide. Also, learn why some physicians have accepted the analysis provided to them via clinical decision support tools and why others still refuse to consult this form of technology for a second opinion when making a decision about a patient's care. Like every other form of technology, healthcare analytics resources are only as good as their security and backup measures allow them to be. A cybersecurity expert explains how to approach protecting your health IT department from today's threats.

2How technology controls population health

Population health management, or the collective treatment of a group of patients, is an area that has matured along with the use of technology in healthcare. Though technology has come a long way, there are still hurdles, including those involving the exchange of health information among care facilities, that are causing hospitals to achieve treatment advances at different rates. This section contains information on why participating in an accountable care organization is one way for healthcare providers to commit to improving their population's health and why that commitment has proven elusive for some.