Business Intelligence’s Role in Improving Chronic Disease Management

Guest post by Nora Lissy, RN, BSN, MBA, director of healthcare information, Dimensional Insight.

Nora Lissy RN, BSN, MBA
Nora Lissy

It’s no surprise that chronic diseases are killing the United States both physically and financially. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2010 were from chronic diseases, where two of the conditions—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 48 percent of all deaths. To add to the problem – effectively treating these conditions comes with an exceedingly high price tag. According to U.S. News & World Report, 86 percent of all healthcare spending is currently going towards the treatment of these chronic diseases, equating to more than $3 trillion annually.

So how can the healthcare industry combat the rise of chronic conditions while keeping escalating treatment costs down?

One of the most effective tools for monitoring chronic disease management while still keeping an eye on care costs is business intelligence. Business intelligence has continued to increase in prevalence within the healthcare industry in recent years. According to a HIMSS Analytics study, 41 percent of hospital respondents reported they currently use clinical and business intelligence tools for their analytics, with that number expected to continue to increase over the next two years. With business intelligence continuing to prove its value within healthcare, physicians are starting to see the true potential of this data-driven tool to positively impact the industry as whole, including with the management and overall cost of chronic diseases.

Below are three ways that business intelligence can help to improve chronic disease management and lower the rising costs of care.

  1. Care plan adherence: Chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension all require consistent adherence to care plans to improve a patient’s health status. A major part of this also includes frequent follow up appointments scheduled by physician offices that allow providers to check in on a patient’s progress.  A business intelligence capability can significantly help with ensuring that these consistent follow ups occur. Through work queues and alerts, physicians can gain insight and visibility into each individual patient within a population cohort, allowing them to use the most accurate and timely information when scheduling follow up appointments. Business intelligence also provides insight into disease trends across a patient population. Through these insights, physicians can also allow for more personalized and cost effective treatment plans to be leveraged.

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