Improving Health Delivery in Japan through Business Intelligence

12 June 2014 | Neil Jordan, General Manager of Health Worldwide for Microsoft

Despite being one of the healthiest countries in the world, throughout Japan, the aging population and the related rise in chronic disease is driving up costs and complexity, and putting economic pressure on healthcare organizations and governments. Since kaihoken was established in 1961, the proportion of people aged 65 years and older has quadrupled, and is expected to be more than a quarter of the population by 2030. At the same time, enterprise applications, unstructured data from electronic health records and other sources are generating new data every second.  

In this light, business intelligence and analytics hold tremendous promise for the healthcare industry by revealing insight not just for a single hospital, but for whole populations. Imagine a world where health organizations and governments can improve the health of entire cities by aggregating and analyzing information about chronic disease, geographic location, utilization and cost. With the availability of new data visualization tools and comprehensive data platforms, clinicians can be empowered with real-time health analytics that help them identify health trends and solve problems more quickly.

In fact, a recent study conducted by IDC  found the health industry worldwide stands to gain $109 billion in value from data over the next four years. From employee productivity ($47 billion), operational improvement ($34 billion), product innovation ($16 billion) and customer service ($12 billion), healthcare organizations who take action on all four opportunities have the potential to realize a 60 percent greater return on their data assets [1].  According to that report, Japan could gain $99 billion in value from data over the next four years. Globally, we could gain $1.6 trillion in value from data over the next four years if countries embraced comprehensive business analytics.

In the case of Tottori Prefectural Chuo Hospital, a 417-bed facility that serves a population area of 250,000 people in southern Japan, Microsoft Business Intelligence is already being used to streamline interdisciplinary teams and help clinicians better coordinate care. These teams, which typically consist of clinicians from up to eight different practice areas, depend on highly coordinated access to information to do their jobs. With its implementation of an electronic medical records (EMR) solution in use since 2005, the Hospital is familiar with the real impact technology can have on delivering better care more efficiently.

Working with Alphatec Solutions, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, it deployed a BI solution to make the information in their EMR system readily accessible to the 633 clinicians throughout the hospital. As a result, they are able to provide high-quality care in less time, a rise in productivity projected to save the hospital 3,000 clinician-hours per year. That amounts to an estimated savings of JPY30 million [US$375,000] each year and a reduction in the average patient stay of two to three days. In addition to increased productivity, BI gives Tottori Hospital’s physicians, nurses, and other clinicians a highly effective “critical information path” to share essential information—the cornerstone of safe medical care.

Microsoft technologies offer the most comprehensive data platform to help organizations in the health industry realize the value of their data by combining diverse data streams, using new analytics tools, delivering data-driven insights to more people within the organization, and improving the speed of processing and timeliness of access to data. Using big data driven insights health organizations of all sizes can gain understanding from complex data to keep citizens healthy with limited or declining resources.  

While there’s still much more work to be done to leverage data to its fullest, business intelligence holds the potential to improve the health and wellness of communities around the globe by advancing research, understanding and responding to trends and containing costs.

Just imagine the impact big data can have on the health of your city now and in the future.

To find out more, visit: WWPS Health - Tottori.pdf

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[1] IDC Data Dividend Study and Survey, N=2,020, including .100 respondents at healthcare organizations worldwide, April 2014.
Neil Jordan
General Manager of Health Worldwide for Microsoft