Have you ever asked yourself…
“Why can’t I tell how our pharmacy operations are running right now?” or “Why does it take so long to answer questions about key performance metrics based on the data we have available?”
Few of us need convincing that the pace and complexity of operations in healthcare has increased significantly in the past decade. And few of us would argue that we still struggle with visibility into our processes. The best way to manage that change and complexity or improve the visibility is typically a more difficult quest. While data seems like part of the answer, data can also at times be excessive, difficult to understand, and difficult to use.
Healthcare reform and changes in the reimbursement models in healthcare has driven the need for organizations to more effectively understand and be able to predict outcomes, such as readmissions. Terms such as business intelligence, analytics, predictive modeling, and operational intelligence are commonly used in numerous industries and have become much more common in healthcare in the past 5 years and organizations. Business intelligence is often seen as critical in understanding data, predicting how certain factors will impact outcomes, such as revenue, and driving decisions based on data. A KLAS survey in 2012 found more hospitals investing in business intelligence tools, with over 50% purchasing new technology ore replacing old systems within the next 3 years. 1
As technology has evolved in health system pharmacy environments, the availability of data has significantly improved. More healthcare IT systems now have some core “reporting” functionality and most technology can provide end users with a significant amount of data, in one shape or another. A significant amount of time and resources is often spent evaluating data from multiple sources and attempting to understand drivers or root causes for outcomes. Data is generated weekly or monthly and is analyzed and used to modify business processes. However, the data from such systems is often retrospective and provides little insights into the complexity or nuances of the day to day workflow or process.
Pharmacy environments are complex and ever changing. Pharmacy needs a solution that provides real-time status of business processes. Operational intelligence is a category of business intelligence or business analytics that provides insight into events and business processes as they are executed. A good comparison is operational intelligence is to GPS what traditional business intelligence is to a historical map. Business intelligence often only provides data from a historical perspective while operational intelligence tells you where you are now. Operational intelligence is typically characterized by real-time monitoring, of processes situational awareness, dashboards, and the ability to drill into the data. This allows real-time visibility, allowing pharmacies to modify processes midstream if necessary to avoid negative consequences, such as bottlenecks, errors, or failure to achieve certain performance metrics, such as on-time delivery of medications.
It is somewhat surprising that, given the complexity and need for visibility into the day-to-day workflow in hospital or healthcare system pharmacies, that operational intelligence has not been widely introduced or adopted into pharmacy practice to date. Employing operational intelligence in pharmacy can drive better, more timely, decision making in pharmacy operations, providing the insight needed to optimize processes and effectively harnessing information to drive change.
Come visit www.plusdeltatech.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear more about our operational intelligence platform for PharmTrac and IVTrac.
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