It's about time we start talking CI instead of BI

April 10, 2013
I don’t understand why application vendors place little importance on reporting requirements. I get the fact that customers like to customize their reports, but why not make that an inherent feature? Maybe that is why the market is constantly creating so many 3rd party Business Intelligence (BI) vendors. But what about Clinical Intelligence (CI) requirements?

The foundation of Healthcare is the clinical work performed by our providers. Yet when I recently tried to get some solid clinical reports from an EMR, it was like trying to generate dashboards financials from a Practice Management system. It just was not there.

 I don’t understand why application vendors place little importance on reporting requirements. I get the fact that customers like to customize their reports, but why not make that an inherent feature? Maybe that is why the market is constantly creating so many 3rd party Business Intelligence (BI) vendors. But what about Clinical Intelligence (CI) requirements? 

 It seems like it is always about the ROI when it comes to developing tools. The first reports from an Ambulatory EHR are centered on Meaningful Use (MU). Yet even with these “required” features, many EHR products fall short. It’s great to see how your organization is doing with a MU scorecard, but what about changing physician behavior? Many reporting tools fall short in drilling down to the clinician level and allowing you to find out who has been naughty and who has been nice. We also have PQRS reports that have disease specific criteria. Good luck finding a canned report in your ambulatory EHR that can do this. Some of the basic search criteria that physician require like recall notices for age specific diagnostic testing is just not there.

 So CIO’s have to go look for a good BI tool for all your billing and financial needs and then find a tool that will slice and dice clinical information. But our Business is Clinical, so what about a tool that will pull everything into one repository and generate any type of report? Of course I am talking about something most Ambulatory Providers could afford, not something reserved for the mega healthcare systems. From a data base architecture stand point, data is data. It really does not matter what it is, just as long as you develop the right queries.

 So how about it BI vendors? Why not develop something that can be paid for by the ROI from improved financials, but include CI that would improve patient outcomes? Maybe I am missing something. You tell me.

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