When two worlds collide: Combining Health Business Solutions and Clinical and Business Intelligence

As the healthcare industry moves from its traditional fee-for-service payment model to one more focused on paying for value and quality outcomes, a healthcare organization’s ability to leverage its clinical and business intelligence is becoming a critical competency. It is not enough to understand the populations you serve or best practices across the services you offer; an organization must be adept at knowing what data to collect, what questions to ask of it, and how to turn the answers they receive into action that will make an immediate positive impact not only on patient care, but on their bottom line as well.  Enter clinical and business intelligence.

Clinical & Business Intelligence (C&BI) is the use and analysis of data captured in the healthcare setting to directly inform decision-making. It has the power to positively impact patient care delivery, health outcomes and business operations. C&BI solutions extract data from IT systems into centralized, secure repositories or federated databases for the purpose of analysis. Combining the best of both business intelligence and clinical intelligence, it provides historical and predictive views of the organization’s operations, and a similar view of clinical care, in order to enable better business decisions and improve patient care delivery, all while improving the organization’s fiscal sustainability.1

In July of 2016, HIMSS restructured the Health Business Solutions content area to incorporate C&BI. The marriage of our two groups provides complimentary areas of expertise to address the hot topic of how best to prepare for and manage alternative payment models.  HIMSS Health Business Solutions identifies and promotes the use of health IT for efficient, cost-effective execution of financial and administrative functions within healthcare. HIMSS’ C&BI efforts empower its members with practical guidance and unbiased information on how to harness healthcare data. Together, our two areas offer HIMSS members tools and resources to inform accountable, high quality patient care and fuel unparalleled business insight to improve their organization’s fiscal performance. For example, our C&BI Committee and its population health task force is working with HIMSS Career Services to develop a C&BI staffing guide to assist member organizations in developing job titles and descriptions for newly emerging business needs related to C&BI, and identify the necessary skill sets, training, and academic learning recommended for individuals who will be filling these roles. Health Business Solutions is developing a series of toolkits to assist organizations moving from a fee-for-service to an alternative payment model develop the appropriate administrative infrastructure to ensure the move is as smooth and well-planned as possible.  These two efforts are separate, but complimentary.

In recognition of this close working relationship, effective with this January edition, HIMSS Business Edge will be devoting specific space to our C&BI colleagues in each edition of the newsletter. Be sure to check out this month’s contribution from Louise Sulecki, MBA, Lead Systems Analyst, Cleveland Clinic; member of the HIMSS Clinical & Business Intelligence Committee.  Ms. Sulecki challenges readers to think “outside the box” about what healthcare might learn from other industries about the use of business intelligence – in this case agriculture.

We hope you’ll enjoy this addition to the newsletter content, and find the information useful and thought-provoking.


1 Taken from HIMSS C&BI web page: http://www.himss.org/library/clinical-business-intelligence


About the author: Pam has more than 25 years' healthcare industry experience. As the Senior Director of Health Business Solutions for HIMSS, she oversees the overall management and strategy development for HIMSS Health Business Solutions initiatives.