Tag Archives: Healthcare

How Healthcare Data Visualizations Can Transform Your Entire Practice

Medical practices are made up of more than just doctors. Operating a practice requires a variety of skills and knowledge. When a patient needs to see a doctor, they don’t simply show up at their door. Instead, their visit goes through an initial scheduling, a call, a visit, and a post-visit record. This process isn’t always effective, but it can be.

The question is how to find areas for improvement in your medical practice. One easy solution is to start utilizing health data visualization. These visual analytics can help you understand how each area of your practice can be improved, how it performs over time, and what areas are causing your efficiency to suffer. More importantly, you can implement data visualizations across your entire practice to gain a better grasp of every step of your patients’ visit.

Before the Visit – Scheduling

A patient’s visit begins well before they set foot in a medical practice. When there are multiple doctors and staff working, one of the biggest challenges involves scheduling. For medical professionals, scheduling takes on an added dimension because of specialization and specific patients’ needs. This can create bottlenecks when not enough doctors or other personnel are available at specific times, or the wrong doctors are slated to work.

Including staff management analytics in your healthcare data visualizations can deliver a variety of improvements. For one, it shows which doctors can see more patients and those that may require more time per patient. Staff management visualizations can also help improve scheduling by showing which doctors are best suited to which patients. Finally, analysis can help reduce bottlenecks by demonstrating the best combinations and practices for both scheduling patients and set doctors’ time slots.


allocation How Healthcare Data Visualizations Can Transform Your Entire Practice

Collecting Patient Data – The Appointment

Once their appointment has been scheduled, patients finally arrive at the practice and immediately start providing data. This includes demographic information such as age, gender, weight, as well as basic medical details. When they finally see a doctor, the data continues to flow at an even greater rate. Handwritten notes and Excel are useful for recording information, but often can’t provide the specific insights more advanced healthcare analytics can deliver.

Visualizing patient data can give you a clearer picture of their health profile and show you better courses of action. Implementing a risk dashboard can advance patient management by plotting out improvements or changes in health and how risk factors evolve over time. Additionally, using a baseline visualization can help you compare patients by specific factors—age, weight, pre-existing conditions, and more—to their ideal health profile.

Finishing the Visit – Payment

Paying for medical treatments or even visits can be a complex process. Dealing with insurers, completing claims, and working directly with patients involves several layers of decisions and intensive back-and-forth conversations. For many medical practices, payments can become problematic when there is no straightforward way to track them. Moreover, medical practices need a better way to inform their patients of their expected costs and processes.

Using insurance claims visualizations at this stage offers two major benefits. The first is helping medical practices be better informed about the rate of claims, which patients may have problems making payments, and which are likely to be delayed. The second is closely tied to the first and helps medical practices work more closely with their patients to find treatment options and plans that echo their circumstances.


insurance How Healthcare Data Visualizations Can Transform Your Entire Practice

Post-Visit – Referrals and Follow-Up

A patient’s healthcare doesn’t end when they walk out of a medical practice’s door. A treatment cycle usually involves some follow-up—how treatments are working, how a patient is feeling—and in some cases referral for further treatment. Follow-ups can easily slip through, and patients can be left on an island. One of the best dashboard examples is the use of referral dashboards to track patient follow-ups and how they were referred.

In an industry where referrals are increasingly important for bottom lines and growth, being able to visualize how effective your practice has been is crucial for success. Applying visualizations can help you track better KPIs such as the number of referrals per MD, number of referrals over time, and even the number of referrals per procedure category. Combining this with follow-ups can help practices find novel ways to refer patients for better outcomes.

Visualizations don’t have to focus on a whole practice at once. By creating dashboards and visualizations for each stage of a patient’s medical visit, medical professionals can improve their services, deliver improved patient outcomes, and remain profitable. Using visualizations can also produce better insights about each patient and help create a patient-centric approach that deprioritizes profits without hurting your bottom line.

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Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

The world of healthcare analytics is vast and can encompass a wide variety of organizations and use cases: from hospitals to medical equipment manufacturers, emergency rooms to intensive care units. And while some of the dashboard metrics tracked by healthcare organizations can be fairly similar to the ones monitored in other industries – such as finance or marketing – the use of business intelligence in hospitals presents a unique set of potential insights that can help physicians save lives by providing more effective and resourceful care to patients.

This article will examine a number of ways in which visualizing healthcare data can help physicians and management gain a better understanding of going-ons within hospitals, and suggest ways to visualize commonly tracked metrics. But first, let’s understand where this data is coming from.

Common Data Sources in Healthcare

  • Electronic Medical Records (EMR) – these are essentially a digital version of the patient’s paper chart, used by clinicians to monitor the patient’s condition, treatments he or she is due for, etc. These are usually kept within the bounds of the facility in which the patient is being treated.
  • Electronic Health Records(EHR) – a broader set of digital records pertaining to the patient’s overall health, including information regarding previous treatment administered by other healthcare providers, specialists, laboratory tests and more. These would typically move with the patient and be shared by various providers.
  • Specific departmental data – gathered by specific divisions or units within the healthcare organization.
  • Administrative data – collected in Healthcare Management Systems (HMS) and looks at the hospital’s overall operations. Would typically be used by a hospital’s senior managerial staff and may include information regarding matters such as resource utilization and human resources.
  • Financial data – often stored in proprietary financial management systems for larger organizations.

As you can see, many healthcare providers often find themselves working with many disparate data sources. However, there can often be unique benefits in connecting data stored in these various sources to find correlations between them. Consolidating the data can be done in an enterprise data warehouse, which is a project best undertaken by heavily staffed IT departments.

Examples of Data Visualization in Healthcare

Once you’ve gathered all the required data and undergone the prerequisite data modeling steps, you can start looking at effectively monitoring key hospital analytics metrics and thinking of insightful ways to visualize them in a healthcare dashboard. Here are a few healthcare analytics examples, with the disclaimer that these are by no means the only things a hospital would generally be looking at, nor necessarily the most crucial ones.

For the purposes of this article we’ve used sample data. You can click on any image to enlarge.

Cost of Admission by Department

cost of admissions bar chart 770x346 Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

This is a very simple visualization, but nevertheless one that can help hospitals understand how their financial resources are being utilized. By using a bar chart we immediately provide additional information that might have been more difficult to notice in tabular format – such as shifts in the relative costs between departments, as well as peaks that could indicate an issue that needs to be addressed, or at least further investigated.

A different way of visualizing the same data would be a line chart:

cost of admissions line chart 770x342 Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

This visualization gives us a clearer idea of trends and outliers, and some people might find it more intuitive to examine the data regarding to a specific department in this format – the significant information becomes more apparent immediately. However, this is largely dependant on what the viewer’s emphasis is on when examining the data.

Another common way to look at the same data would be via the following visualization, which gives the exact revenue figures and a very clear idea of each department’s costs on an annual basis:

cost of admissions phased bar chart Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

As we’ve mentioned before, an effective dashboard reveals detail on demand. This means that after providing a high-level KPI overview, you might want to give the dashboard viewer the ability to drill into the data – in this case, the admission costs of the various units within the operating rooms. We chose a line chart as it gives us an immediate indication of highs and lows in admission costs:

line chart breakdown of admission costs 770x214 Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

ER Admissions and Length of Stay

This visualization gives us a single-glance view at data from several different sources. In our sample dataset, we had to join data from admissions, divisions, and ER tables. Combining these datasets gives us a clearer idea of hospital resource utilization by examining the amount of patients being admitted to the emergency room and the average time these patients spend at the hospital. This sets the way for further investigation into peaks, trends, and patterns.

average stay in days data viz 770x349 Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

Leading Diagnoses by Number of Patients, Cost and Stay

Here we’ve kept the data in tabular form. However, by combining financial and administrative data with departmental records, we gain the ability to quickly get answers to specific questions which can shed further insight into the various treatments being administered and how these affect hospital finances and room availability. Applying filters will enable us to examine specific dimensions such as region, time or facility.


Hospital Donations

If your organization bases its budget around donations, like so many do, it’s important to track trends in order to understand how to plan for the year ahead. A donations dashboard can help you to find ways to increase engagement of donors and ensure financial stability. If donated amounts are different from what you expected them to be or change dramatically you can analyze the retention level of donors and find ways to engage more.

donations Healthcare Dashboards: Examples of Visualizing Key Metrics & KPIs

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TIBCO Provides Healthcare Solutions for All

rawpixel com 472352 unsplash TIBCO Provides Healthcare Solutions for All

This week is National Public Health Week, a movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation by celebrating the power of prevention, advocating for healthy and fair policies, sharing strategies for successful partnerships, and championing the role of a strong public health system. NPHW is an initiative that is part of Public Health 3.0, with the goal to build awareness of the healthcare infrastructure to make for a healthier nation, with better widespread access to data to enact change. At TIBCO, we are proud to provide solutions for the healthcare industry, including detecting and decreasing cardiac arrest, increasing operating room efficiency, reducing re-admissions, and reducing healthcare costs. Additionally, our solutions allow our customers to understand, access, and make data-driven decisions to save lives.

Healthcare is still an industry that is not known for forward-thinking technological innovations — hospitals and healthcare centers chart by hand, use minimal analytics, and have siloed data. A large part of this is due to regulations, liability issues, complexity, and point-to-point integration interfaces. A big driver for change in the healthcare industry focuses on moving from a transactional to value-based business, driven by both patients and regulators.

Our customers like University of Chicago Medicine have implemented a solution to integrate systems and centralize their data to get information into the hands of the people who need it. This has allowed them to turn their data into action and more effectively measure the care they deliver. As a result, University of Chicago Medicine has been able to better prevent cardiac arrest, increase operating room efficiency, and have more advaned patient identification to reduce re-admissions.

FTI Consulting has been able to gain a competitive advantage by providing fast, easily digestible, actionable data analytics to their clients to reduce consulting implementation times in addition to assisting them in monitoring their operations. With TIBCO Spotfire, FTI Consulting’s clients are able to build guided analytics solutions to help their clients identify and quantify problems, point out why they occurred, and how to correct them, something invaluable to the healthcare industry.

Leading healthcare companies like Greenway Health are adopting APIs as a secure way to share data and easily create innovative offerings the provide new revenue, improve processes, and enhance patient care. Greenway Health has implemented API management to enable the creation of new solutions that complement their existing solutions, and build a marketplace for partners and consumers; grow business development efforts and generate new revenue streams, and reach customers on any device via a cross-platform app. As a result, they have made $ 1.4 million in revenue from the API program alone and increased the number of partners by 24 times.

Technological innovations such as centralized data, advanced analytics, and APIs have opened doors for the healthcare industry to help provide better care for all. Whether its preventing infection or to get a better sense of the patient as a whole, data-driven solutions are the way of the future for healthcare. This fosters a healthier nation by building a better healthcare system that puts the patient first.

Contact us today to see how we can help you implement a data-driven, patient-first solution for your healthcare organization.

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Healthcare, CRM's New Vertical

Healthcare might offer the best example of the potential for vertical market or industry-oriented customer relationship management, but most people in CRM may not understand or realize this. Healthcare is, after all, a bit of a stretch from what we do in the enterprise or small and mid-sized business world, but perhaps it shouldn’t be.

In both spheres we see a relatively small number of highly paid and overworked people addressing the needs of a vast number of people — and their data — who need something. The big difference between industry and healthcare is that in industry we deal with products and services, and in healthcare we deal with ideas and services.

Ideas?

Yes. The entire healthcare industry can be reduced — somewhat simplistically, I admit — to disseminating the idea of wellness. This idea is as concrete as a product, if only to an individual. The healthcare model most of us probably grew up with is break-fix, so wellness needs some explaining.

Plan Monitoring

Break-fix is just what it sounds like, and for a long time healthcare has been about getting better. However, over many years we’ve discovered that getting better is very hard to do. It’s expensive, potentially uncomfortable, and it can take a while.

Germs become resistant to antibiotics, and cancer is a tough challenge from any angle. Better to avoid getting sick, if you can, in the first place. That’s the essential point of wellness. No doubt we’d all vote for wellness in 10 out of nine elections, but wellness is not foolproof. It competes with other needs — like “won’t this taste good?” and “I want/need this even if it’s bad for me.”

At the end of the day we all want to be well in the same way that Saint Augustine wanted to be good — just not yet. So, the idea of wellness must be sold and maintained, which is where CRM comes in.

At its core, CRM is a set of applications that address the horizontal needs of most businesses. We all need to market, sell to and service customers, and verticalizing a CRM system to support line-of-business amounts to building-in the proper process rules.

In healthcare too, many processes are oriented to manual compliance. We have systems of record that capture all sorts of treatment data, but for implementing treatment plans we rely on human beings. Patients have to remember to take their meds, go to physical therapy, and generally follow a treatment plan.

Supply Management

A story on the opioid crisis, published last week in The New York Times, shows how the manual parts of following treatment plans can be a weak link. The story deals with a court case in an Ohio federal court, where bright minds have been trying to deal with the crisis.

The strong implication is that we need to get some of the opioids out of the patient side of the distribution channel, but that’s proving to be difficult. Many people get opioids for a variety of pains but fail to take all the pills or misplace them, or they get stolen. Taking some of these pills out of the distribution channel won’t be done easily, because the manual system needs pills sloshing around in it to ensure that when a patient really needs a pill one is available.

If you apply a CRM approach to the problem, you might discover that the distribution channel can shrink with no adverse effects on the patient. Outbound calling tied into a patient CRM database not only can remind people to take their meds but also can manage the inventory in a patient’s possession and deliver a new batch when appropriate, or pick up unused pills when needed.

As luck would have it, Salesforce last week made some announcements that can get us closer to that goal. At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Las Vegas, Salesforce introduced Health Cloud Care Gaps, a solution that enables providers to monitor a patient’s adherence to a care plan. The CRM-based system captures a patient’s data and compares it to the patient’s plan, noting gaps or deficiencies to be followed up.

Using such an approach can speed recovery and reduce the number of re-admissions to hospital caused by not following post-care plans, which can save money. At the same time, Cerner, a major software vendor in the space, announced it was including Salesforce with its HealthIntent platform for population health management.

My Two Bits

In a certain way, the opioid crisis is the outgrowth of over-reliance on a manual system that desperately needs computerization. The healthcare industry is bursting with great ideas for how to help people live longer and healthier lives — but in some cases, it has been slow to adopt information technologies that enable better processes, partly because of issues like cost and security.

A cloud computing approach that leverages CRM’s systems-of-engagement approach is a good fit for some of the things that ail healthcare IT. It is likely that in a short time, approaches like Salesforce’s and Cerner’s will become a standard of care that will advance the idea of wellness. It will cause all organizations to adopt similar solutions or risk not being aligned with best practices. Ending the opioid crisis might be an incidental benefit.
end enn Healthcare, CRM's New Vertical


Denis%20Pombriant Healthcare, CRM's New VerticalDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there.
Email Denis.

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To Fix Healthcare, Fix IT First

We spend a great deal of time and effort trying to make healthcare more affordable and to ensure better outcomes. Too often, the upshot is to reduce all problems and challenges to a singularity in search of a silver bullet. It never works, but it seems like human nature to take that approach.

Salesforce has taken a tactic that is bearing fruit, in part because it isn’t really trying to fix healthcare. Instead, it has set a more modest goal of making the information flow a little better. It turns out that this can have big positive effects.

Like many industries, healthcare began its information automation odyssey many decades ago by building systems of record — places that stored diagnostic data for rapid retrieval. Initially that was plenty, because a single doctor usually took care of the patient. When multiple specialists began treating the same patient, data got big and demands for it increased significantly.

Today an army of people participate in patient care — from nurses and technicians to doctors, both generalists and specialists — and they all need access to the patient’s data. Hospital IT was set up to serve the information needs of doctors in the hospital, but data consumers increasingly call for data in and out of the hospital and at all hours.

The End of Hospitals?

This is all brought home in “Are Hospitals Becoming Obsolete?” published earlier this week in The New York Times. In the article, author Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, presents some startling information for the layperson. For example, the peak year for hospitalizations in the United States was 1981, and they have been declining ever sense.

In 1981, there were 6,933 hospitals in the U.S., while there are now 5,534. It’s not healthier lifestyles that account for the decline, though. Healthcare, like Elvis, has left the building in favor of clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, birthing centers and other noncritical care centers.

Patient data has not kept up with the trends. Much of it still exists at the hospital or other places where it first was gathered. For instance, lab or radiology studies may remain on the servers of a hospital or radiology practice, and primary care doctors must be able to log into those systems to get results.

It’s also not unheard of for a doctor to need multiple datasets on a screen at the same time to make intelligent treatment decisions.

Enter Salesforce

What’s needed today are integrative systems — what we in the business world might call “systems of engagement” or even “systems of intelligence.” Such systems might capture data from the relevant third-party applications in a practice’s geography to provide practitioners with all the necessary patient information on a screen or at least on a device.

When necessary, those systems should be able to crunch raw data to produce the information that practitioners need to make decisions.

Salesforce’s approach has been to capture care data from various sources, extract information through artificial intelligence and other methods, and then deliver it to the healthcare provider at the point of service, which puts the patient in the center of the care network. It also opens a lot of new opportunities that hospital systems don’t have the bandwidth to address.

For instance, a patient on a long-term treatment plan — such as for diabetes or asthma, for instance — would benefit not simply from a diagnosis and a prescription, but also from a friendly phone call. Simple periodic check-ins can do much to help patients stay on plan and avoid costly readmissions. The technology needed for this approach to healthcare is all in the CRM bucket.

This approach fundamentally changes healthcare. It goes from a 20th century model of fixing something that’s broken to a 21st century model of preventing an outage. It’s the same basic idea as the Internet of Things, only with people. In the IoT, it’s preventing a machine outage; when applied to people it’s supporting wellness.

My Thoughts

Many cloud computing enthusiasts have despaired of ever seeing much progress on that front for healthcare. It’s too this or too that, or just too hard to expect healthcare providers to cross the chasm to cloud computing.

Perhaps we’ve been looking in the wrong places for results. Hospital and practice-based systems do a good job as systems of record, and rebuilding them in the cloud might have benefits — but at unacceptable costs. Even if the costs were low, we’d be fixing the wrong problem.

When cloud computing arrived at the front office, it changed the work of the front office. We’re seeing the same thing now in the back office. Business processes that barely could be imagined are coming on stream.

The same appears to be happening in healthcare. Although there’s still a long distance to travel, the flexibility of the cloud and the creativity of its users have been opening new vistas, even in the stodgy world of healthcare IT.
end enn To Fix Healthcare, Fix IT First


Denis%20Pombriant To Fix Healthcare, Fix IT FirstDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there.
Email Denis.

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Digital Transformation Making Steady Inroads In Healthcare

273182 273182 h ergb s gl e1518452520587 Digital Transformation Making Steady Inroads In Healthcare

Breakthrough technologies and digitization that have impacted almost every industry in the last few years are now also starting to bring about sweeping digital transformation in healthcare. Feeling the pressures of accelerated change, healthcare organizations are recognizing the importance of digital transformation and slowly—but surely and methodically—piloting new programs. They are realizing that current organizational capabilities to integrate and leverage data to drive better decisions are not sufficient to stay competitive and drive continuously improving quality care; they need to implement new technology systems and platforms that can deliver value, solve business challenges, and transform their traditional business models.

According to a recent study by SAP Center for Business Insight, conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics, healthcare organizations agree on the fact that digital transformation will bring positive changes, such as driving down costs and improving patient outcomes. The survey, based on a study of 400 global C-level healthcare executives, identified the impact—and progress to date—of digitalization efforts. In addition, healthcare organizations offered insights into the key technology investments in use today as well as their anticipated investments in the next two years.

The findings from the study reveal interesting trends about the state of digital transformation in healthcare. While some results were predictable to insiders and providers in the healthcare industry, others were a bit more surprising. Here’s a look at five key findings from the data.

1. Digital transformation is critical to survival

Anyone in healthcare will admit that the industry has been slow to adopt new practice models, business processes, and technologies to adapt to rapidly evolving regulations and shifts in payment models, making digitization a slow grind. Patient records jumpstarted the first wave of transformation in the industry, as most have moved from their paper-based origins to electronic health records (EHRs).

Now, other pieces in the healthcare value chain are following suit. “Digital transformation in healthcare is making forward progress but it is a long journey,” says Martin Kopp, global general manager, healthcare providers, SAP Health. “Healthcare organizations are increasingly open to pulling in the best practices found in other sectors and realizing that they have to run operations in a more data-driven fashion. Doing so will help them manage value and improve the quality of care.”

The survey showed that healthcare executives know that digital transformation is necessary and will have a great impact on the success of their organizations. Digital transformation is seen by the greater percentage of companies to be important or even critically important (61 percent) to their survival today. In two years, that importance climbs to 76 percent. In five years, it rises to 86 percent.

“Healthcare organizations are looking for new care delivery models and cost-effective services they can provide to patients in hospitals and beyond their borders,” says Dr. Anette Grossmeuller, expert precision medicine, SAP Health. “These models require the reimagination of existing business processes and depend on new types of digital technologies driving the access to many new data sources”

Regarding long-term growth, most healthcare organizations (58 percent) believe that digital transformation has helped to increase their profitability and allows them to readily enter new markets. Digital transformation is also believed to help them attract and retain talent.

2. Technology investments are increasing

The survey showed that technology is clearly viewed as essential to healthcare organizations’ growth, retaining competitive advantage, and improving customer experience. The organizations believe that their greatest competitive advantage in the digital economy will come from using the latest technology (82 percent). The organizations also expect to see more value coming from their existing investments.

Technology spending will be shifting somewhat over the next two years, with organizations investing in Big Data and advanced analytics, cloud, and mobile. The shift to connected digital health networks is also elevating the need for improved security investments. Several emerging technologies will get a booster shot, as healthcare organizations plan to invest in Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning/AI, robotics, and virtual reality (Learn more about this survey finding).

These technologies are part of the digital transformation prescription aimed at improving patient care. “The major health organizations are collecting and sharing all types of digital patient data, including imaging and genomic information,” explains Enakshi Singh, senior product sSpecialist, SAP Health. “Healthcare organizations are starting to get insights from these data sets that they didn’t have before. New technologies can cleanse, harmonize, and analyze data.” She notes that the next step in digitization is to integrate applications that provide the analytics needed for real-time clinical decision support.

3. Healthcare organizations are in the early stages of the digital transformation journey

Despite progress, healthcare organizations are still in the preliminary phase of increasing investments in technology. Many are only planning or piloting digital transformation initiatives at the departmental level to bring about the changes they perceive to be critical to their ability to compete and thrive. Very few healthcare organizations in the survey (2 percent) responded that their digital transformation was mature across the enterprise.

Some of the early successes in digital transformation have come from centers focused on treatment of a particular disease, such as cancer. “Cancer care is a unique trailblazer, as it has genetic components and is a molecular disease,” says Singh. “By using analytics platforms, healthcare providers can better evaluate the role of genetics and drug interactions on particular types of cancer. As we get more and more data, we can start to better understand cancer and its causes and treatments.”

4. Digital transformation is a core business goal

While healthcare lags behind other industries in digital transformation, it is starting to catch up. “Healthcare organizations are actively considering how to compete in the new world. They are moving to digitalization to help measure and improve the quality and value of services delivered across the continuum of care,” says Kopp.

The survey showed that the percentage of total budgets dedicated to digital business initiatives will rise during the next two years, and several factors are fueling this increase.  In the survey, 63 percent of companies said their digital transformation efforts allow them to compete more effectively with large companies. And 60 percent said that digital transformation is a core business goal.

5. Digital transformation is necessary for the shift to value-based care

Digital transformation is helping healthcare organizations raise their reputation and visibility in their communities. In the next two years, healthcare organizations expect technology investments to provide value in customer satisfaction and engagement and innovation.

“Digital innovation will fuel the next wave of breakthroughs in healthcare and accelerate the broader shift toward data-driven care for health organizations,” says Kopp. “Unlocking actionable data insights in real time is critical for the future success for value-based care.”

Delivering value with digital transformation

Healthcare organizations recognize the potential cures brought about by digital transformation. With increased cost pressures, healthcare organizations are striving to standardize and streamline administrative processes for greater efficiency and improved operations. They also have an increased focus on providing value, which can be achieved with new technology platforms.

With aging demographics and the rise of chronic diseases, healthcare organizations are investing more in digital transformation technologies that can support improved decision-making by providing data-driven insights for personalized clinical treatments and optimized patient outcomes.

Want to learn about how SAP Health is helping healthcare providers on their digital transformation journey? Download the “The Future of Digital Health” white paper.

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Blockchain Technology for Healthcare

To stay competitive, safe, and secure, healthcare organizations have to apply ground-breaking solutions to age old problems. Many industries can use ground-breaking solutions, of course, but healthcare demands ongoing improvements. Blockchain is one such promising technology―for cost reduction, patient empowerment, and cybersecurity.

Here’s a bit of a preview:

Information security

Information security is a hot topic, and not just in healthcare. The world is fraught with criminals in search of information that could be used to scam people out of their hard-earned money. Healthcare information is very valuable on the black market because it contains enough detail to open bank accounts, access health savings accounts, or commit identity theft. The healthcare industry does not have the funds to secure their information like the financial industry does, so finding a more secure and cost-effective way to protect healthcare information would be a very welcome development.

Research

Human DNA contains information on ethnic background, propensity to develop certain medical conditions, and even life expectancy and personal traits. Imagine a world where your DNA could be used for research to help improve the lives of millions around the world. A DNA bank managed by blockchain could first secure information, and then allow contributors and bona fide researchers to exchange DNA. This exchange could be managed under the privacy and consents laws that makes scientific collaboration and ethics procedures easier to maintain.

Claims processing

Medical claims processing is often manual and slow. Many intermediaries are involved in making payments to healthcare providers based on patients’ insurance coverage, which results in lengthy processes and frequent errors. With rules built into blockchain smart contracts and creation of the contract put into business users’ hands, intermediaries could be eliminated and the system could manage itself. Claims would be paid much faster and with fewer errors, and patient claims management would be more secure.

Register for the upcoming Innovation Blockchain for Healthcare live webinar and demo to learn more about these opportunities and concepts.

Screen Shot 2018 01 31 at 11.20.13 AM Blockchain Technology for Healthcare

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Transforming Healthcare With Biotechnology

Businesses share something important with lions. When a lion captures and consumes its prey, only about 10% to 20% of the prey’s energy is directly transferred into the lion’s metabolism. The rest evaporates away, mostly as heat loss, according to research done in the 1940s by ecologist Raymond Lindeman.

Today, businesses do only about as well as the big cats. When you consider the energy required to manage, power, and move products and services, less than 20% goes directly into the typical product or service—what economists call aggregate efficiency (the ratio of potential work to the actual useful work that gets embedded into a product or service at the expense of the energy lost in moving products and services through all of the steps of their value chains). Aggregate efficiency is a key factor in determining productivity.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image2 Transforming Healthcare With BiotechnologyAfter making steady gains during much of the 20th century, businesses’ aggregate energy efficiency peaked in the 1980s and then stalled. Japan, home of the world’s most energy-efficient economy, has been skating along at or near 20% ever since. The U.S. economy, meanwhile, topped out at about 13% aggregate efficiency in the 1990s, according to research.

Why does this matter? Jeremy Rifkin says he knows why. Rifkin is an economic and social theorist, author, consultant, and lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education program who believes that economies experience major increases in growth and productivity only when big shifts occur in three integrated infrastructure segments around the same time: communications, energy, and transportation.

But it’s only a matter of time before information technology blows all three wide open, says Rifkin. He envisions a new economic infrastructure based on digital integration of communications, energy, and transportation, riding atop an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that incorporates Big Data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. This platform will disrupt the world economy and bring dramatic levels of efficiency and productivity to businesses that take advantage of it,
he says.

Some economists consider Rifkin’s ideas controversial. And his vision of a new economic platform may be problematic—at least globally. It will require massive investments and unusually high levels of government, community, and private sector cooperation, all of which seem to be at depressingly low levels these days.

However, Rifkin has some influential adherents to his philosophy. He has advised three presidents of the European Commission—Romano Prodi, José Manuel Barroso, and the current president, Jean-Claude Juncker—as well as the European Parliament and numerous European Union (EU) heads of state, including Angela Merkel, on the ushering in of what he calls “a smart, green Third Industrial Revolution.” Rifkin is also advising the leadership of the People’s Republic of China on the build out and scale up of the “Internet Plus” Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure to usher in a sustainable low-carbon economy.

The internet has already shaken up one of the three major economic sectors: communications. Today it takes little more than a cell phone, an internet connection, and social media to publish a book or music video for free—what Rifkin calls zero marginal cost. The result has been a hollowing out of once-mighty media empires in just over 10 years. Much of what remains of their business models and revenues has been converted from physical (remember CDs and video stores?) to digital.

But we haven’t hit the trifecta yet. Transportation and energy have changed little since the middle of the last century, says Rifkin. That’s when superhighways reached their saturation point across the developed world and the internal-combustion engine came close to the limits of its potential on the roads, in the air, and at sea. “We have all these killer new technology products, but they’re being plugged into the same old infrastructure, and it’s not creating enough new business opportunities,” he says.

All that may be about to undergo a big shake-up, however. The digitalization of information on the IoT at near-zero marginal cost generates Big Data that can be mined with analytics to create algorithms and apps enabling ubiquitous networking. This digital transformation is beginning to have a big impact on the energy and transportation sectors. If that trend continues, we could see a metamorphosis in the economy and society not unlike previous industrial revolutions in history. And given the pace of technology change today, the shift could happen much faster than ever before.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image3 1024x572 Transforming Healthcare With BiotechnologyThe speed of change is dictated by the increase in digitalization of these three main sectors; expensive physical assets and processes are partially replaced by low-cost virtual ones. The cost efficiencies brought on by digitalization drive disruption in existing business models toward zero marginal cost, as we’ve already seen in entertainment and publishing. According to research company Gartner, when an industry gets to the point where digital drives at least 20% of revenues, you reach the tipping point.

“A clear pattern has emerged,” says Peter Sondergaard, executive vice president and head of research and advisory for Gartner. “Once digital revenues for a sector hit 20% of total revenue, the digital bloodbath begins,” he told the audience at Gartner’s annual 2017 IT Symposium/ITxpo, according to The Wall Street Journal. “No matter what industry you are in, 20% will be the point of no return.”

Communications is already there, and energy and transportation are heading down that path. If they hit the magic 20% mark, the impact will be felt not just within those industries but across all industries. After all, who doesn’t rely on energy and transportation to power their value chains?

That’s why businesses need to factor potentially massive business model disruptions into their plans for digital transformation today if they want to remain competitive with organizations in early adopter countries like China and Germany. China, for example, is already halfway through an US$ 88 billion upgrade to its state electricity grid that will enable renewable energy transmission around the country—all managed and moved digitally, according to an article in The Economist magazine. And it is competing with the United States for leadership in self-driving vehicles, which will shift the transportation process and revenue streams heavily to digital, according to an article in Wired magazine.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image4 Transforming Healthcare With BiotechnologyOnce China’s and Germany’s renewables and driverless infrastructures are in place, the only additional costs are management and maintenance. That could bring businesses in these countries dramatic cost savings over those that still rely on fossil fuels and nuclear energy to power their supply chains and logistics. “Once you pay the fixed costs of renewables, the marginal costs are near zero,” says Rifkin. “The sun and wind haven’t sent us invoices yet.”

In other words, zero marginal cost has become a zero-sum game.

To understand why that is, consider the major industrial revolutions in history, writes Rifkin in his books, The Zero Marginal Cost Society and The Third Industrial Revolution. The first major shift occurred in the 19th century when cheap, abundant coal provided an efficient new source of power (steam) for manufacturing and enabled the creation of a vast railway transportation network. Meanwhile, the telegraph gave the world near-instant communication over a globally connected network.

The second big change occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, when inexpensive oil began to displace coal and gave rise to a much more flexible new transportation network of cars and trucks. Telephones, radios, and televisions had a similar impact on communications.

Breaking Down the Walls Between Sectors

Now, according to Rifkin, we’re poised for the third big shift. The eye of the technology disruption hurricane has moved beyond communications and is heading toward—or as publishing and entertainment executives might warn, coming for—the rest of the economy. With its assemblage of global internet and cellular network connectivity and ever-smaller and more powerful sensors, the IoT, along with Big Data analytics and artificial intelligence, is breaking down the economic walls that have protected the energy and transportation sectors for the past 50 years.

Daimler is now among the first movers in transitioning into a digitalized mobility internet. The company has equipped nearly 400,000 of its trucks with external sensors, transforming the vehicles into mobile Big Data centers. The sensors are picking up real-time Big Data on weather conditions, traffic flows, and warehouse availability. Daimler plans to establish collaborations with thousands of companies, providing them with Big Data and analytics that can help dramatically increase their aggregate efficiency and productivity in shipping goods across their value chains. The Daimler trucks are autonomous and capable of establishing platoons of multiple trucks driving across highways.

It won’t be long before vehicles that navigate the more complex transportation infrastructures around the world begin to think for themselves. Autonomous vehicles will bring massive economic disruption to transportation and logistics thanks to new aggregate efficiencies. Without the cost of having a human at the wheel, autonomous cars could achieve a shared cost per mile below that of owned vehicles by as early as 2030, according to research from financial services company Morgan Stanley.

The transition is getting a push from governments pledging to give up their addiction to cars powered by combustion engines. Great Britain, France, India, and Norway are seeking to go all electric as early as 2025 and by 2040 at the latest.

The Final Piece of the Transition

Considering that automobiles account for 47% of petroleum consumption in the United States alone—more than twice the amount used for generators and heating for homes and businesses, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration—Rifkin argues that the shift to autonomous electric vehicles could provide the momentum needed to upend the final pillar of the economic platform: energy. Though energy has gone through three major disruptions over the past 150 years, from coal to oil to natural gas—each causing massive teardowns and rebuilds of infrastructure—the underlying economic model has remained constant: highly concentrated and easily accessible fossil fuels and highly centralized, vertically integrated, and enormous (and enormously powerful) energy and utility companies.

Now, according to Rifkin, the “Third Industrial Revolution Internet of Things infrastructure” is on course to disrupt all of it. It’s neither centralized nor vertically integrated; instead, it’s distributed and networked. And that fits perfectly with the commercial evolution of two energy sources that, until the efficiencies of the IoT came along, made no sense for large-scale energy production: the sun and the wind.

But the IoT gives power utilities the means to harness these batches together and to account for variable energy flows. Sensors on solar panels and wind turbines, along with intelligent meters and a smart grid based on the internet, manage a new, two-way flow of energy to and from the grid.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image5 Transforming Healthcare With BiotechnologyToday, fossil fuel–based power plants need to kick in extra energy if insufficient energy is collected from the sun and wind. But industrial-strength batteries and hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to take their place by storing large reservoirs of reserve power for rainy or windless days. In addition, electric vehicles will be able to send some of their stored energy to the digitalized energy internet during peak use. Demand for ever-more efficient cell phone and vehicle batteries is helping push the evolution of batteries along, but batteries will need to get a lot better if renewables are to completely replace fossil fuel energy generation.

Meanwhile, silicon-based solar cells have not yet approached their limits of efficiency. They have their own version of computing’s Moore’s Law called Swanson’s Law. According to data from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Swanson’s Law means that for each doubling of global solar panel manufacturing capacity, the price falls by 28%, from $ 76 per watt in 1977 to $ 0.41 in 2016. (Wind power is on a similar plunging exponential cost curve, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.)

Thanks to the plummeting solar price, by 2028, the cost of building and operating new sun-based generation capacity will drop below the cost of running existing fossil power plants, according to BNEF. “One of the surprising things in this year’s forecast,” says Seb Henbest, lead author of BNEF’s annual long-term forecast, the New Energy Outlook, “is that the crossover points in the economics of new and old technologies are happening much sooner than we thought last year … and those were all happening a bit sooner than we thought the year before. There’s this sense that it’s not some distant risk or distant opportunity. A lot of these realities are rushing toward us.”

The conclusion, he says, is irrefutable. “We can see the data and when we map that forward with conservative assumptions, these technologies just get cheaper than everything else.”

The smart money, then—72% of total new power generation capacity investment worldwide by 2040—will go to renewable energy, according to BNEF. The firm’s research also suggests that there’s more room in Swanson’s Law along the way, with solar prices expected to drop another 66% by 2040.

Another factor could push the economic shift to renewables even faster. Just as computers transitioned from being strictly corporate infrastructure to becoming consumer products with the invention of the PC in the 1980s, ultimately causing a dramatic increase in corporate IT investments, energy generation has also made the transition to the consumer side.

Thanks to future tech media star Elon Musk, consumers can go to his Tesla Energy company website and order tempered glass solar panels that look like chic, designer versions of old-fashioned roof shingles. Models that look like slate or a curved, terracotta-colored, ceramic-style glass that will make roofs look like those of Tuscan country villas, are promised soon. Consumers can also buy a sleek-looking battery called a Powerwall to store energy from the roof.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image6 Transforming Healthcare With BiotechnologyThe combination of solar panels, batteries, and smart meters transforms homeowners from passive consumers of energy into active producers and traders who can choose to take energy from the grid during off-peak hours, when some utilities offer discounts, and sell energy back to the grid during periods when prices are higher. And new blockchain applications promise to accelerate the shift to an energy market that is laterally integrated rather than vertically integrated as it is now. Consumers like their newfound sense of control, according to Henbest. “Energy’s never been an interesting consumer decision before and suddenly it is,” he says.

As the price of solar equipment continues to drop, homes, offices, and factories will become like nodes on a computer network. And if promising new solar cell technologies, such as organic polymers, small molecules, and inorganic compounds, supplant silicon, which is not nearly as efficient with sunlight as it is with ones and zeroes, solar receivers could become embedded into windows and building compounds. Solar production could move off the roof and become integrated into the external facades of homes and office buildings, making nearly every edifice in town a node.

The big question, of course, is how quickly those nodes will become linked together—if, say doubters, they become linked at all. As we learned from Metcalfe’s Law, the value of a network is proportional to its number of connected users.

The Will Determines the Way

Right now, the network is limited. Wind and solar account for just 5% of global energy production today, according to Bloomberg.

But, says Rifkin, technology exists that could enable the network to grow exponentially. We are seeing the beginnings of a digital energy network, which uses a combination of the IoT, Big Data, analytics, and artificial intelligence to manage distributed energy sources, such as solar and wind power from homes and businesses.

As nodes on this network, consumers and businesses could take a more active role in energy production, management, and efficiency, according to Rifkin. Utilities, in turn, could transition from simply transmitting power and maintaining power plants and lines to managing the flow to and from many different energy nodes; selling and maintaining smart home energy management products; and monitoring and maintaining solar panels and wind turbines. By analyzing energy use in the network, utilities could create algorithms that automatically smooth the flow of renewables. Consumers and businesses, meanwhile, would not have to worry about connecting their wind and solar assets to the grid and keeping them up and running; utilities could take on those tasks more efficiently.

Already in Germany, two utility companies, E.ON and RWE, have each split their businesses into legacy fossil and nuclear fuel companies and new services companies based on distributed generation from renewables, new technologies, and digitalization.

The reason is simple: it’s about survival. As fossil fuel generation winds down, the utilities need a new business model to make up for lost revenue. Due to Germany’s population density, “the utilities realize that they won’t ever have access to enough land to scale renewables themselves,” says Rifkin. “So they are starting service companies to link together all the different communities that are building solar and wind and are managing energy flows for them and for their customers, doing their analytics, and managing their Big Data. That’s how they will make more money while selling less energy in the future.”

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image7 1024x572 Transforming Healthcare With Biotechnology

The digital energy internet is already starting out in pockets and at different levels of intensity around the world, depending on a combination of citizen support, utility company investments, governmental power, and economic incentives.

China and some countries within the EU, such as Germany and France, are the most likely leaders in the transition toward a renewable, energy-based infrastructure because they have been able to align the government and private sectors in long-term energy planning. In the EU for example, wind has already overtaken coal as the second largest form of power capacity behind natural gas, according to an article in TheGuardian newspaper. Indeed, Rifkin has been working with China, the EU, and governments, communities, and utilities in Northern France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg to begin building these new internets.

Hauts-de-France, a region that borders the English Channel and Belgium and has one of the highest poverty rates in France, enlisted Rifkin to develop a plan to lift it out of its downward spiral of shuttered factories and abandoned coal mines. In collaboration with a diverse group of CEOs, politicians, teachers, scientists, and others, it developed Rev3, a plan to put people to work building a renewable energy network, according to an article in Vice.

Today, more than 1,000 Rev3 projects are underway, encompassing everything from residential windmills made from local linen to a fully electric car–sharing system. Rev3 has received financial support from the European Investment Bank and a handful of private investment funds, and startups have benefited from crowdfunding mechanisms sponsored by Rev3. Today, 90% of new energy in the region is renewable and 1,500 new jobs have been created in the wind energy sector alone.

Meanwhile, thanks in part to generous government financial support, Germany is already producing 35% of its energy from renewables, according to an article in TheIndependent, and there is near unanimous citizen support (95%, according to a recent government poll) for its expansion.

If renewable energy is to move forward in other areas of the world that don’t enjoy such strong economic and political support, however, it must come from the ability to make green, not act green.

Not everyone agrees that renewables will produce cost savings sufficient to cause widespread cost disruption anytime soon. A recent forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that in 2040, oil, natural gas, and coal will still be the planet’s major electricity producers, powering 77% of worldwide production, while renewables such as wind, solar, and biofuels will account for just 15%.

Skeptics also say that renewables’ complex management needs, combined with the need to store reserve power, will make them less economical than fossil fuels through at least 2035. “All advanced economies demand full-time electricity,” Benjamin Sporton, chief executive officer of the World Coal Association told Bloomberg. “Wind and solar can only generate part-time, intermittent electricity. While some renewable technologies have achieved significant cost reductions in recent years, it’s important to look at total system costs.”

On the other hand, there are many areas of the world where distributed, decentralized, renewable power generation already makes more sense than a centralized fossil fuel–powered grid. More than 20% of Indians in far flung areas of the country have no access to power today, according to an article in TheGuardian. Locally owned and managed solar and wind farms are the most economical way forward. The same is true in other developing countries, such as Afghanistan, where rugged terrain, war, and tribal territorialism make a centralized grid an easy target, and mountainous Costa Rica, where strong winds and rivers have pushed the country to near 100% renewable energy, according to TheGuardian.

The Light and the Darknet

Even if all the different IoT-enabled economic platforms become financially advantageous, there is another concern that could disrupt progress and potentially cause widespread disaster once the new platforms are up and running: hacking. Poorly secured IoT sensors have allowed hackers to take over everything from Wi-Fi enabled Barbie dolls to Jeep Cherokees, according to an article in Wired magazine.

Humans may be lousy drivers, but at least we can’t be hacked (yet). And while the grid may be prone to outages, it is tightly controlled, has few access points for hackers, and is physically separated from the Wild West of the internet.

If our transportation and energy networks join the fray, however, every sensor, from those in the steering system on vehicles to grid-connected toasters, becomes as vulnerable as a credit card number. Fake news and election hacking are bad enough, but what about fake drivers or fake energy? Now we’re talking dangerous disruptions and putting millions of people in harm’s way.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image8 Transforming Healthcare With BiotechnologyThe only answer, according to Rifkin, is for businesses and governments to start taking the hacking threat much more seriously than they do today and to begin pouring money into research and technologies for making the internet less vulnerable. That means establishing “a fully distributed, redundant, and resilient digital infrastructure less vulnerable to the kind of disruptions experienced by Second Industrial Revolution–centralized communication systems and power grids that are increasingly subject to climate change, disasters, cybercrime, and cyberterrorism,” he says. “The ability of neighborhoods and communities to go off centralized grids during crises and re-aggregate in locally decentralized networks is the key to advancing societal security in the digital era,” he adds.

Start Looking Ahead

Until today, digital transformation has come mainly through the networking and communications efficiencies made possible by the internet. Airbnb thrives because web communications make it possible to create virtual trust markets that allow people to feel safe about swapping their most private spaces with one another.

But now these same efficiencies are coming to two other areas that have never been considered core to business strategy. That’s why businesses need to begin managing energy and transportation as key elements of their digital transformation portfolios.

Microsoft, for example, formed a senior energy team to develop an energy strategy to mitigate risk from fluctuating energy prices and increasing demands from customers to reduce carbon emissions, according to an article in Harvard Business Review. “Energy has become a C-suite issue,” Rob Bernard, Microsoft’s top environmental and sustainability executive told the magazine. “The CFO and president are now actively involved in our energy road map.”

As Daimler’s experience shows, driverless vehicles will push autonomous transportation and automated logistics up the strategic agenda within the next few years. Boston Consulting Group predicts that the driverless vehicle market will hit $ 42 billion by 2025. If that happens, it could have a lateral impact across many industries, from insurance to healthcare to the military.

Businesses must start planning now. “There’s always a period when businesses have to live in the new and the old worlds at the same time,” says Rifkin. “So businesses need to be considering new business models and structures now while continuing to operate their existing models.”

He worries that many businesses will be left behind if their communications, energy, and transportation infrastructures don’t evolve. Companies that still rely on fossil fuels for powering traditional transportation and logistics could be at a major competitive disadvantage to those that have moved to the new, IoT-based energy and transportation infrastructures.

Germany, for example, has set a target of 80% renewables for gross power consumption by 2050, according to TheIndependent. If the cost advantages of renewables bear out, German businesses, which are already the world’s third-largest exporters behind China and the United States, could have a major competitive advantage.

“How would a second industrial revolution society or country compete with one that has energy at zero marginal cost and driverless vehicles?” asks Rifkin. “It can’t be done.” D!


About the Authors

Maurizio Cattaneo is Director, Delivery Execution, Energy and Natural Resources, at SAP.

Joerg Ferchow is Senior Utilities Expert and Design Thinking Coach, Digital Transformation, at SAP.

Daniel Wellers is Digital Futures Lead, Global Marketing, at SAP.

Christopher Koch is Editorial Director, SAP Center for Business Insight, at SAP.


Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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TIBCO and Change Healthcare Partner to Accelerate Healthcare Transformation

change healthcare TIBCO and Change Healthcare Partner to Accelerate Healthcare Transformation

TIBCO and Change Healthcare, one of the largest independent healthcare technology companies in the United States, have announced a partnership aimed at helping providers, payers, and pharmacies better use their health IT data to improve efficiency and effectively manage complex workflows. By integrating the TIBCO Connected Intelligence portfolio with Change Healthcare’s broad portfolio of software and analytics, network solutions, and technology-enabled services, the companies will innovate new solutions for translating data into actionable insights based on business needs.

“We’re excited to be working with Change Healthcare to help improve processes around healthcare and positively impact peoples’ lives by innovating new technology solutions,” said Thomas Been, chief marketing officer, TIBCO. “We see this as an opportunity to work together to create solutions based on the TIBCO Connected Intelligence portfolio, while improving the customer experience for users of these technologies. This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Change Healthcare already incorporates TIBCO’s business intelligence tool within its Analytics Explorer solution, which uses health data visualization to enable users to drill up, down, and across data—free of the dimensional constraints and IT dependence that traditional approaches require. Healthcare organizations can more quickly turn data into insights, and insights into actions that lead to better outcomes.

“Through our partnership with TIBCO, we can innovate new capabilities that turn data into meaningful information for decision-making,” said Alex Choy, chief information officer and executive vice president, Research & Development, Change Healthcare. “We’re excited about the opportunities to leverage our respective strengths in data, analytics, and network connectivity to help organizations navigate the complex transition to a value-based healthcare system.”

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9 Ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM nurses Healthcare Provision to its full potential

With flu season in full swing, healthcare is at the top of everyone’s mind. Whether you’re a patient or a healthcare provider, there is no illusion that the healthcare system is perfect. Certain things can be streamlined and made more efficient, helping everyone involved.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are a logical group to turn to in search for a remedy (yes – medical humor will be involved). But we’re here to make the case that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an all-round ERP winner when it comes to healthcare.

Here are 9 ways that CRM can improve the quality of services of a healthcare provider.

  1. Patient history access

Avoid the all-time irritating experience of asking “So why are you here?” and having a patient stare back at you with dismay as they have to repeat their ‘journey’ for the fifth time. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows access to a centralized patient profile with a list of previous appointments and referrals. You can now spend that time focusing on more targeted questions.

  1. Targeted educational outreach

You effortlessly improve the overall health of patients with automated messaging campaigns. For example, you can make sure your Diabetes patients receive newsletters with tips, or your Smokers are alerted to group meetings to help them quit. Something so simple and easy can lead to some results.

  1. Remote monitoring

Patients confined to their homes are always difficult to treat; you may not get there in time of an emergency, or spend a long time commuting away from other patients. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows you to monitor at-home medical devices as well as receive alerts when vitals, etc. start to misbehave or fall into dangerous zones. Response time can this be heavily shortened.

  1. Patient profiles – not your average EHR

Say ¡adiós! to symptom-listing EHRs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows for the creation of a patient profile, which includes lifestyle choices among other useful details. These profiles are important because studies have shown that the quality of healthcare provided is not the only thing affecting patient health. When doctors are aware of these other factors, they can better tailor their treatment and healthcare plans.

  1. Building care plans

With all the patient data that a CRM can hold, it easily builds unique care plans that tailored to a specific patient’s requirements and needs. Additionally, it allocates tasks to each member on a care team. Coupled together, these make a patient’s treatment more effective and efficient.

  1. Better coordination and communication

Furthermore, Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a platform for communication: the patient and all healthcare providers involved are updated with new tasks, notified to missing treatments, and can communicate in real-time. More efficient care and fewer mistakes are just a few of the positive outcomes of CRMs in the healthcare industry.

  1. Cohort analysis

Furthermore, this comprehensive conglomeration of data enables a number of insights to be drawn, not solely based on the analysis of a single patient, but on a whole population. This is a slightly harder point to describe, but analysis → insight → better action/diagnosis/treatment is the overall gist.

  1. Clinical trial management

Again, not an expert in the goings-on of a clinical trial, but Microsoft Dynamics CRM is noted to be able to streamline the entire process. From planning and implementation to tracking and analysis, data is centralized and easily accessible and manageable.

  1. Recruitment aides

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is also equipped with recruitment tools to assist in the hiring of highly qualified medical professionals. Ultimately, this can only help maintain a level of quality healthcare provision, if not improve it too.

Even if you just read the section headers, you can see that there are many benefits to adopting Microsoft Dynamics CRM if you’re a healthcare provider.

Want to find out more or a get a personalized demo – contact us.

John Hoyt, Technology Management Concepts, www.abouttmc.com

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