One thing I've observed covering analytics technology is just how wedded some places are to using Excel spreadsheets to try to do the kind of work that Legacy is doing with StrataJazz. After digging into the tools themselves, CIOs inevitably come to the decision that an investment in a true business intelligence solution, while costly, is far superior to trying to achieve these insights via traditional spreadsheets.
I am also now convinced that business intelligence will help healthcare systems figure out how to fit themselves into newer, innovative emerging care delivery models. Cost accounting technology can show which service lines have higher costs than industry averages. Leadership might try to bring those costs down, or instead, it might decide to form a strategic partnership with a competitive provider in that area to enter an ACO or other arrangement, to leverage the lower costs of the competitor's service lines while maximizing those service lines within their own organizations where cost is lowest and quality highest.
I also keep hearing that physicians love to see the data, and it's entirely possible that systems such as the one Legacy is building can put cost accounting data right in the hands of those physicians – evidence that may start rich dialogues within or between service lines to make healthcare more predictable, and more consistent.
"Physicians are very data-oriented," Kenagy says. "They're trained to be really skeptical of information, inquisitive, wanting to discover the truth. Doctors don't like to be outliers, and there's kind of a moderating impact that just the transparency of information presents."