Data, BI Key to Cutting Healthcare Costs

Gienna Shaw, November 29, 2011

Healthcare leaders say they're struggling to cut costs and waste in the emergency and surgery departments. But some say the real savings are to be found through technology and the use of business intelligence.

In a recent intelligence report from HealthLeaders Media, Cost Containment Under Healthcare Rules, healthcare leaders said eliminating excess cost and waste is a top priority, but added that progress is difficult to achieve, especially within the ED and surgical services, where 65% and 48%, respectively, said it is very or moderately difficult.

They also said information technology is part of the solution.

"Operating room information management technology is one of few areas in the hospital that stands to benefit substantially from a financial standpoint with a solid return on investment in IT," said one survey respondent, the chief of staff for a small hospital. "Unlike other areas of the hospital, the operating room is most akin to a factory production line, and has the most to gain from IT implementation."

But they survey results suggest respondents lack the tools they need to reap those benefits. We asked leaders to describe how their organizations currently use information technology to guide cost efficiency programs.

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