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Hospitals In Early Stage of Analytics Usage

Fewer than half of healthcare organizations have clinical and business intelligence tools, and most who do are still learning how to use them, says HIMSS Analytics survey.

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Despite all the hoopla about clinical and business intelligence (C&BI) applications, the use of these tools by hospitals and healthcare systems is still in an early phase, a new report indicates. Only 46% of the 529 respondents to a HIMSS Analytics survey said they were using C&BI, and the majority of those indicated they were still learning how to use these analytic tools.

Also revealing was the fact that more than half of C&BI users said they were using the analytic modules imbedded in their electronic health record/hospital information system (EHR/HIS). In contrast, less than a quarter of the C&BI users had purchased "best of breed" solutions, which tend to be more robust than those in EHR/HIS products.

Most hospitals and healthcare organizations "haven’t even begun to take full advantage of their solutions," said Brendan Fitzgerald, HIMSS Analytics' research director, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare. "As we see in this study, many are using C&BI solutions imbedded in their HIS or their EHR. While that may be ideal for them on a very localized level, ideally they want to be able to do that on a broader scale. So it's no surprise that they're still at an early stage in their analytics usage."

[ Population health is hot. Read Healthcare Analytics Sought For Population Health Management. ]

The reliance on EHR/HIS tools, he added, can be ascribed to the focus of most hospitals on achieving Meaningful Use and getting government incentive dollars. Their EHR vendors' solutions can help them do that, and most healthcare providers haven't yet started looking at best-of-breed applications for other purposes. In fact, of the total respondents who didn't already have a non-EHR/HIS solution, only 9% indicated they planned to buy one within the next two years.

Nevertheless, Fitzgerald noted, the outlook is "somewhat bright" for best-of-breed C&BI vendors. Right now, most of their customers are larger organizations that are ahead of the curve on healthcare reform. But 43% of respondents were unsure about whether to purchase a C&BI solution, "and we'll start to see that group start to turn into buyers as we get further down the road toward population health management and accountable care."

Among the top C&BI vendors mentioned by respondents who planned to acquire an analytics solution were Truven, Elsevier, Cognos, SAP, SAS, MedeAnalytics, Health Catalyst, QlikView, ReportingMD and Humedica.

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User Rank: Apprentice
9/17/2013 | 8:33:34 PM
re: Hospitals In Early Stage of Analytics Usage
Most organizations I have seen have been focused on attesting for MU and have purchased products with this goal in mind only. There really hasn't been much focus on C&BI tools, just mostly with larger organizations that have already established a foothold with EMR systems and MU attestations. This will undoubtedly change as more companies implement their EMR systems and start focusing on other aspects of health IT such as big data and analytics.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
9/13/2013 | 12:36:48 AM
re: Hospitals In Early Stage of Analytics Usage
Aren't any of the EHR vendors bundling in one of the best of breed analytics tools, rather than trying to roll their own? I'd think that would be the best way for them to deliver a robust BI capability
User Rank: Apprentice
9/12/2013 | 9:29:16 PM
re: Hospitals In Early Stage of Analytics Usage
Bid Data & doubt is the next EMR fiancial boodoggle. If you think we spent a ton of dough on EMRs and have yet to see any real return, just wait to see what BD will burn thru. To learn why go to:
Frank Poggio
The Kelzon Group
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