Power BI is changing the way health services are provided

Power BI is changing the way health services are provided

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This blog post was authored by Tom Lawry, Director Worldwide Health, Microsoft

With healthcare representing one of the fastest growing business segments for Business Intelligence, Power BI is finding its way in to healthcare organizations worldwide where it’s being used to improve quality, performance and productivity.

Here are four examples from around the world:

United States: A provider/payor organization in the Midwest wanted to evaluate how to better serve populations of patients with chronic health conditions. Utilizing Power Query they combined internal data from their Electronic Medical Record system with external data from credible open data sources. Once completed they made use of Power Map to visualize the data and explore trends and patterns in their service area that might help them identify new ways of serving patients and consumers.

Anonymized view of the data used to explore population health patterns.

Norway: Helse Vest is a Norwegian health authority that operates 50 healthcare facilities. To meet requirements for a government patient safety program, the Authority needed to find a way to more quickly create analytical reports based on surgery trends and other medical data. Helse Vest implemented Power BI for Office 365, that employees now use to gather and visualized combined data from multiple hospitals. With Power BI the staff reduced the time to build reports from 14 days to less than 1 day, and Helse Vest can quickly comply with government requirements.

The Intervention Centre is the research and development unit at Oslo University Hospital charged with identifying clinical best practices and applying new technologies to healthcare management.

In one use case Radiology data was collected from department systems by Power Query and loaded into a cloud-based database hosted on a Power BI website which could be accessed and used as a collaboration site for sharing queries among researchers. Queries, in turn, could be made in the form of natural-language searches, eliminating the need for programming skills.

Hospital executives and researchers at the Intervention Centre say that they can use Power BI to speed analyses to deliver actionable information, collaborate better with researchers beyond the enterprise and avoid the capital and operating costs of a traditional BI solution.

United Kingdom: The North Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Foundation Trust provides hospital and community based services to a population of about 400,000.

The Foundation Trust initially made use of Power BI to evaluate the cost and efficacy of the use of drugs in the treatment process. One use case of Power BI was used to correlate weather data with the institution’s own data to identify the impact of inclement weather on the frequency of respiratory data to understand which drugs were being prescribed and how prescription patterns varied by locality. Use of this data is now being expended by collaborating with other hospitals to compare data through Power BI with a goal of identifying best practices in prescribing drugs.


Tom Lawry

Director Worldwide Health


  • Very rarely does the Power BI team provide downloadable examples for those not familiar with the process. If the object is to attract new entities to Power BI, they need to provide examples to study. As a start, they could have provided downloadable files from the Power BI contestant submissions, but chose not to do so.

  • Hi David, thanks for your feedback. We have several demos and samples available for download at www.powerbi.com Support. Also, some of our past blog posts such as our Black Friday Sample (blogs.msdn.com/.../analyzing-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-results-with-power-bi.aspx). Having said that, we will try to make more downlable examples available in future posts and on our website.

  • This is awesome, but just like David said, if you could provide with a free course on MVA for Power BI, it would be highly appreciated.

    Excel is so multi-dimensional that new users often get scared by the power, and end-up never using new features thinking they might be too complex.

    hope you will consider this request.


  • Love this Blog , We need Power BI in the Victorian Health Setting in Australia!

  • Fine post, Tom, and great to see that you are alive and doing well at Microsoft. The eHealthcare Leadership Awards are going strong although miss your participation.

  • Thanks for sharing this post. This is a very interesting and useful blog. Palm Beach Behavioral Health and Wellness provide health service.


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