How can hospitals use analytics?

But how exactly can the healthcare community benefit from this? Here are a few ways hospitals can use analytics and drive insights.

But how exactly can the healthcare community benefit from this? Here are a few ways hospitals can use analytics and drive insights.
November 30, 2017

The ability to assess analytics through predictive modeling is quickly becoming a key technology throughout the healthcare sector. In fact, a survey by Health Catalyst found that 80 percent of hospital leaders believe that predictive analytics can improve the future of healthcare

But how exactly can the healthcare community benefit from these tools? Here are a few ways hospitals can use analytics and the insights they produce:

Assess data for clinical decision support

The health of the patient should always be the top priority of the healthcare provider. By utilizing analytics for clinical decision support, medical experts can make more informed decisions, which can ultimately lead to cut costs as well as better outcomes, according to George Zachariah, a consultant at Dynamics Research Corporation in Massachusetts.

"Medical experts can make better decisions about their patients by utilizing analytics."

"If all the important information is on one electronic dashboard, clinicians can easily see what needs to get done for a patient, and what has already been done," Zachariah told Healthcare IT News. "They can then make clinical decisions right on the spot. In addition, clinicians will not be double-prescribing patients certain medications due to the lack of information they have on the patient."

Analyze denials for future prevention

Because the revenue cycle contains many touch points, there's plenty of room for claims to unravel and produce other errors, according to Healthcare Finance. To reduce denial prevention for the future, hospitals can encourage the revenue cycle management department to take an analytics-driven approach. Identify where your inefficiencies most often occur – perhaps through registration data entry, eligibility and benefits checking, coding, clinical documentation or elsewhere. Assessing denials by identifying processes and errors can put things into perspective and prevent a given problem from occurring again in the future.

"While about two-thirds of denials are recoverable, almost all are preventable," Marcy Tatsch, senior vice president and general manager of reimbursement optimization solutions of a tech company told Becker's Hospital Review. "So identifying and resolving the root causes of denials has a larger financial benefit than appealing and overturning them. Managing denials begins with using available data to analyze where errors and slowdowns occur, prioritizing those causes, and then addressing them."

Evaluate analytics to prevent fraud and abuse

Zachariah also mentioned that a significant amount of money is spent on cleaning up the mess that is fraud and abuse in the healthcare community. Hospitals and facilities can use analytics to provide insight into patient information for determining whether such abuse is occurring.

"Analytics can track fraudulent and incorrect payments, as well as the history of an individual patient," he said. "However, it's not just about the analytic tool itself but understanding the tool and how to use it to get the right answers."

While health systems need to prioritize patient health, they also need to maintain financial viability. Preventing and managing claim denials, removing obstacles to payment and reducing debt in correlation with fraud and abuse is key. By utilizing advances in analytics technology, the healthcare community can assess data and learn from insights that would otherwise remain hidden, and which can lead to performance improvements across the board. Having a secure, analytics-driven management system in place can lead hospitals to success and foster consumer and patient satisfaction.