For most hospitals, clinical analytics tools lie in their own EHRs

Roughly 50 percent of U.S. hospitals use clinical business intelligence solutions embedded within their own electronic health record systems, according to HIMSS Analytics' 2013 U.S. Clinical & Business Intelligence Study.

An announcement from HIMSS Analytics highlights the study, in which more than 500 hospitals participated.

"Our findings indicate that the current focus in the marketplace is on managing, extracting and analyzing data via embedded tools within organizations' HIS/EMR solutions," Brendan FitzGerald, HIMSS Analytics research director, said in a statement.

Enterprise data warehouses are the most commonly used platform for storing clinical and business intelligence information, according to the study; less popular are operational data stores and transactional systems.  

As reported in early August, budget woes and a skills gap are preventing many healthcare organizations from fully harnessing analytics, according to a survey from healthcare informatics consulting firm CIC Advisory. For that report, healthcare executives were asked about the tools they use, the quality and use of data, their emphasis on strategy vs. tactics, and the availability of required skills. Almost all responded that they use multiple tools to help them achieve their objectives, and many said they rely on external consultants for analytics.

A report published last month by Cambridge, Mass.-based health research firm Chilmark Research examined the role of clinical data analytics in proactive population health management, finding that increased competition has muddled the evolving market for clinical data analytics solutions.

"Clinical best of breed vendors had initially enjoyed little competition, but in the last 12 to 18 months have seen significant increase in competition," Chilmark founder John Moore said. "This has led to significant confusion as to what the true capabilities are of various analytics solutions to address the strategic needs of a healthcare organization."

To learn more:
- read the HIMSS Analytics announcement
- here's the report's table of contents (.pdf)