EHR and BI Systems Integration: Benefits of Working Together

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Click to learn more about author Piyush Goel.

The health care system today is in the midst of a much-needed technological revolution. Considering how medical errors are now the number three killer in the United States every year, this overhaul is sorely needed. 

Furthermore, COVID-19 stretched the health care system thin over the past 16 months. To many, it is a wake-up call on how our health care system needs the right technology to work effectively.  

Health care organizations are looking to integrate their business intelligence (BI) software with their electronic health records (EHR) to ensure patients receive the best treatment possible. Below, we share how integrating your EHR and BI systems can enhance the speed and quality of care patients receive.  

What Are EHR and BI?

Business intelligence (BI) dates to the 1960s, when corporations were using large servers to create models that aided in their decision-making process. While business intelligence software is more advanced, it still turns big data into visual charts and graphs that executives and team members can access in a central location. 

Furthermore, tools like Power BI and Domo also now have predictive intelligence components in addition to the traditional BI features. These predictive intelligence algorithms analyze probable future events like when a patient might be susceptible to an illness or how long until their disease progresses.  

Predictive intelligence can use this past data to warn patients and health care professionals of proactive steps to take ahead of time to mitigate these events. Currently, most of the health care system is reactionary in their medical responses. 

Electronic Health Records (EHR) is a repository of patients’ health care information available depending on the software either as a cloud or desktop version. The digitized records are easier to share with other health care professionals. Many larger health care organizations now offer secure portals for patients to access their records. 

Often patients can share their medical records with new doctors in an appointment by opening up EHR apps on their mobile devices. EHRs cut down on repetitive tests and make health care portable. 

What Are the Benefits of Combining EHR and BI? 

1. Improves the quality of the records 

We just discussed how the EHR reduces repetitive tests. This is important because it is believed that three out of every 10 tests are lost. If you have ever sat in an MRI machine, had a prostate exam, or even a blood test, it is not something you want to repeat soon because someone lost your results.  

The EHR ensures your test does not get lost, but how do you help doctors who are overwhelmed with a deluge of paperwork? According to Statista, the average doctor in the United States spends two hours on reporting and desk work for every hour they spend with patients.  

The paperwork is burning out many physicians. That is why BI tools are so important. Doctors spend an average of 17 to 24 minutes working on patient files. BI tools serve as a backup when working on a patient file to ensure doctors do not miss anything.  

2. Helps health care professionals make smarter decisions with more data 

If doctors do not have enough time, then they need help improving their decision-making process. Business intelligence works great with EHR systems because it takes all the health records and turns this data into useful visuals doctors can analyze to help patients.  

Doctors can also better monitor and forecast diagnoses because an EHR offers a personal medical database for each patient. Doctors moving forward will have to improve their skills by reading these individual databases to diagnose and treat diseases. 

3. Provides faster service 

Business intelligence software is more than turning data into easy-to-analyze visuals. Tools like Power BI can read this information 10 million times faster than a human. Within minutes of inputting patient’s data, it is possible to start analyzing the data from the EHR. Faster diagnosis allows treatments to happen faster as well. 

Early detection is a lifesaver. For example, the American Cancer Society published a study showing how cancer deaths declined 27% from their peak in 1991. The decline was attributed to two factors: a steady reduction in smoking and early detection and treatment.  

BI offers faster, lifesaving diagnoses to patients who need them most. 

Final Thoughts 

Integrating EHR and BI systems is the wave of the future. It combines the best of electronic data records with faster, smarter decision-making capabilities. Health care facilities can now do more for patients just by having the right data available to them.  

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