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NEW ORLEANS—A sound business analytics strategy can help meet regulatory requirements, navigate reimbursement changes, and improve business efficiency through enterprise-wide data integration, according to a March 6 presentation at the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference.
While business analytics tools have great potential, the current analytics landscape is chaotic, with many disparate systems, according to presenters Intranil Ganguly, MBA, vice president and CIO of CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, N.J., and Raj Lakhanpal, MD, CEO of SpectraMD in Princeton, N.J. Organizations should aim to turn what is now a siloed environment into one where data can be used in a more timely manner.

“The goal for us is to get to a highly structured environment where we have control over the repository, that the data is well refined and normalized, and that we are actually able to source the data directly at the point of care, or the point of business, wherever appropriate,” said Ganguly.

The presenters listed a number of high-level features that providers need in their analytics tools. The system must be actionable, with the ability to drill down to detailed levels for specific stakeholders and alert responsible parties when action needs to be taken. These systems should also integrate data in real-time without disrupting workflow, provide predictive analytics for at-risk patients, and enable messaging and collaboration.

Several regulatory programs and reform efforts can also be easier to satisfy with a strong analytics tool, according to Ganguly and Lakhanpal. Medicare payments are scheduled to be reduced as a penalty for hospital that are not limiting the number of preventable readmissions, which can be tracked using analytics. Accountable care and bundle payment reimbursement models also are well served by tools that can make care more efficient.

The hospital value-based purchasing program, which began in October 2012, is another program that analytics can help to navigate, explained Ganguly. This program looks at 12 clinical process of care measures and eight patient experience measures, and here again Medicare payments can be withheld if targets are not met.

Lakhanpal also challenged providers to “think outside the hospital” with regard to analytics. This means integrating data from across the continuum of care, including physician practices and the patient’s home.



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