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Top 10 Reasons the C-Suite Should be on Board with Business Intelligence in the Lab – Part 2

November 17, 2015
Posted in: Data

Part 1 of Top 10 Reasons the C-Suite Should be on Board with Business Intelligence in the Lab examines how business intelligence is used in medical labs to schedule staff more efficiently, track errors, provide better reporting both internally and to outside agencies, track and predict testing volumes, and boost overall profitability of operations.

Now, in part 2, we’re going to tackle the role data analytics plays in tracking the life cycle and overall effectiveness of your equipment and in your customer relations. We’re also going to touch on how having better data analytics can give you an edge over your competitors.

Business Intelligence and Technical Life Cycle Management

7. Manage the maintenance and life cycle of lab equipment better. Being able to track maintenance and lab equipment life cycles lets you control costs and better determine whether equipment should be repaired or replaced. When you use this information in conjunction with your test volumes and type of tests performed, you can work with lab managers to determine whether or not your current equipment will handle projected future lab volumes.

8. Determine best uses for equipment and end of use strategies. Do you have idle equipment that could be redeployed and put to better use somewhere else within your organization? Is the type of work you’re doing changing, so perhaps it would be best to swap one kind of equipment for some new equipment to handle future demand? Using business intelligence to track the technical life cycle of your equipment from start to finish will help you more easily determine if you should redeploy idle assets, trade or sell equipment, donate pieces that still have some life in them, or recycle certain tools and machines if you know you are done with them.

9. Measure and track overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). How are you currently tracking your OEE? Do you know at a glance what your equipment availability and uptime are? What loading times look like? How does loading time (the time an instrument is scheduled to operate) compare to performance time (the time an instrument actually operates)? And if there’s a discrepancy, what’s causing it? Are you tracking the quality of the samples that are run versus the number of samples that need to be reanalyzed? Because your profitability is dependent upon your equipment’s effectiveness, tracking OEE directly influences your ability to serve customers and make money.

Business Intelligence and the Future of Customer Relations

10. In order to survive, labs are going to have to learn how to manage client relationships better, meaning not just providing faster and more accurate results but also providing better access to the results and ways to connect the dots/lab results. Healthcare data analytics can help labs do that, so they can differentiate themselves to their customers (the medical staff, providers, and ACO).

There are two major shifts happening in the medical laboratory industry right now that will eventually lead to the need for labs to provide more patient-centered, more immediate, and possibly even more self-service options for communicating with both healthcare providers and patients. Those two things are:

a. Predicted shortages in lab staffing, and
b. Changing expectations of healthcare providers and patients who want everything faster and personal communication when they need it.

Big data healthcare, and the technology that makes better healthcare data analytics possible, can lead to better patient and provider self-service portals, such as the myHDL medical mobile app by Health Diagnostic Laboratory in partnership with RTS Labs and MedHelp. Despite any issues HDL has had in the news, which has led to the creation of the new company True Health Diagnostics, the myHDL app is ground-breaking in its ability to connect patients with their providers and with other patients with the same health issues. Providers get the immediacy they want, and patients gain support from providers and an online community.

Even without the portals, having such immediate access to data through BI dashboards lets lab staff answer customer questions and track test results faster than before. Ultimately, this kind of emphasis on customer relations can help labs differentiate themselves in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace.

You have the top 10 reasons healthcare business intelligence can give your medical lab (or your healthcare organization) a competitive edge in the market. Now, what do you do with this information and how can you apply it in a way that gives you a robust ROI?

Part 3 of Top 10 Reasons the C-Suite Should be on Board with Business Intelligence in the Lab will go over the takeaways and higher-level applications of data analytics in the healthcare industry and in lab settings.