This generation’s clinical and business intelligence tools not only provide an exciting set of capabilities, but also help healthcare providers achieve their strategic goals while maximizing their returns. According to a report by Health Industry Insights published in 2010, about 30% of all healthcare providers reported that their organizations were using clinical and business intelligence tools along with data warehousing to increase their practice’s efficiency. It is evident that the next generation of healthcare reforms are going to be built on the foundation of clinical and business intelligence tools. But what the next generation of intelligence tools would bring into the healthcare sector and how it will enhance the productivity and quality of care is something that intrigues many.

The Current System

The current expertise provided by clinical and business intelligence tools help organizations link the right people to the right information; enabling faster decision making, cost-effective management and improved quality of care. Experts believe that technology alone isn’t sufficient enough to handle the massive challenge that the healthcare industry poses. The right amount of patient engagement and interoperability features (between different technologies) is needed with technology to make the transition from manual healthcare to automated health systems a success.

According to a survey by Deloitte in 2011, a patient is twice as likely to use the Internet for banking as for health tasks, while 46% of physicians still don’t use advanced tools or the Internet to enhance patient care. The next generation of clinical and business intelligence tools will not only improve patient engagement but also physician engagement. Mobile health, interoperability, integrating evidence-based medicine, enhanced connectivity and automation are going to be the modules that not only need to be incorporated but also implemented successfully in the next generation intelligence tools.

Insight into the Future of Clinical and Business Intelligence Tools

As of 2010, only 1% of all hospitals had complete EMR and automation systems in place. A majority of hospitals still record patient data from medical devices on paper, which increases the risk of any human error. A point worth noting is that despite the various advantages that these tools provide, why are physicians and providers still not using them to their full potential? The next generation of clinical and business intelligence tools should make this transition possible by not only introducing innovative features, but functionalities that are easy to use and that impart the widest reach. Here are some of the features that the next generation of intelligence tools should help us master:

Interoperability: This is one of the requirements set forth by the CMS for hospitals need to fulfil. Interoperability allows the systems and medical devices to interact with each other and automatically transfer the patient data into the respective record. While the current medical devices have achieved one way connectivity and bilateral connectivity, very few have achieved interoperability that allows the devices to talk with each other and also connect to the CIS.

Mobility: To make sure that clinical intelligence reaches the widest patient base, it is necessary for the healthcare module to become mobile. The next generation of clinical and business intelligence tools would not only be accessible from PCs and laptops but also phones and tablets. This feature would impact mobility and ensure that quality care reaches the remotest of destinations.

Evidence-based and protocol-based medicine: The next generation tools would make judicious use of the clinical evidence available and develop guidelines that integrate clinical expertise with research findings. These guidelines would then be developed into operational clinical practice in the form of protocols with just one goal – to improve the healthcare domain for the better.

The future of clinical and business intelligence will be dominated by tools that incorporate interoperability, patient engagement, mobility and evidence based medicine, all into one sphere. Implementation of these features would not only help the providers leverage maximum business potential, but also achieve performance metrics on both the quality and return fronts.