Analytics refers to performing calculations using specific data. When patterns are identified through data analysis, the data can inform decisions and support conclusions. Advanced analytics refers to using sophisticated tools to perform these calculations.
Machine learning is one of the tools used to generate advanced analytics. Data visualization programs convert the information generated from the analysis into a visual format, making it easy for people to process. Advanced analytics is reshaping healthcare and improving healthcare supply chain practices.
Healthcare Supply Chain
A supply chain refers to the process of delivering goods or services to consumers. In healthcare, the supply chain refers to the steps required to deliver medical services or goods to patients. It also involves acquiring healthcare resources because healthcare providers cannot treat patients without resources. Healthcare supply chains can be affected by numerous variables, including healthcare providers and patients’ location, availability of resources, and costs associated with care.
Public health concerns, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can also impact the supply chain. When there’s a risk of exposure to a contagious virus, medical practitioners may emphasize the benefits of virtual visits; however, healthcare providers must comply with regulations governing medical care. A health crisis may prompt officials to alter the regulations to adjust how goods and services are delivered.
Advanced Analytics and Healthcare
By using advanced analytics, healthcare managers can convert data into a presentable format that’s easy to understand and use it to support informed conclusions. Advanced analytics can also determine the likelihood that the supply chain will be affected by various issues. When managers understand which steps in the healthcare supply chain are most likely to affect the delivery process, the managers can prioritize implementing solutions to prevent those issues. With descriptive modeling, advanced analytics can be used to identify measures that can resolve supply chain issues before they occur and improve healthcare goods and services delivery.
Supply Chain Variables
Many facets of the healthcare supply chain are outside of a healthcare manager’s control. For example, if disruptions affect protective equipment production, they may have to search for other vendors to locate supplies. If a renowned medical expert recommends a specific treatment for people with a common healthcare issue, there may be increased demand for that treatment. Managers may also be affected by the weather, affecting their ability to receive supply shipments or their location. Some healthcare managers have limited financial resources and difficulty in hiring qualified medical staff who can work in their facility.
Benefits of Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics expedite the process of assessing relevant information. When combined with other business intelligence tools, advanced analytics can also communicate pertinent information effectively. Companies specializing in advanced analytics produce software and apps that can access data stored on popular software programs, such as Excel. This enables healthcare providers to appreciate the benefits of advanced analytics by supplementing their existing programs instead of transferring data to new programs. It’s also more affordable because companies can generate advanced analytics without converting data to new storage systems, and it reduces the number of new programs staff may have to become proficient in using.
Healthcare managers aren’t limited to using advanced analytics to evaluate their supply chain issues. They can also use advanced analytics to process other information, such as population demographics, to identify the healthcare needs that are most likely to affect the population they serve. Advanced analysis can also determine the potential value of adding medical testing equipment to facilities or how healthcare services are affected by transferring patients to other testing locations. Armed with this data, healthcare managers can determine which resources will enable them to serve the largest number of patients without compromising patient care.
Advanced analytics enables healthcare managers to evaluate specific information and relevant statistics to produce actionable data. With advanced analytics, healthcare providers can prevent supply chain issues, overcome resource deficits, and determine which resources to secure to serve their patients effectively. Ultimately, advanced analytics can help healthcare managers save time and money while improving the quality of the healthcare they provide.