Shawn Griffin, M.D., chief quality and informatics officer at Memorial Hermann Physician Network, is surprised that nearly 60 percent of respondents to a KLAS Enterprises survey of data analytics vendors were able to pick a handful of firms they perceive to be early leaders in health care business intelligence applications.

A few years ago, there were no vendors with a decent level of experience in health care, Griffin noted at Health Data Management’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium in Chicago. Much of the analytics work that Memorial Hermann has done is development partnerships with vendors who still are learning the nuances of business intelligence in health care. Developers think that once you have metadata you have population health, he said. But you need to put data in the hands of doctors to know which of their patients are at greatest risk. “There’s not a single vendor being mentioned today that you should write their name down and say ‘that’s the one,’ because they don’t exist.”

Business intelligence professionals in health care organizations need to make sure they are in the room during contract negotiations for any project that involves analytics, Griffin advised. “How will you measure results of what you are buying? You need to understand what you want to measure.”

Everyone is a rookie in health analytics, so don’t be timid to get into the game, Griffin said. “Nobody is doing this right yet. Don’t be afraid to get out there and be a clumsy dancer.”

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