Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A) Capabilities in Healthcare

Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A) Capabilities in Healthcare

Thiagarajan Ramakrishnan (Prairie View A&M University, USA), Abhishek Kathuria (Indian School of Business, India) and Terence J. V. Saldanha (University of Georgia, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2310-0.ch001


Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A) is emerging as an essential area of expertise in healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations are trying to leverage BI&A as an integral capability to provide quality healthcare service to patients. From an organizational perspective, BI&A extends beyond an artifact or tool to include several capabilities. This chapter conceptualizes potential capabilities that BI&A can bestow to healthcare organizations. A three-category classification of BI&A healthcare capability classification is suggested: BI&A healthcare insight infrastructure capability, BI&A healthcare process capability, and BI&A healthcare integration capability. In this chapter, the authors discuss the attributes of these three BI&A healthcare capabilities to offer understandings into how these capabilities can help healthcare firms. This taxonomy will help healthcare providers and IT professionals in the healthcare industry make informed decisions on how best to adopt BI&A within their firms to provide quality healthcare service.
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The healthcare sector has long used information technologies and systems for improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of healthcare services. To provide quality health care services, as well as to improve several business outcomes, health care organizations require accurate information at the right time, and available to the right person. Information systems have contributed to making the economic activities within the healthcare sector transparent and in making the information available in real time (Mettler and Vimurlund, 2009). Prior studies have shown a strong relationship between the adoption of IS and the productivity and the financial wellbeing of healthcare organizations (Fonkych and Taylor, 2005; Permwonguswa et al., 2018). Hospitals that have adopted integrated information technologies and systems have higher operating margins and total profits as compared to healthcare organizations that do not have enough health information technologies (Parente and Dunbar, 2001). However, due to the sheer amount of ever-expanding knowledge in the healthcare sector, providing the right information in the right format at the right time is becoming a very difficult challenge (Stroemann and Aisenbrey, 2012). Healthcare organizations are turning their attention to Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A) to meet this challenge of collecting, storing, manipulating, analyzing, and providing the right information for making better decisions (Bonney, 2013). For example, four hospitals in Paris, France that are a part of the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris use BI&A to analyze ten years worth of hospital records data from internal and external sources to predict the daily and the hourly number of patients expected at each hospital (Marr, 2016). Another example of the use of BI&A in healthcare is in the Cancer Moonshot program launched by Federal Government Initiative towards curing cancer. Medical researchers can view how cancer proteins and mutations react with different treatments by examining large amounts of data on recovery rates of cancer patients that are linked to data on treatment plans to find trends that can lead to better patient outcomes (Lebied, 2018).

One overarching theme that has surfaced in the area of BI&A is regarding its business value to the various organizations; how well the BI&A fits the organization and how can firms leverage their BI&A to improve their performance. Further, studies suggest that BI&A capabilities can be an essential strategy for organizations in a competitive landscape (Thamir and Poulis, 2015). However, the focus of BI&A capabilities research has been towards generic industries and organizations. For example, Isik et al. (2013) examine Technological BI capability and Organizational BI capability that can influence BI success in generic organizations. Similarly, Ramakrishnan et al. (2018) study how BI Innovation Infrastructure capability, BI process capability, and BI Integration capability can improve the performance firms from multiple industries. Along the same lines, Torres et al. (2018) investigated BI&A management capability, BI&A sensing capability, BI&A seizing capability, and BI&A process change capability that can impact firm performance. The focus of all these studies is generic and they do not explicitly focus on healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations differ from generic organizations in a crucial manner. In addition to the traditional business process and support process that comprises of activities suggested by Porter, healthcare organizations also need these processes to be integrated with their medical processes. Medical processes include activities within the healthcare organization that apply to the health services delivery such as nursing, medical treatment, and so on (Mettler and Vimarlund, 2009). Thus, in order to successfully implement and utilize BI&A in healthcare organizations, it is critical to understand the BI&A capabilities that these organizations need to leverage to support decision-making using BI&A.

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