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Healthcare is one of the world’s most essential sectors. As a result of increasing demand in certain branches of care, driving down unnecessary expenditure while enhancing overall productivity is vital. Health institutions need to run on maximum efficiency across the board—in some cases, it’s literally a matter of life or death.
Despite this ominous message, we are living in the midst of a digital age. Rapid technological evolution means it’s now possible to use accessible and intuitive data-driven tools to our advantage.
For hospitals, hospices, homecare operators, and palliative care professionals looking to improve operational efficiency, producing and working with a healthcare report is the answer.
We’ve delved into the impact of big data in healthcare. Now, we’re going to consider the importance of reporting in healthcare.
Healthcare reports can help reduce errors, enhance the acquisition of vital data, reduce needless expenditure, and improve processes exponentially.
Like many of today’s most important industries, digital data, metrics, and KPIs (key performance indicators) are part of a bright and prosperous future - and a comprehensive report has the power to deliver in each of these critical areas.
Without further ado, let’s take a detailed look at the role of a report in healthcare.
What Is Healthcare Reporting?
Healthcare reports are a data-driven means of benchmarking the performance of specific processes or functions within a healthcare institution, with the primary aim of increasing efficiency, reducing errors, and optimizing metrics.
By utilizing interactive digital dashboards, it’s possible to leverage data to transform metrics into actionable insights to spot weaknesses, identify strengths, and predict events before they occur. This perfect storm of visual information ultimately makes institutions safer, more productive, and more intelligent.
In summary, healthcare analytics is critical to the ongoing success of any organization operating within this broad and invaluable sector.
To drive the message home: by leveraging a mix of advanced healthcare KPIs, insights, and online reporting tools, it's possible to not only obtain accurate facts that will benefit your organization, but this level of data can also lead to the discovery of fresh insights that can eliminate inefficiencies and achieve better health outcomes.
As a branch of business intelligence in the healthcare industry, reporting collects from the following five primary areas within the sector:
- Insights into claims and operational costs
- Metrics associated with pharmaceutical and research and development
- Clinical information gathered from continual care, electronic healthcare records (EHRs), and trials
- Important stats on patient behavior
- Predictive insights to create preventative strategies or initiatives to improve care and prescription processes in an ever-evolving landscape.
According to the World Health Organization, there is a one in 300 chance of a person being harmed due to a care-related administrative error. Comparatively, there’s a one-in-a-million chance of being harmed in an airplane incident. This discovery alone provides a direct answer to the question, ‘why is using a report important in healthcare?’ Without it, it’s unlikely healthcare institutions will ever reduce these figures to an acceptable level on a sustainable basis.
The Benefits Of A Healthcare Report
By tracking key healthcare data reporting insights and setting the right key performance indicators, your organization stands to benefit a great deal. Here are some notable examples and benefits of using business intelligence in healthcare:
1. Improved management and decision making
The first benefit, and arguably one of the most important ones, is improved facility management and decision-making process. Armed with powerful insights coming from not only patient-related areas but also operational and financial areas, hospital managers can make informed decisions to ensure better clinical performance and correspondingly better outcomes.
With the help of a modern report and the right BI tools, managers can reduce costs while still ensuring a high level of service, predict demand for services and supplies, and prepare in case any unforeseen situations come up. The results are improved efficiency across the board.
2. Preventative management
One of the most striking elements is the ability to harness the power of historical and current data to spot potentially fatal medical issues before they occur. This branch of predictive analytics in the care sector is pivotal to enhancing the quality of care and improving mortality rates.
To highlight the preventative purpose of a report in healthcare, 60% of healthcare leaders confirm their organization has adopted predictive analytics in recent times, and more will follow in the coming years. This is a testament to the essential role of predictive analytics in the sector.
3. Disease monitoring
Elaborating on our previous point, the predictive analytics and insights found in reports related to health can also help in placing surveillance on potentially large-scale disease outbreaks, again by using a mix of past and present metrics or insights to ensure that the correct course of action or preventative measures is taken to control or contain the situation.
4. Cutting down unnecessary costs
As mentioned, hospital reports can also make operations far more economically efficient. By collecting and analyzing operational metrics associated with your organization's daily expenditure in all primary areas from catering right through to patient medicine, analysts can help health institutions streamline their budgeting processes and make alterations or substitutions based on safety, ethics, and trust.
5. Diagnostic and therapeutic techniques
Earlier, we touched on a severe lack of accessible or timely information, as well as an alarming rate of administrative errors. Hospital analytics give organizations the power to amalgamate clinical, financial, and operational data that determines the efficiency of their various processes, as well as the state of their patients, and the productivity of their programs. By gaining access to these insights, an institution can gauge which processes aren't generating desired outcomes, significantly improve wellness programs, and ultimately, reduce readmission numbers.
Health specialist Kaiser Permanente, for example, leveraged healthcare reporting to assess, survey, and analyze patients that were at the biggest risk of a potential suicide attempt, discovering that the top 1% of individuals flagged were 200 times more likely to take their own life. This information proved invaluable in offering tailored therapy while taking all-important measures to reduce suicide rates.
Speaking on the subject, Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente, said:
“We demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death.”
6. Patient wellbeing
A healthcare report can assist hospitals in offering information on an individual patient basis. By doing so, an institution can give individuals tailored advice on how they can maintain a healthy lifestyle based on their medical data and biometric vitals. Not only is this priceless to providing superior levels of aftercare, but again, it's also a giant leap in helping to reduce readmission rates.
Dynamic, real-time data can also provide alerts if someone is under your care and at risk of a potentially harmful or fatal event. Although this falls under the remit of predictive analytics, it’s worth mentioning here, as managing a person's health with consistency is essential to their well-being. Once they leave your institution, you can use this wealth of data-driven insight to provide a level of aftercare that offers the very best personal, physical, and mental well-being.
7. Practitioner performance
Reports can shed unbiased light on how your practitioners and staff are performing – an essential point on how management reporting can help improve the operation of the hospital.
With healthcare industry reports, it’s possible to accurately evaluate the performance, efficiency, and effectiveness of staff at the point of delivery. With sustainable performance evaluations, in addition, to reporting metrics related to patient wellness and satisfaction, you can leverage a performance dashboard to provide ongoing feedback on your practitioners, offering training and support where necessary.
Ultimately, this will improve satisfaction levels, reduce unwanted errors, and could even save lives.
8. Staffing strategy
Expanding on our previous point, in addition to evaluating practitioner performance with transparency, online data analysis can also help to identify any internal bottlenecks or inefficiencies that are proving costly to the institution while hindering care.
A valued and well-organized workforce is more than likely to perform consistently well while reaching or even exceeding its targets.
By setting clear-cut KPI benchmarks and monitoring trends, you will be able to see where you might need to redistribute or restructure departments and optimize your complete HR analytics strategy. This, in turn, will enhance the success of your institution.
9. Enhanced communication and operational efficiency
Last but not least, another great benefit is enhanced communication and operational efficiency. More than any other organization, a care facility employs many people who cover different functions. From attendings, residents, interns, nurses, and physical therapists, to rapid response teams and more, all of them need to stay connected to ensure the ultimate goal is achieved: excellent care for patients.
A modern hospital report can help keep everyone on the same page regarding the performance of every relevant area. For instance, if a case needs the involvement of several specialists, all of them can access the data from one single location and get the information they need within seconds. This will not only improve internal communication but will also ensure operational efficiency in time.
Types Of Reports In Healthcare
Just like any other industry, health facilities involve several departments and areas. For this reason, there is a need to generate various types of reports for each of these areas. Here we list some of the common ones.
- Nursing bedside shift: Hospitals have people running around at all times. This is especially true for nurses who need to take close care of patients and be informed of all new developments in their treatments. For this purpose, they use nursing reports. These healthcare reporting tools help nurses stay connected with any new developments or treatments that patients had during the previous shifts. The information presented here includes medical background, current situation, treatment, and care plan that's usually conducted behind closed doors. Through this, off-going and oncoming nurses can stay connected to ensure excellent care.
- Medical reporting: Next in our types of reports in hospital care we have one that covers a person’s medical history in detail. It includes information about test results, images, treatments, medication history, hospitalizations, allergies, family history, among other things. They prove to be very useful when a person comes in for a consultation as it allows the doctor to get a full picture of the patient's health. In fact, having someone's health history can help professionals prevent certain diseases by spotting previous indicators.
- Hospital management: Probably one of the most important types of reports in healthcare is the management one. This analysis tool allows managers to keep track of every relevant aspect related to facility performance. Here you find information about finances, costs, schedules, patient flow, and any other relevant data that will allow for the efficient functioning of the facility. With the help of modern technology, hospital managers can extract actionable insights to improve operational efficiency.
- Public health: As its name suggests, this type is related to public services. It communicates research, reviews, and commentaries related to public health practice and methodology. Through this, decision-makers can assess the current situation of their country or city, develop new policies, and evaluate the current public care strategy. Common information that can be extracted from these statements includes health disparities, tobacco use, disease surveillance, infectious and chronic diseases, and occupational disease, among others.
- Medical device: This type is fundamental to ensure great care as well as stay compliant with FDA regulations. This organization receives several hundred thousand medical device statements of suspected device-associated deaths, serious injuries, and malfunctions. For this reason, hospitals need to closely monitor the performance of all devices to ensure both excellent care as well as compliance. This way any issues can be spotted before they happen.
Healthcare Report Examples And Templates
At this stage of our journey, we’ve answered the question, ‘what is the importance of healthcare reporting?’ However, while you know the benefits of analytics in this industry, the best way to understand the value on a practical level is by exploring real-world examples.
That said when it comes to a report that yields results, there are a host of metrics or KPIs that can help improve the overall efficiency of your institution. Here we're going to explore the main areas of value:
1. Hospital KPI Dashboard
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While there is a wealth of data available to modern health providers and institutions, with so much generated from a number of different departments, specific key metrics can become fragmented, causing many important insights to remain unused or untapped.
For transparency, and efficiency, and to ensure every insight is used to its maximum potential, a centralized hospital KPI dashboard is the greatest ally in your quest for success.
- Treatment costs: An economic management-based KPI that helps providers calculate the amount of money an average patient costs.
- ER waiting time: The ER waiting time KPI measures the length of time a person arrives in the ER right through to the moment they see a physician. This metric needs to be monitored closely over time to identify trends and iron out any odd spikes in wait time.
- Patient wait time: The length of time a person has to wait for treatment or consultancy is a critical factor in their contentment levels. This KPI quantifies and displays the average length of time someone has to wait from registration to treatment. By reducing wait times, you stand to increase your satisfaction levels in a big way.
2. Patient Satisfaction Dashboard
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The potential showcase of your facility, the satisfaction BI dashboard helps to translate the efforts you put in welcoming and treating individuals in addition to the degree of safety in which you carry out your services.
Insights of this nature can help significantly improve the safety of your practices as well as your levels of communication with the people passing in and out of your doors. Patient satisfaction is of vital importance, so it’s worth measuring.
- Patient satisfaction: A top priority for any organization, the satisfaction KPI provides a deeper look at overall satisfaction levels based on wait time, nutrition, care, and processes. A mix of feedback and valuable satisfaction-based metrics will help you make all important changes to your organization, helping you to improve satisfaction levels on a consistent basis.
- Patient safety: A pivotal component of the dashboard, this particular KPI provides a deeper understanding of your institution's capacity to deliver quality care to its patients, keeping them safe from contracting new infections, postoperative complications, or any form of sepsis.
- Patient waiting time: This will provide the same data and insights as the same KPI metric included in the hospital KPI dashboard.
3. Hospital Performance Dashboard
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By leveraging the power of clear-cut targets and pre-defined outcomes, modern hospital performance reports like the one above offer the kind of visualizations that can significantly enhance all key areas of your institution.
From patient care right through to staff management, this template provides the information you need to ensure your institution is a sustainable success.
- Average stay: An overall measurement of the time spent, on average, by an individual admitted to your institution.
- Readmission rates: The readmission rate KPI offers insight into the number of persons that return to your institution shortly after being released. This KPI is particularly effective as it provides a gauge on the level of care that has been offered as well as how it can be enhanced.
- Costs by payer: An insight that evaluates the distribution of costs among various organisms, costs by payer assesses the providers that are covering the care of your patients. By understanding this metric, you can gain priceless insights into overall satisfaction as well as cost efficiencies.
4. Patient Dashboard
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Next, in our rundown of real-world healthcare analytics examples, we arrive at our essential patient report.
This visually-cohesive melting pot of data offers a window of insight into key areas of care logistics, including bed occupancy rates, costs, and follow-up rates. This is an invaluable tool for busy departments such as geriatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
With this cutting-edge dashboard, no informational stone is left unturned. As such, this is an essential tool for swift, accurate decision-making as well as long-term strategic planning. It can foster efficiency and even save lives.
This patient report is designed to help you provide an exceptionally high standard of care across the board while responding to constant change - and when it comes to healthcare, that is priceless. Let’s dig a little deeper.
To put the power of this essential dashboard into perspective, let’s look at its primary KPIs:
- Bed occupancy rate: This trend-based KPI gives a clear indication of bed availability over specific timeframes. By monitoring this regularly, you will be able to balance availability across departments while reducing pressure on your institution.
- Equipment utilization: This essential visualization will show you which tools you’re utilizing the most to help you understand internal supply and demand on a deeper level.
- Patient drug cost per stay: This most striking of KPIs is invaluable for improving financial efficiency and growth on a long-term basis. It’s a brilliant tool for departmental funding allocation.
5. Hospital Network Dashboard
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Last but not least, we have an example that tracks the financial and patient-related performance of a private hospital network that has multiple facilities such as long-term care clinics, clinical labs, and hospices, just to name a few. The KPIs provided in this healthcare financial reporting template offer a detailed view that enables decision-makers to inform their strategies and ensure efficient operations.
The financial aspect of a private care facility is just as important as the patient-care aspect. In the end, without an efficient financial plan, the facility would not be able to provide quality care for patients. Therefore, generating a report that offers a mix of operational and financial indicators can prove valuable to identify areas of improvement and ensure resources are being allocated and spent appropriately.
The template above offers a dynamic way of looking at important KPIs by comparing them to the previous period and showing a target. This way, users are able to quickly identify at-a-glance if there is an area that is underperforming.
That being said, let’s explore some of the KPIs listed here in more detail.
- Operating cash flow & Net profit margin: The operating cash flow tracks the cash generated by the facility’s normal operations. On the other hand, the net profit margin shows how much cash the facility has after all expenses have been subtracted. Comparing both indicators can provide insights into the financial performance of the facility.
- Treatment error rate: As its name suggests, this indicator tracks the percentage of mistakes made by the clinical staff when providing any kind of treatment to a patient. This can be the wrong medication, diagnosis, or treatment just to name a few.
- Patient mortality rate: This metric tracks the percentage of patients that die during their admission at a hospital. It is often calculated by segments such as patients in critical care, high-mortality diseases, or older ones. Naturally, this ratio should be kept as low as possible.
How To Create An Efficient Hospital Report
Now that we’ve covered the main benefits and a list of useful examples. It is time to start thinking about generating your own healthcare report format. Here we list important steps that will put you on the right track to perform successful analytics.
1. Define your facility’s needs
The first step to building any kind of report in health is to think about your goals and needs. On one hand, your goals might be linked to improving the performance of certain areas such as ER response time, readmission rates, lowering costs, or others. On the other hand, your needs might include a better monitoring system for shifts, operations, and finances. Each of these goals and needs will vary in different facilities, defining them carefully is a critical step as it will map your process forward.
2. Consider the full picture
Moving on with our hospital reporting requirements, with your goals in hand, you need to start collecting your data. Medical data sources can involve anything from patient records, bed occupancy, material usage, and many others depending on the scope of your report. Here, it is important to also consider how external factors might affect the context of your data. For instance, if you are generating a report to understand patient volumes in different periods, you need to consider social determinants. Which can be conditions in which patients live, economic policies, and social and political norms, among others. Having the full picture will enable you to tell an accurate story and make informed decisions to improve the level of care.
3. Select relevant KPIs and metrics
Once you’ve defined your main needs and goals and gathered the necessary data, it is time to choose the KPIs and metrics that will help you measure your efforts. There are a wide variety of metrics that can be tracked coming from patient experience, operational processes, finances, general management, and more. However, not all of them will help you track your goals, and using too many KPIs can end up misleading your analysis. The important thing is that you keep it focused on your goals and needs and you can do that with the help of a modern KPI tool.
4. Make sure you are compliant
Trust between patients and organizations providing care is fundamental. When reaching out for medical help, individuals provide sensitive information about their life that they might want to keep private. Common privacy concerns in the health industry include organizations sharing data with family members, pharmaceutical companies, or other providers without consent. If someone is sure its information will stay private, he or she will most likely seek treatment for a disease.
For this reason, privacy and compliance should be a factor to consider. There are various regulations that govern the privacy of patient data, and organizations need to follow them to avoid penalties and fines. One of them is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HIPAA aims to strike a balance that allows for the use of important data while protecting the rights of the individuals seeking care. Its main goal is “to ensure that individual’s health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high-quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well-being”.
5. Select an efficient report format
In healthcare, maybe more than in any other industry, the need for an efficient reporting process is critical as any mistakes can affect the caregiving process. One of the points to consider is the format in which your reports will be viewed and shared. In a hospital’s daily work environment there are people running around everywhere, and having the capacity to access critical data on the go is an invaluable benefit.
We have already shown you a list of interactive dashboard examples that display insights in real-time. These examples were created with a modern dashboard creator that allows you to access your report from any type of smart device. For example, a nurse might need to access relevant patient data from an iPad when doing morning rounds. A doctor might need urgent access to data from his or her phone when being outside of the clinic. Taking this into consideration, providing flexible report formats is a must.
6. Invest in healthcare analytics software
Healthcare and analytics are more connected than ever. This is because analytical tools have helped health professionals and organizations to identify trends, predict future outcomes, and extract insights to improve their performance not only on a clinical level but also on an operational and financial level.
With all this in mind, choosing the right healthcare reporting software is a critical step in the process. There are many BI reporting tools available in the market that offer various features to take your data analysis to the next level. The important tip when picking which tool to invest in is to keep in mind your facility’s needs. For example, providing multiple report formats, sharing options, ease of use, advanced technologies such as predictive analytics, and data visualization options, among others.
7. Benefit from AI and predictive analytics
The need for up-to-date insights is becoming increasingly important, especially in the healthcare industry where managers and decision-makers need to be informed about any latest developments. That is possible thanks to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
BI reporting tools such as datapine provide users with professional data alerts that are powered by artificial intelligence. These alerts notify users every time a goal or predefined target is met to keep them informed about any important developments. Likewise, datapine’s predictive analytics tool enables users to generate accurate forecasts to plan for future scenarios. For example, a hospital might use predictive analytics to generate a report about the patient volume during the winter, considering historical data about diseases and other factors from that particular period.
Technologies like these take the reporting process to the next level by providing more than just visual access to data but the possibility to navigate through it and extract valuable conclusions. Therefore, considering them in your report-generation process can prove extremely valuable.
8. Learn from the process and keep evolving
So, you generated your reports and extracted actionable insights that will allow you to improve patient care to the fullest. But, that is not all. Reporting is a never-ending process that needs constant assessment and reevaluation to make sure you are going on the right track. After you generated your reports you need to constantly go back and find improvement opportunities to make the process more efficient every time. Plus, the data and external conditions are constantly changing, therefore, you need to rethink your strategies taking those elements into consideration. Doing so will ensure you are using the most up-to-date and accurate insights to provide the best care possible and ensure your facility is running smoothly.
How COVID-19 Impacted Healthcare Analytics & Reporting Today
Data analytics played a huge role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did it help healthcare professionals track hospital capacity as well as predict the severity of the disease and how fast it would spread, but it also allowed the population to be informed about the number of cases and deaths as well as the overall spread worldwide.
According to a report by Business Wire, the global market for healthcare descriptive analytics was estimated at $15.6 billion in 2020 and, amid the pandemic crisis, it is expected to grow up to $70.2 billion in 2027 with a CAGR of 23.9% during those years.
Now, data analytics has always been an important part of the healthcare industry, especially when it comes to research. However, as this report shows, the scope for analytics in healthcare has clearly expanded due to the pandemic. In fact, at the beginning of the outbreak in 2020, many health organizations realized that their IT systems and technologies were not prepared to face the circumstances. Leading to fast development and implementation of multiple AI and data-driven initiatives that will be valuable beyond the pandemic.
One of the technologies that prove particularly useful was predictive analytics. With several medical research centers developing predictive models to forecast the severity of the virus, the risk of mortality of an individual, how likely a person is to test positive, and the rate at which the virus could spread, among other things. All of these advancements can help health professionals take preventive measures such as predicting the spread of the virus or preparing their staff, equipment, and resources for high-spread periods. Something that can also be replicated in other common seasonal diseases.
Likewise, with the help of predictive models, hospitals were able to generate reports to track in real-time the availability of beds, ventilators, drugs, and others to be fully aware of their resources and capacity. Another practice that can be extremely valuable for a hospital's regular operations.
Just like the examples we just described, the use of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning played a pivotal role in the way the health industry dealt with the pandemic. In the end, we can conclude that COVID-19 helped put the value of data analytics for hospital reporting systems into perspective. Today, more health organizations that didn’t work with data for their daily operations are investing in analytics to improve patient care and discover new innovative treatments.
That being said, to do so efficiently, they will need to rely on the right technologies and functionalities that will help them manage their data in an efficient yet secure way. Modern healthcare analytics software such as datapine provides a private and secure environment to manage a range of healthcare data sources in a way that is intuitive and productive.
Conclusion & Key Takeaways
The wealth of health data available in today’s digital world means that integral institutions like yours no longer have to shoot in the dark or make potentially costly estimations to improve care and make vital decisions when they matter most.
Now, you can make informed choices about how your organization is run while responding to issues or emergencies in real time with transparency, confidence, and diligence. The age of information is here, and there’s no going back.
Healthcare is one of the world's most invaluable services - you simply cannot put a price on health and well-being. By working the right metrics from the right places and understanding how to transform insight into action, you will improve the lives of your staff and patients while gaining the ability to respond to constant change. You will make your institution better, make a difference, and continue to provide a service you can be proud of.
We look forward to helping you take those first steps toward digital enlightenment.