Ad hoc reporting is a business intelligence model where reports are developed and shared by non-technical users. Ad hoc reporting is different from managed reporting—where the report developer is the technical user. Ad hoc reporting has continually grown in popularity over the past several years and shows no signs of thwarting its steady demand from end-users.
In healthcare, the speed at which accurate, timely, and accessible data is required continues to accelerate—in the healthcare industry, tight IT budgets pale in comparison to the expenditures rightly used for patient care, getting the most out of the least expensive investments is crucial. Developing report designers and tools for healthcare professionals (who may not be the savviest IT users) is a great way to leverage technology to improve patient care and operations management.
In this article, we will discuss the top advantages of ad hoc reporting:
- Ease of customized reporting
- Less workload, more efficiency (takes less time and reduces cost)
- Data security
The average hospital administrator may not know their way around the programming that goes into an HTML chart. Still, they can benefit substantially from having the ability to generate dynamic, instructive, and easily communicated data visualizations and reports at their disposal. Built-in attributes in HTML forms, such as autocomplete and list, simplify the back-end's programming efforts and the ad hoc reporting process at runtime. Developers can customize out-of-the-box report designers to cater to the needs of report authors in the healthcare industry in many ways, such as hiding certain properties that only technical users will know how to use appropriately.
Another way ad hoc reporting is made simpler is by presenting a familiar and user-friendly UI. Report designers can be overwhelming. However, an Office-inspired UI with context-sensitive ribbons, clean and clutter-free screen, and drag and drop functionality lends a friendly user experience, especially for non-technical report authors.
Ad hoc reporting, by its nature, is self-service reporting. It accelerates the report creation process by allowing end-users in niche areas of the business to work with custom reports. They neither have to rely on IT teams to make modifications nor wait for those modifications to be included in the application. This saves time and money as well as reduces potential inter-departmental conflicts. Furthermore, development teams in healthcare will have fewer requests for custom reports, as the end-users will have the ability to create the reports themselves. This, in turn, leads to more time the development teams can spend on developing new software, enhancing existing projects, and focusing on other endeavors to make the organization more efficient and profitable.
Protecting sensitive patient information in compliance with guidelines such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act is essential when creating a platform for data-dependent technologies such as electronic health records. Reporting solutions offering ad hoc capabilities are components integrated into your existing application, meaning you only must worry about the security of the data in one place. Developers can add encryption capabilities while programming applications to ensure that users don't have to worry about data breaches while they're using these programs. At the same time, it's important to ensure that security concerns don't infringe on functionality. Ad hoc reporting provides the best of both worlds, keeping information safe while allowing end-users a full spectrum of options.
A white-labeled ad hoc reporting solution will allow you to customize the report designer and other components as part of your application. That has several benefits. First, the ad hoc reporting is embedded directly in your application. Users don't have to open another window or application to create their reports. The report design and preview occur in the same secure application they are familiar with. Each component is themed and styled to the healthcare organizational brand, making it a seamless part of the application. Finally, users will not see another company's logo or name. They will feel confident that their privacy, and the privacy of their patients, is protected by a trusted healthcare provider. The focus remains on the healthcare provider and not the business that produced the ad hoc reporting software.