What Do Enterprise Performance Management Systems Enable?

March 21, 2023

For the past half-century, several types of key software have powered financial and clinical decisions at healthcare organizations in the U.S. Coinciding with the rise of electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs) in the 1980s and early 1990s, healthcare organizations started looking for new ways to leverage and unify their new wealth of data for insights and information.  

Healthcare organizations can think of it like this: the EHR system offers a horizontal, clinical view of patient information, while the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system provides a more vertical, financial view of accounting-based information. With such a wealth of data, healthcare providers can give their frontline and operational staff valuable information and insights to improve clinical and financial outcomes. While these systems form the foundation to support a healthcare organization’s clinical and operational workflow, their lack of integration leaves behind a missing piece in the equation.

To make the connection between these two disparate views, healthcare leaders need access to a tool that can help them make informed decisions based on clinical and financial data. Today, a new category is emerging for healthcare: the enterprise performance management (EPM) system. By deploying cloud-based EPM systems, providers can drive performance and transform their organization in many areas.

6 Consistent Needs Across Financial Planning and Analysis Teams

1.) A “Source of Truth” on the Cost of Care

Understanding the cost of care through cost accounting applications that are more accurate, comprehensive and accessible can create trust within their data.

2.) Analytics Solutions to Provide Information and Insights

Solutions that provide insights make information easier to digest, ultimately helping operational and organizational leaders in the decision-making process. 

3.) The Ability to Collaborate on Best Practices, Benchmarking and Research

Healthcare organizations want to be able to look at comparative analytics from across the healthcare industry to compare themselves to their peers and understand how they are performing across various areas.

4.) Cloud-Based Applications  

There is a strong shift in moving application solutions to the cloud to allow teams to scale and provide easier access to their systems, enabling evolution over time.

5.) Platform Solutions with Different Modules

Platform solutions allow integration between multiple modules that can be deployed to solve different problems.

6.) Mindset and Skillset to Ensure Leverage  

Being equipped with the necessary data and systems to drive performance is only half of the solution. It is crucial to establish trust among stakeholders so they are able to fully utilize the data provided to them.

Using Enterprise Performance Management to Enable a Performance-Driven Culture

As healthcare organizations adopt EPM systems to connect the dots between their clinical and financial data, it is necessary for these same healthcare providers to make the shift to a performance-driven culture. This means using actionable metrics, contextual analytics and a consistent process to drive performance. In practice, an organization must leverage a system that can serve up metrics as diagnostic measures of financial performance, focusing on the metrics within a manager or leader’s control. Using the EPM tool for contextual analytics enables users to access information efficiently and effectively through scorecards and purposeful drill-paths embedded within the tool. Finally, organizations must create a recurring cadence (monthly, quarterly, etc.) for variance reviews to establish and clearly define expectations their teams can continue to work toward meeting.

EPM System’s Role in Healthcare

EPM systems play a crucial role in connecting strategy, operations and finance, allowing healthcare organizations to analyze, plan and drive performance. An integrated system is created between the professional and hospital settings, resulting in fewer conflicts and errors. EPM systems support the clinical/patient side of healthcare by delivering advanced approaches and workflows. Additionally, EPM systems work with the financial side of healthcare by helping organizations transition from a budget-based culture to a performance-driven culture that inspires positive results. Along with creating a performance-driven culture, EPM systems help create an efficient budget system that is intuitive and supports data-driven decisions. In the next few years, the transition to EPM systems will become increasingly popular. All healthcare leaders who are seeking out a more advanced, best-in-class cost accounting and decision support system should consider an EPM system.