Healthcare BI Software Tools: Which is the Best Solution?

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As today’s modern businesses attempt to become more data-driven, they adopt business intelligence (BI) to make sense of all the data they collect. You’ll find businesses of all sizes in all industries using BI tools to optimize their processes and make better decisions, including those in the healthcare industry. Through BI, the massive amount of data that the healthcare industry generates can be analyzed and transformed into impactful actions that improve performance and quality of care. We’ll take a look at what healthcare BI is, what it does, what benefits it provides, as well as a list of the best healthcare BI software tools currently available on the market.

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What ifs Healthcare BI Software?

Healthcare BI software refers to a specific kind of business intelligence tool that organizes, prepares and analyzes data for providers and organizations in the medical field, such as hospitals and clinics. This type of software can track information from patient files, financial records and more to help healthcare providers optimize their budgets and improve the care offered to patients, as well as chart a course for future success.

While healthcare BI tools integrate with medical software, it’s important to understand that it’s different from software like EHR and EMR. Medical software collects, standardizes and manages patient information securely and electronically; healthcare BI translates that information into better decisions and better patient care. Often, business intelligence tools are more accessible and require less specialized knowledge to use than medical software, with a user-friendly interface that can enable employees all throughout a healthcare organization to see insights in real time.

Modern business intelligence software for healthcare environments integrates many features necessary for medical care into one,easy-to-use platform. Some of these core healthcare BI features include:

  • Data Integrations: BI software connects to any systems used by an organization, allowing them to access the full value of all of their data in one place. Healthcare BI tools integrate with existing EHR and EMR systems, accounting tools and more to provide a complete view of the organization and its operations.
  • Data Visualization and Dashboards: BI tools display data in easy-to-understand graphs and charts, collected on a single screen in an interactive dashboard. Dashboards serve as a patient chart of sorts for a healthcare provider, showing the operational and financial health of the organization, which helps them to determine an appropriate treatment plan in the form of data-driven decision-making.
  • Security: Handling sensitive information like financial data and patient records requires strict security and data governance. Healthcare BI software ensures the security and quality of private data, in compliance with government regulations like HIPAA.
  • Alerts: BI tools enable users to receive notifications quickly upon the change of certain metrics, according to thresholds set manually and machine learning algorithms that detect anomalies. For example, a healthcare professional may receive alerts when a patient changes medications or treatments.

Now that we understand what healthcare BI tools can do, it’s time to examine the benefits of implementing it in your organization.

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Benefits

Why use Healthcare BI anyway?
Healthcare BI Benefits

Increase Profitability

The most common motivation behind BI adoption in healthcare is shared among all industries: improving the organization’s bottom line. Healthcare providers, like other organizations, are constantly searching for ways to cut costs. Healthcare organizations that apply big data and business intelligence could collectively save between $300 and $450 billion annually in the US alone, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study.

The healthcare industry uses business intelligence software to save money in many of the same ways that other industries do. Business intelligence software can identify financial patterns, and provide insight into those patterns that assists with decision making. In budgeting for the next year, BI is essential to identify historical spending patterns by day, week, quarter or year through reporting. Meanwhile, predictive analytics can help practices anticipate both costs and profit margins.

One of the biggest revelations available through the use of BI software is finding out which services are the most profitable and, more importantly, which are underused. Many healthcare organizations find that some of their most profitable services are ones that they took for granted or didn’t market very heavily. After discovering this information, healthcare companies can make the necessary changes to get as much out of those services as possible, reducing operating costs by focusing on delivering the most valuable services.

Access More Data

Healthcare BI software reduces the amount of time and resources necessary to leverage data. Without BI, your data lives in a myriad of places – your financial data in an accounting tool, your patient relationship data in a CRM platform, medical records in an EMR tool – and so on. Instead, consider centralizing all this information in a BI platform. A BI tool connects to disparate sources, collecting valuable information and creating a single source of truth through a data warehouse or data management system, offering a more comprehensive view of the organization’s operations as a whole. Users can see all their data in one place, without the time-consuming nature of switching platforms or importing data manually.

But the horizon widened by BI software can stretch even further out – BI tools can also integrate information such as medical research and pharmaceutical data to augment the data that lives in your system with new ideas and new lines of thought, increasing the value of your information without any additional work necessary.

Improve Operational Efficiency

The data in your EHR can reveal things that impact your healthcare organization. A 2018 study from Duke University found that predictive models using clinic-level data can identify the risk of patient appointment no-shows. Big data analytics can even improve patient utilization rates, making it easier to manage the flow of patients and resources through actionable insights.

Healthcare BI tools can identify operational inefficiencies, ensure that data is up-to-date across all systems and highlight trends revealed through analysis that show where organizations can make decisions that will enact change. BI platforms can also automate and standardize processes and reporting, as well as visualize information through dashboards that are easy to understand and share throughout organizations. Business intelligence allows users to monitor healthcare KPIs such as average hospital stay, emergency room cost, patient satisfaction, ER wait times and more to find areas where operations can be optimized.

Decision-makers can use the insights gathered by healthcare BI solutions to answer important business questions such as, “How can we optimize our provider-to-patient ratios?” and “How can we minimize losses from insurance claims?” Through healthcare BI, organizations can effectively facilitate greater productivity and develop more efficient processes.

Provide Better Patient Care

The goal of any healthcare organization is to take care of their patients by offering them the best care possible. Every doctor and nurse can attest to the fact that even the most basic treatments aren’t always one-size-fits-all. Therefore, they must provide individualized care to patients, but without healthcare BI tools, it’s difficult to provide the most accurate, comprehensive care possible at scale.

One of the ways that healthcare BI tools allow organizations to provide better care is through patient tracking. BI tools can identify and track a patient’s progress, treatments, tests and more, allowing institutions to enhance and coordinate the care they provide according to the individual’s unique medical history. BI software can compile a patient’s information from disparate sources to build a unified view of their entire history, allowing their providers to make the most informed recommendations for their health. Healthcare BI software can also empower patients to take charge of their own care through patient portals and dashboards, all while assuring data privacy.

Another way that healthcare BI can improve patient care is through disease prevention. After an EHR performs the data collection of all of your patient’s medical histories, BI solutions can use that information to run analyses and help providers identify data points such as genetic markers. This analysis allows physicians to be more proactive in disease prevention, as well as reduce the impact of diseases on their patients.

By improving the quality of patient care as well as the patient experience, BI tools help healthcare providers ensure better outcomes for their patients through more effective treatment. Better treatment means fewer repeat visits, which means happier patients, more referrals and increased business overall.

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Best Healthcare BI Software Tools

If your organization hasn’t yet adopted BI software, or if your current system is underperforming, it’s time to start searching for a solution. We compiled a shortlist of five of the best BI software for healthcare organizations to help you start your search:
Best Healthcare BI Software Tools

Power BI

Power BI is a data analytics and data visualization platform from Microsoft that enables businesses to gain deeper, actionable insights that bridge the gap between data and decision making. In addition to supporting more than 120 data connectors to hundreds of on-premises and cloud data sources, Power BI integrates natively with trusted Microsoft solutions like Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Azure. It analyzes, models and visualizes data in customizable reports and dashboards designed with understanding, collaboration and distribution in mind. Its scalability, cost-effectiveness and ease of use make it a top pick for organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to corporate enterprises.

Power BI Healthcare

Screenshot of a healthcare dashboard from Power BI.

Why Use Power BI for Healthcare:

  • Dashboards: Visualize data through pre-built, interactive and customizable charts and graphics that allow for drill-down and drill-up. Users can quickly share and collaborate on dashboards, which communicate key metrics at-a-glance.
  • Ease of Use: Power BI’s intuitive drag-and-drop user interface ensures that all members of your care team can utilize insights to make data-driven decisions.
  • Reporting: Generate pixel-perfect, customizable paginated reports from your data that you can export to various file formats or print for publishing and sharing of relevant information.
  • Accessibility: Empower faster decisions even while on the move, with the ability to access and analyze patient information from any device at any time. With native mobile applications for all operating systems, Power BI Mobile ensures that users have constant, live access to reports and dashboards.
  • Security: Safeguard patient privacy as required by HIPAA through strict access controls and data governance policies, including row-level and column-level security, while providing care teams with access to the data they need.
  • Built-in AI: Leverage machine learning and AI to automatically surface key drivers and insights, correlations and anomalies. Power BI’s augmented analytics allow users to predict and plan for future needs, as well as automatically derive value from insights. Users can analyze clinical data, costs, claims and patient outcomes through machine learning to identify opportunities for cost savings, improve practices and reduce fraud and loss.
  • Healthcare Templates: Get started quickly, with pre-built templates for dashboards and reports related to the healthcare industry. Power BI also offers partner solutions targeting healthcare analytics.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Sisense

Sisense is an end-to-end data discovery and business intelligence platform designed to make analytics accessible to all users. Through single-stack technology, It includes everything necessary for data preparation, analysis and visualizations within a single architecture. It can perform thousands of queries on massive amounts of data, returning results at faster speeds than even in-memory processing, allowing for quicker decisions.

One of the biggest advantages of Sisense for healthcare providers is that the healthcare analytics module is built specifically to analyze healthcare data. Sisense is also one of the best solutions available for data integrations. Whether you’re connecting to data sources or other software like ERP and billing software, integration is not only possible but straightforward. Suitable for companies of all sizes, it’s available through a wide variety of deployment models.

Sisense Healthcare

Screenshot of a healthcare dashboard from Sisense.

Why Use Sisense for Healthcare:

  • Data Connectivity: Connect to disparate data sources, including ERP, HMS and billing systems as well as Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices.
  • Interactive Dashboards: Build dashboards with drag-and-drop ease that feature interactive visualizations, widgets and filters, which encourage further exploration. Track healthcare KPIs to constantly monitor the pulse of your organization’s business and medical processes.
  • KPI Monitoring: Keep track of your organization’s healthcare KPIs with automated monitoring. Sisense Pulse, powered by machine learning algorithms, offers data visibility by continually monitoring KPIs for users and alerting them proactively when it detects anomalies and variations. It personalizes the BI experience with a tailored command center and delivers a dynamically updated feed that keeps users up to date.
  • Collaboration Tools: Communicate and share insights with other providers in your organization, resulting in better patient care. Sisense encourages collaboration between users, with report sharing, a comment system and more all through a secure network, no downloads necessary.
  • Security: Ensure sensitive data stays in the right hands, with granular permissions management options, automated alerts when advanced machine learning detects anomalies in the data and scalable protocols at the process, system, object and data level.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Tableau

A leader in data visualization, Tableau is a BI tool well-known for helping businesses create visually stunning dashboards from their data. It helps healthcare organizations become more data-driven to optimize their patient experiences and outcomes through confident decision-making, empowered by visual analytics. Users of all technical skill levels can easily navigate the platform to explore data through drag-and-drop filtering and natural language queries. Tableau offers both SaaS and self-hosted deployment models.

Tableau Healthcare

Screenshot of a healthcare dashboard from Tableau.

Why Use Tableau for Healthcare:

  • Augmented Data Preparation:Automate self-service data preparation through machine learning, reducing the manual work required to clean, combine and shape data. Building, scheduling and managing data flows are easy through the visual interface of Tableau Prep.
  • Explain Data: Find not just the “what,” but also the “why” behind metrics. Tableau provides AI-driven explanations behind specific data points with a single click.
  • Security: Choose from a breadth of options to protect your proprietary data to the fullest extent, including row-level security and role-based permissions.
  • Dashboards: Build responsive, interactive dashboards that tell your data story exactly the way you want, turning data into comprehensive, logical information that empowers decision making. Users can publish and share dashboards, or embed them within external apps.
  • Geospatial Analysis: With built-in geographic capabilities and mapping, turn information into rich, interactive maps that add even more value to your data.
  • Natural Language Processing: Get answers from your data, no code necessary. Users can ask questions in natural language and get a response to their query in the form of a relevant, automatically generated data visualization.
  • Healthcare Starter Kits: Tableau offers customizable starter kits for deploying their platform according to needs, including an executive KPI dashboard kit, a revenue cycle management kit and an analytics hub kit, all specifically for users in the healthcare industry.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense is a comprehensive self-service data analytics platform that employs artificial intelligence and a one-of-a-kind associative engine to empower proactive data-driven decision-making. It helps healthcare providers combine all their data and explore it in any direction to find answers to their critical questions, making smarter decisions more quickly. As the next-generation advancement of QlikView, it is a modernized, cloud-based BI platform with a multi-cloud architecture that allows for flexible deployment options.

Qlik Sense Healthcare

Screenshot of a healthcare dashboard from Qlik Sense.

Why Use Qlik Sense for Healthcare:

  • EHR Integration: Qlik Sense supports integrations with EHR and healthcare systems to help organizations make the most of their data, either through data connectors or embedded analytics. Healthcare providers can uncover cost-saving options, deliver better patient outcomes, inform and improve preventative care and visualize information in valuable ways that influence decision-making for the better.
  • Data Visualization: Customize and build visualizations with drag-and-drop functionality. Create and present guided data stories that combine reporting, presentation and exploratory analysis.
  • Gesture-Based Touch UI: Navigate the platform intuitively through a user interface optimized for touch interaction and navigation, supporting advanced gestures such as tap, hold-tap, swipe, pinch and lasso.
  • Innovative Engine: Explore data beyond the restrictions of SQL or query-based analysis, with Qlik’s associative engine that combines data in limitless ways and indexes all relationships within data sets. Users can explore and interact to uncover hidden insights and connections without data modeling or predetermined drill-down paths.
  • Context-Aware AI: Amplify your insights with machine learning. Qlik Sense provides context-aware insight suggestions, personalized insights and recommended visualization types. The platform also adapts for the future, based on user behavior and feedback, as well as industry knowledge.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Diver Platform

Dimensional Insight offers the Diver Platform, a complete end-to-end suite of data analytics tools that invite users to “dive” into ad hoc analysis and self-service data discovery. It centralizes information from disparate data sources into a single database and then analyzes that data. Users can then develop dashboards that help them understand and communicate the value of their data.

Diver Platform Healthcare

Screenshot of a healthcare dashboard from the Diver Platform.

Why Use Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform for Healthcare:

  • Data Collection: Access a multitude of data sources, including EHR and ERP systems, quickly and easily. Diver’s integrated ETL tool systematically automates the data extraction and transformation process to create a cross-indexed, multidimensional data model optimized for query, analysis and reporting without creating a data warehouse.
  • Personalized Dashboards: Always see the information most relevant to you. With customized dashboards, users can receive the most relevant insights based on their roles, departments, requirements and preferences via a centralized access point. This allows users to drown out the noise of information overload and zero in on the metrics that matter most.
  • Assisted Analysis: Increase productivity through a guided analysis process. The software looks ahead to find interesting and meaningful patterns within data sets large and small, which it rates on a scale of 1 to 9 and lists in order of importance for the user to investigate.
  • Ad Hoc Analysis: View information at the summary level, and then “dive” deeper for more details. From their dashboards, users can engage in agile exploration without the limitations of SQL queries, preset drill paths or hierarchies.
  • Industry-Specific KPIs: Select metrics to track out of a catalog of thousands of industry-specific KPIs, which can be customized to fit your healthcare organization’s definitions and rules. Maintain consistent definitions of data by applying a defined set of rules and metadata across data sources.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

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Next Steps

With the right business intelligence tool, you can improve your practice, increase operational efficiency and deliver better patient care based on accurate, data-driven insights. While these five products are our analyst team’s top picks for healthcare BI, there’s hundreds of other BI solutions out there to consider. If you’re still looking for the perfect healthcare BI tool, we recommend checking out our free requirements template. With SelectHub, you can pick and choose which features matter most to your healthcare organization, then compare BI vendors head-to-head with a personalized scorecard.

Which healthcare BI software tools does your hospital, clinic or practice use, and why? Did we leave out your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Hsing TsengHealthcare BI Software Tools: Which is the Best Solution?

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