2 min read

The top 3 Business Intelligence trends in Long Term Post-Acute Care

By Jonathan Duvall on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

iStock_000082385933_Small.jpgNationwide, Business Intelligence is increasingly integrated in the day-to-day management of long term post-acute care (LTPAC) facilities. As we have posted in previous blogs, decision makers at the corporate, region, facility, and department levels have adapted to the features and seized the resultant benefits that BI has to offer. Examining the observable trends in LTPAC and some of our own research may be compelling. Here are three of the more obvious trends:

  1. Self-service analytics – What drives self-service is the unsatisfactory reliance on the IT-generated “report factory” which can be slow, often dispensing outdated information. This model of information gathering and distribution places an unnecessary burden on the IT department. However, BI, designed with input from users, is responsive and current. BI gives the users the flexibility and the knowledge to effectively make decisions with up-to-date information right at their fingertips. With data transparency, they have the capacity to drill down to greater details enabling them to ask and answer their own questions.
  1. The gap between governance and self-service analytics is narrowing - In our experience and research, decision makers can get access to the data they need without having to go through someone else, such as the IT department, to deliver the information. This results in a reduction in the gap between technology and management. Let IT do what it does best, gather and store data securely. And let management retrieve the information through BI which automates data retrieval across disparate applications to generate user-friendly views with drill-down capabilities and custom-designed reports
  1. BI for everyone - BI has become the decision-enabling and planning tool for any manager, department head, or leader. If users have decision-making authority, they can access relevant, timely, and actionable information. We have observed over the eight-plus years we have offered a BI solution, that BI satisfies the growing hunger for a broader menu of digestible information to fuel savings, compliance, and growth at the department, facility, region, and corporate levels.

One of BI’s benefits is that it helps decision makers discover new questions – a world of analytics of which they may not have been aware. Sometimes it takes more questions and answers to generate more questions and answers to discover, decide, and succeed. And that’s good. For the more precise the probing, potential problems emerge before they get out of hand and new opportunities are discovered before they get away. One COO mentioned recently that primeVIEW (PCT’s BI dashboard solution) has alerted his team to problems they had not before discovered when their only source of information was the “reporting factory”.

Because primeVIEW is customer driven, we have watched this desire for more in-depth information with keen interest and responded quickly with new views and reports. Often customers will request a new and expanded, or more in-depth, view of a particular KPI or set of KPIs, such as census, admissions, discharges, and readmissions to hospitals, among others. This access to more information has a direct impact on efficiencies, cash flow, and the bottom line.

These are the top three trends we have observed and responded to, developing the primeVIEW platform further as the self-analytics source, to narrow the gap between governance and what IT departments deliver – a tool for all decision makers. As LTPAC moves into the new world of care and reimbursement models, they can be confident they will be able to get the right answers to the right questions through BI.

Topics: business intelligence analytics BI for everyone governance and self-service analytics gaps reporting factory LTPAC BI self-service analytics
2 min read

BI, Analytics, Problem-Solving, and Winning the LTC Game

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 01:41 PM

Hitting a home run with Business Intelligence and Analytics

BI, Analytics, long term care, decision-making

I’m a sports fan. Yep. No doubt about it. Spring means not only hay fever, but baseball fever. I love to see a good solid swing and to feel the excitement of watching the gravity-defying flight of the ball as it soars over the outfield fence and into the bleachers. There’s nothing like a home run! Unlike baseball, however, the game of Long Term Care is not seasonal and if providers want a sporting chance, they’re going to have to step up to the plate and respond swiftly and powerfully to the curve balls of regulatory changes, the sliders of reimbursement, the change-ups of market pressures, and the fast balls of competition year around. It means split-second decision-making and lightning-fast responses. More to the point, providers must interpret real-time data, employ sound decision-making best practices, and implement solutions. The key? Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics.

I’ve done some research on the topic of problem solving and Business Intelligence. During my search through the slurry of blogs, articles, and advertisements, I discovered a real nugget I want to share with you. In a blog published in Visual Business Intelligence, posted by Stephen Few points out that today’s problems are not “the result of missing or hidden information, but the result, in a sense, of too much information and the complicated challenge of understanding it.” Amen to that. Look at the plethora of data available through the MDS, for example, and the information it yields. What about the data demands providers will face when they have to play in the big leagues of ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations)? Clinical, operational, financial, market demands, regulatory data will all need to be assimilated, retrieved, interpreted correctly, acted on, and represented.

Mr. Few argues that “we don’t need more data, we need the means to make sense of what we have.” This requires “data sense-making tools that are needed to put data to use for decision-making.”

I agree with Mr. Few that “the pieces have finally come together that are needed to cross the threshold from the Information Age, which has produced great mounds of mostly unused information, to the Analytics Age, when we’ll finally learn how to understand it and use it to make better informed, evidence-based decisions.” To paraphrase, LTC providers must be investigators at heart with minds that are flexible and analytical. We must be critical thinkers.

With the aid of “data sense-making” digital dashboards which display such Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as census, labor, collections, MDS, procurement, admissions/discharges, among others in real time, providers can discover “faults in (their) organization’s policies, practices, or assumptions.”

Armed with such analytics tools, providers can hit the home runs which will not only increase revenues and save money, but provide resident/patient quality of life.

Next time, I’ll share how one operator of multiple facilities in several states has leveraged analytics to score big. How’s that for a “pitch?” 

Topics: dashboards analytics BI
3 min read

BI and Analytics – Decision Support with Real Bottom Line Impact

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Fri, Mar 04, 2011 @ 02:54 PM

Overview Business intelligence, analyticsIn our previous blog, “Discover the Wealth in Business Intelligence through Data Mining,” we discussed how data mining is indispensible in helping today's executive discover hidden patterns of vital Business Intelligence (BI). With BI, LTC executives have been able to view their organizations’ financial, operational, and marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in real time. BI viewed through digital dashboards delivers the granularity, flexibility, and responsiveness executives need. Given the layers of information, or analytics, that is available through BI, managers can readily peer into their organization’s performance. Jim Hoey, President of Prime Care Technologies, recently reported, “Many of the executives I visit with understand the value that such a system can offer and have even taken advantage of its availability.”

Like an onion, however, the more you peel back the informational layers, the more it may bring you to tears. Whether they are tears of joy or frustration depends on what you do with the information.

How does a BI Dashboard work?

Let’s share with you what a dashboard looks like and has done for others. You arrive at your office and log on to your computer. You then click on the dashboard icon on your desktop. After logging in using your desktop, laptop, tablet PC, a thin client, or even an iPad, the digital dashboard displays KPIs which are important to you from a corporate, division, region, or facility standpoint, depending on your security permissions. For LTC providers, these may include vital labor information (especially nursing services), census information, collections, cash summary and details, accounts receivable, RUGs, reports concerning facility risk, a MDS & QM/QI risk focus, corporate/chain survey risks, risk management/loss control, and customized risk analysis, among other KPIs.

The dashboard even cues you automatically regarding which factors should be of greatest concern and where your specific weak spots are at that moment. You have the capability of viewing the cumulative opportunities and risks for your company in the format you prefer – charts, graphs, or tables. You also have the ability to drill down to a corporate and facility level – even to a department or specific employee. You can get as granular as your data and policies allow. And because the information is in real time[1], it reflects what is happening now, based on how often you want the data refreshed. The system will even send real-time alerts when certain KPI’s exceed or drop below specified tolerances.

What’s the impact?

The following are real-world examples of those who have experienced tears of joy: one CEO reported his 22-facility company, a PCT customer, has benefitted from the labor report portion of the dashboard. Because the information is timely and available anytime from anywhere, his team was able to view and respond quickly to labor trends that were unsustainable and wasteful. “Because of our dashboard, we have saved over $80,000 per month in unnecessary labor costs,” he reported. “There is a direct correlation between the dashboard and the savings realized.” In another case, a CEO stated that the MDS feature added an average of $6,500 for the first month to the bottom line of each of his 50-plus facilities with a sustained average improvement of $1,500 per month for each facility thereafter.

The critical key to leveraging BI is whether the information presented in the dashboard is timely, readily interpretable, and actionable. But even if the BI meets those criteria, it still comes down to the most important factor, even for technology – people. People interpret the information, communicate, delegate, make decisions, plan, take action, and follow up. That’s the where real power of business intelligence resides. 

In summary:

  • Business Intelligence (BI)/analytics delivers the granularity, flexibility, and responsiveness executives need.
  • The BI dashboard displays graphs, charts, and tables with actionable information that can help executives at all levels effectively discover and analyze KPIs that are critical to their business.
  • BI is where technology and people come together with a potentially powerful and positive impact to the quality of services delivered and the bottom line realized.

[1] re·al-time (r l-t m , r l -), adj. Of or relating to computer systems that update information at the same rate as they receive data… http://www.thefreedictionary.com/real-time


Topics: dashboards business intelligence KPI analytics BI


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