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How data ware housing and business intelligence is moving the healthcare industry forward

posted on 24th October 2018
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The healthcare industry is on the fast track to digital transformation. And, health enterprises are already going digital to organize their daily operations. But are they ready to handle the huge amounts of critical data and grasp the actionable insights? 

Health payer and benefits administration organizations need to perform data processing irrespective of the multiple EHR (Electronic Health Record) formats. And, it needs to be done at a quick pace with minimum errors and affordable costs. When it comes to integrating multiple data records, the batch file processing should be robust to support failover mechanisms. Furthermore, data from multiple vendors and third parties can add to the processing complexity. 

Healthcare institutions cannot risk on informed decisions. A multi-tiered data analysis and visualization process which consumes more time cannot be accepted. It only puts pressure on the healthcare system and leads to chaos. Therefore, healthcare players need to adopt fast data visualization technologies to capture the complete picture. 

So, when it comes to handling the huge amounts of critical data, how do they process data at million bits per second? How do they deal with the unstructured data from multiple formats? How do they ensure data security and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA? How do they make the best use of data to make better business decisions? And, how do they save quality time and lives? 

Data Warehousing (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI) is the perfect answer to the growing data demands in the healthcare industry. It forms a web of strategies and technologies to streamline business operations and drive innovation. BI/DW provides tools to integrate transactional and analytical data and deliver customer value. It is the de facto standard to integrate data from various data sources and present useful information in an intuitive manner. 


Processing health data at the fraction of a second 

Enterprise data warehousing provides technologies for collecting and managing data from different sources. To mention one such tool is Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) – The widely preferred data warehousing model by healthcare companies. ETL systems add significant value to healthcare data. It can gather, merge data from multiple healthcare providers or sources to be used together. And, it structures data to be usable by end-user tools. 

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is a great development tool from Microsoft to perform health ETL operations. Such a healthcare data management solution is highly optimized for building bulk ETL processes. The graphical interface enables easy management of information and customizing the overall data processing. With SSIS, health enterprises are now processing up to 2 lakh data records in under 10 seconds. 

The SSIS components are highly optimized for the time-critical ETL processes. To further reduce the processing time, the SSIS run-time executes independent tasks in parallel wherever possible. Healthcare payer and provider companies choose SSIS to customize and design their ETL operations using control flows and data flows. 

Speaking on the technical advantages of SSIS for health ETL:

  1. SSIS can handle data from heterogeneous data sources within the same package. 
  2. SSIS can transform data without the need for a dedicated staging area. 
  3. SSIS does not require an instance of SQL Server to run, so processing can be moved to a machine other than the SQL Server. 
  4. SSIS provides a more sophisticated structured error handling system as well as multiple options for logging and auditing. 
  5. SSIS is best suited for complex transformations, multi-step operations, and structured exception handling. 
  6. Debugging is simplified because the package logic is all in one place. 


Making the best use of data to save lives 

Data is the treasure to fetch valuable insights. The healthcare industry relies on this deciding factor to take important decisions during the patient engagement. Only when data is processed correctly, and information is presented in a useful format, the healthcare providers can take the correct decisions while dealing with human lives. 

With technology booming around, healthcare reporting tools and BI tools now have magnificent powers to weave stories about the patient health. They also impart knowledge on possible purchases, correct drugs to use, physicians to designate—and a great deal more. One such tool is SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), a server-based report generating software system. 

SSRS is a great data visualization technique to prepare and deliver a variety of interactive and printed reports. Healthcare BI has taken a new path with SSRS. It provides simple dashboards to gather insights from complex data. With easy-to-access data visualizations, SSRS is the one-stop solution to structured reports. 

Here are some of the advantages of SSRS in Healthcare BI: 

  1. A single web service to create, manage, and view reports 
  2. Easy to deploy centralized reporting 
  3. Ability for the health enterprise to self-serve, edit and interact with information, without having to rely on IT resources 
  4. Role-based security and ability to add custom elements to enrich reporting templates 
  5. Develop a reporting portal and embed reports directly into business applications and web portals 
  6. Interactive filters and drill-down capabilities 


Digital Healthcare: The new universe of Consumer Driven Healthcare 

Healthcare has started a new phase with the modern computing and analytical techniques. It is no longer just a paper-based industry where healthcare professionals record medical data and provide their services. Health enterprises have begun to leverage data in the best possible ways and take the right step in delivering patient care. 

Digital Health is the new light to quality patient care. With so many technologies working together, healthcare enterprises are now widely using patient data to serve their customers better. And, the healthcare industry would always be at the pinnacle of innovation.

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