Geisinger CEO: Healthcare BI 'about to enter the 19th century'

According to Glenn Steele, CEO of Geisinger Health System, there's no outcome that can't be improved, and smarter business intelligence comes from insightful use data.

Smart data can be used for population health to drive behavior change, Steele said in an interview with Healthcare IT News. But healthcare organizations still struggle to reach the point where they are using insightful data to change care and outcomes, he added.

Steele joked that healthcare is "about to enter the 19th century" when it comes to using business intelligence and analytics.

"We have legitimate regulatory concerns, and I think they've always taken precedence over true innovation in terms of how we look at our data, how we analyze it, how we distribute it. How we use it to change behavior," Steele said. "I don't think the balancing act between innovation and regulation is correct in most areas of healthcare data. We could go on for weeks talking about why we are where we are, but the good thing is, we're changing."

Changes in attitude and improvements in technology are bringing about a change now, according to Steele. For Geisinger, using analytics is all about changing behavior, though the overall aim is innovation and quality.

One of Steele's main pieces of advice for other healthcare organizations is to look at what functionality they want when approaching business intelligence tools.

Though analytics are considered key in efforts to improve care and cut costs, healthcare providers surveyed by Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research last summer said that big-name vendors' offerings are failing to adequately meet their needs.

The survey found plenty of interest [for BI tools] among healthcare leaders, but no clear leader in the market.

In January, researchers from the Health Care Cost Institute called for a  "Henry Ford" moment to achieve economies of scale for turning health data into smart data.

To learn more:
- read the full interview with Steele at Healthcare IT News

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