Bridging the gap: leveraging business intelligence tools in support of patient safety and financial effectiveness

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010 Mar-Apr;17(2):136-43. doi: 10.1136/jamia.2009.002220.


Healthcare is increasingly dependent upon information technology (IT), but the accumulation of data has outpaced our capacity to use it to improve operating efficiency, clinical quality, and financial effectiveness. Moreover, hospitals have lagged in adopting thoughtful analytic approaches that would allow operational leaders and providers to capitalize upon existing data stores. In this manuscript, we propose a fundamental re-evaluation of strategic IT investments in healthcare, with the goal of increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and improving outcomes through the targeted application of health analytics. We also present three case studies that illustrate the use of health analytics to leverage pre-existing data resources to support improvements in patient safety and quality of care, to increase the accuracy of billing and collection, and support emerging health issues. We believe that such active investment in health analytics will prove essential to realizing the full promise of investments in electronic clinical systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control
  • Decision Support Systems, Management*
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Financial Management*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / supply & distribution
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / economics
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration
  • Medication Systems
  • North Carolina
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Risk Management*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Influenza Vaccines