IMP Healthcare Thought Leadership

Integrated Medical Partners Blog

March 6, 2018

Healthcare Practice Analytics 101 – Numbers, Charts & Dashboards Oh My!

By Tracy Keenan, Analytics Manager

Is your head spinning from the pressure to be using your practice’s data and convert it into actionable information? Do you view practice analytics as simply spreadsheets, graphs and charts of numbers detailing what happened in the past? Wonder why all this information is so important? Do you struggle with the deciding if this something my practice can do in-house or best outsourced to a competent partner? This first post of a series will provide a brief overview of practice analytics, sources of data, and its tremendous value for physician practices.

Converting Data to Wisdom

As physician practices look to the uncertain future of healthcare, impactful, analytics will be key to sustained success. Practice analytics is a powerful tool that allows you to convert your practice’s data into wisdom, and gives you the necessary resources to take sound, evidence-based actions.

HealthCatalyst recently surveyed members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) on where analytics falls in the priorities of their organization.

The survey yielded the following results:

  • 54% of respondents rated healthcare analytics as their highest IT priority
  • More than 90% of respondents view analytics as “extremely important” or “very important” to their organization within the next 1-3 years
  • Population health management, quality improvement, accountable care and the need for cost reduction were the top initiatives driving the adoption of analytics[1]

Across healthcare, participants are beginning to take steps to implement analytics to help navigate the ever-changing future of care. Therefore, it is critical to understand what analytics is and the value it has to offer your organization.

Healthcare Analytics . . . What Is It?

Let’s begin with defining healthcare analytics. According to USF Health, health data analytics, also known as clinical data analytics, involves the extrapolation of actionable insights from sets of patient data, typically collected from both the revenue cycle management system and the electronic health records (EHRs).

The changing landscape of healthcare is creating a huge demand for health data analytics.  According to ReportsnReports,  Healthcare Analytics Market is forecast to reach $29.84 billion by 2022 from $8.92 billion in 2017 at a compounded annual growth rate of 27.3% during (2017-2022).

The growing need is fueled by the major challenges of reducing healthcare costs. Also, improving patient outcomes through population health management (PHM), widely seen as the most effective approach to improving healthcare delivery among diverse groups of people. In addition, government initiatives to increase EHR adoption increases the availability of information and big data. Therefore, traditional claims-based analytics are not sufficient to provide a panoramic view of how your practice is performing on numerous metrics.

Sources of Data

Below are some common sources of practice data existing within the practice:

  • Revenue Cycle Management System (billing for a procedure, processing denials, collecting payments)
  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs) (provides services to a patient)
  • Scheduling & Information System (schedules an appointment)
  • Survey Results
  • Peer Review System

The practice is collecting numerous sources of data. While there are countless sources of valuable data; analytics provides a platform to convert that data into actionable information for your practice. As reimbursement shifts to a value-based care model, it is critical to have insight into both clinical and business metrics to prepare for the future.

Next in the Practice Analytics Series

In the next Analytics blog, the four types of analytics will be defined and discussed in detail. Examples will illustrate the different types. In addition, a case study of a physician practice reaping the benefits of practice analytics will be highlighted.


[1] Whitepaper: The Changing Role Healthcare Data Analysts – How Our Most Successful Clients Are Embracing Healthcare Transformation