Clinical Decision Support Systems are all the rage these days, and with good reason. A correctly implemented CDS can lead to better patient outcomes and fewer clinical mistakes, meaning that not only is it better for patients, it’s better for doctors and hospitals too! Implementing a CDS system, however, isn’t easy. Integrating a CDS system with your existing clinical workflow can be tricky and can push physician offices with weaker organizational systems to the breaking point. This is why, according to this latest article published in Information Week, instead of jumping straight into CDS integration madness, 50% of all healthcare organizations are opting to strengthen or replace their Business Intelligence programs first.

What does your Business Intelligence program have to do with CDS implementation? A lot. Attempting to implement a CDS system without first having a strong BI program in place is a bit like trying to build a castle in the middle of a swamp. In other words, without a strong BI program foundation, your attempt to implement a CDS system is likely to sink into the muck. There is a misconception that BI programs only deal with the medical billing process or only provide support to business management. The truth is that the BI tools used in physician offices these days perform a wide variety of tasks beyond simple medical billing services. BI systems can be used to analyze financial and department data, provide insights into physician performance and patient outcome, and perform medication inventory analysis. In other words, modern BI tools are adept at handling not only operational or financial data analysis, they can deal meaningfully with clinical data too.

If you can manage to put together and maintain a high-functioning BI program, it’s like having 499 pieces of a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle put together. When it comes time to integrate the last piece of the puzzle, you’ll know exactly where the CDS is supposed to go and how it fits into the larger picture of managing your practice. The best CDS system will be one that acts as a logical extension of your existing BI program and is able to be integrated as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Business Intelligence

(An example of Patient Volume analytics with a BI integrated platform. Courtesy of

A great BI program not only serves as the foundation for CDS integration, it can improve productivity, performance, workflow, asset utilization and supply chain costs. It can also help streamline your financial reporting, budgeting and planning, with real time analytics. At MBA Medical Practice Management we leverage the latest technology, best operational practices and 25 years of experience to help healthcare providers implement Business Intelligence programs and Practice Management Solutions that make sense. We offer a comprehensive and integrated approach to managing the business side of medicine to ensure our clients and their patients are able to thrive.

If you are looking for cutting edge physician office services, thinking about implementing a Business Intelligence program, or have questions about how to improve the efficiency of your medical practice, MBA can help. Request a Consultation here: or give us a call at (866) 622-2455.