By Mmekom Ekon, PMP, Consultant, GE Healthcare Camden Group
As the healthcare industry continues to make an accelerated move toward value-based care models, organizations are investing substantial amounts in analytic platforms to deliver insights that will drive improved quality and reduced costs. Stakeholders also believe that these analytic solutions, with their predictive forecasting and trending capabilities, are key to successful value-based programs where they can help transform clinical and financial initiatives and address various regulatory and financial challenges that lie ahead.
The healthcare analytics market is stimated to reach $18.7 billion by 2020 (from $5.8 billion in 2015) at a combined annual growth rate of 26.5% during this forecast period. This places analytics among the top areas of spending growth for hospitals and health systems during this decade. 1 Given the projected increase in the overall analytics spend paired with low hospital operating margins, executives are faced with tough questions around return on investments on these technologies. Are these suite of business intelligence tools delivering as promised? How do you determine if these analytic platforms are providing value to your organization or if there’s any return on your technology investment?
Here are 3 key categories to consider when determining ROI on your analytics investment:
1. Organizational Penetration
What is the “analytics market share” within your organization? Who’s using it, and what is the percentage of your organization that uses or is aware of the capabilities of the analytic tool? Is there opportunity to “increase analytics market share” within your organization to get the tool to the right folks and get them to use the information from the tool?
The biggest challenges to the penetration of an analytic technology culture is fragmented ownership and limited access to skilled resources (super users) . A quick assessment of the departments and staff that use your current analytics platform will indicate how well your analytics platform is embedded in an organization, department, or individual workflows.
What types of data and information are frequently produced from these reports? Without access to action-oriented reports with pertinent information, the ability to derive value from your investment is constrained. The true value of an analytic tool is to produce efficient and consistent reports. These reports are used at the executive or board level to make key decisions around hospital operations and allow key patient care staff (such as physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and ancillary staff) to access key performance indicators and interactive dashboards. Such access allows them to deliver optimum quality of care while adhering to clinical best practices and minimizing costs for their patients.
3. Organizational Goal Alignment
What were your original goals for this investment? Can you tie any recent operational change to your analytic tool? The ability of your technology investment to contribute toward financial, clinical, and operational improvement projects is paramount to achieving value out of your technology.
Analytics has no value unless it is acted upon. Strong linkages to information produced from your analytic platform to cost and quality improvement is the chief value of any technology investment.
The successful use of any analytic tool requires establishing a framework that identifies the value-add of a product and its alignment to your organization’s strategic goals and objectives early on. Monitoring and measuring usability against this framework while adjusting utilization workflows and addressing organizational needs for data literacy and alignment with operational objectives are key factors that quantify ROI against your investment.
Ms. Ekon is a consultant with GE Healthcare Camden Group, specializing in the digital health and analytics. Prior to joining GE Healthcare Camden Group, Ms. Ekon served as a technology consultant with Crimson performance software. In this role, she managed several hospitals and health systems through Crimson software implementation to analyze and improve operational, clinical, and financial performance. She has also helped members to identify opportunities to improve operational, clinical, and financial performance as well as implement solutions to improve bottom line. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.