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What Is a Healthcare Business Analyst?

Basically, a healthcare business analyst analyzes data to improve the operations of a healthcare facility. Depending on the needs and goals of each healthcare organization, the specific responsibilities of a healthcare business analyst can vary. However, most healthcare business analyst jobs require you to gather, store, and present data to assist organizations in making informed decisions.

What Do Healthcare Business Analysts Do?

Healthcare business analysts assist in executive-level decision-making by providing both analysis of information as well as recommendations for improvements. These recommendations help increase the quality of patient care by lowering the cost of care while improving the patient experience.

Business analysts also identify wasted resources, track provider performance, and analyze the health of different populations. By analyzing the immense amount of data collected in healthcare organizations, healthcare business analysts can provide solutions to reduce waste and readmissions, increase efficiency, and offer better telehealth and overall healthcare services.

Healthcare business analysts collect and evaluate all kinds of data. Analysts need to read and assess financial statements, vendor contracts, provider needs, patient needs, company revenue, and employment levels. Analysts use this data to create reports that inform management of how business processes function and how they can improve.

Healthcare business analysts must take the data they’ve analyzed and present it as well as explain the operational impacts of it to executive-level decision makers. The data presented provides insight into how clinical processes currently function as well as how they can and should improve. Your data analysis validates decisions made or recommendations for new systems, procedures, and organizational changes.

Your role doesn’t stop at simply recommending change. As the organization integrates your suggested improvements, you begin the process again of collecting data, analyzing data, and assessing how the implemented changes have improved the efficiency and quality of care found in your organization.

Where do Healthcare Business Analysts Work?

Although the most obvious place a healthcare business analyst works would be a hospital, analysts can find work in a variety of healthcare-related organizations, including federal and state health departments or organizations, private medical practices, health insurance companies, public and private hospitals, healthcare software vendors, healthcare consulting companies, and electronic health record (EHR) companies.

In smaller organizations, you may be the only healthcare business analyst and represent the entire team. In larger organizations, healthcare business analysts become a part of a larger business team, usually reporting to executive-level management or even information technology (IT) management.

What degree is Needed to Become a Healthcare Business Analyst?

Highly qualified healthcare business analysts have both experience working in the healthcare environment as well as a bachelor’s degree in health information management or health information management technology. However, successful candidates may also have a degree- related field, such as Healthcare, Nursing, Administration, Business, Public health, Statistics, and Data Science.

A healthcare-oriented MBA program can also give you the skills and experience necessary to become a healthcare business analyst. Organizations usually do not require professional certifications, although certifications, such as a Certified Business Analysis Professional or Certified Health Data Analyst can boost your chances of being hired.

Some healthcare business analysts specialize in an emerging field called health informatics. Health informatics has a narrower focus, mostly on data and less on financial and business management. Because of the reliance on data, this specialized role requires more proficiency in math, statistics, and computer science.

How Much Do Healthcare Business Analysts Earn?

Healthcare business analysts typically earn salaries anywhere from about 54,000 to 78,000. Although the average salary is 68,000, what you can earn depends on the location of the employer, the size of the employer, and, usually, the size of the business team.

What are the Job Requirements for a Healthcare Business Analyst?

Healthcare business analysts can find themselves performing a wide range of tasks, depending on the needs of the organization. While analysts may be familiar with working in a business team, analysts must perform these duties in a healthcare environment, understanding the medical-related terminology and processes, while also functioning in a high-performing data analysis role.

Good communication skills become essential to the role of a healthcare business analyst. Analysts must proactively communicate needs and suggested changes by backing these suggestions up with sufficient data they’ve collected. Expert knowledge of a variety of presentation software applications makes creating presentations and communicating ideas easier.

With the rise of electronic health records and information, healthcare business analysts must collect, store, and extrapolate data from databases. Database management becomes an essential daily function as data in healthcare drives decision-making. Analysts collect data from a variety of sources, including patient records, financial information, reports, research, and surveys from the field.

Although each job may have different requirements, to put yourself in the top tier of candidates, healthcare business analysts should be highly skilled in complex problem solving, data analysis, technology use, monitoring, and control, leadership and negotiation, collaboration, and communication skills

Healthcare business analysts should be proficient in business practices, financial analysis, and the technology used to store, secure, and present information all within a healthcare environment. So you should have experience and understanding of medical codes, industry terminology, and common technological software for database management.

Additionally, because of the heavy use of data, analysts must also be familiar with data mining, health information technology standards, SQL, electronic medical records, data warehousing, quality assessments, medical billing, and programming and software development.

Healthcare Analyst Career Path

Business analysts in all sectors have been enjoying a surge in demand for their roles, but healthcare business analysts have a more specialized function than a general business analyst, creating an even greater demand for this position. Analysts can further specialize in fields such as healthcare informatics to both enjoy greater demand as well as increase their earning potential.

Although many healthcare business analysts work for a specific company or organization, experienced analysts can earn more by working for multiple organizations on a contractual, consultant basis. With enough experience and skill, healthcare business analysts can apply for senior analyst jobs as well as find jobs in or be promoted to healthcare management.

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