The influx of IT solutions in the healthcare industry offers better clinical outcomes, improved patient satisfaction and navigates a changing financial landscape. By selecting the right IT partner, medical providers within the industry can make their practices more adept at providing value-based care by making practice management more efficient, as well as providing the capacity to bring in new patients.
According to Healthcare IT News, there will continue to be tremendous growth in technology solutions across the board for the foreseeable future, meaning decision makers and administrators will be faced with a dizzying array of vendors and software to chose from. More competition is good for the industry as a whole, but for hospitals and small practices, it can make selecting an IT provider difficult. Because the right technology and support can lead to so many positive outcomes, partnering with a healthcare technology vendor is an important decision.
The death of paper records
Hospitals and other providers have increased the rate at which electronic health records and other internal digital systems have been adopted by a staggering degree over the last decade. Though some administrators may be hesitant about moving away from paper records has been important in minimizing human error and improving communication between physicians, lab technicians and other clinical staff. This makes coordinating care easier. At the same time EMDs empower doctors to learn more about patients ahead of an appointment.
Fluid data exchange allows for high-level communication between colleagues within the same building, across a network or even in different areas of the U.S. For that reason, data interoperability is essential for maximizing the potential of technology solutions and improving capacities for providers. Without this framework of information sharing, it may still be necessary to use printed reports and faxes to exchange data and records with peers.
Avoiding painful expenses
While most administrators or executives are well aware of the benefits of EHRs, the cost of avoiding integration or selecting the wrong IT vendor is immense. According to the National Institutes of Health, medical errors cost the industry $19.5 billion dollars. As much as $1 trillion could be missing when accounting for lost productivity. Human errors related to paper records can lead to repeat procedures, mismanaged medications or even clinical mistakes.
“The right vendor can be a critical partner in mitigating issues.”
In this regard, the right vendor can be a critical partner in mitigating issues. Once again, data interoperability is a major pillar in allowing for smooth information exchange. Tools that track lab requests, immunization submissions and other elements of daily workflow additionally give administrators and clinical staff members the means to monitor progress in real time.
Outside of an exam room, revenue cycle management is also aided by selecting the right IT vendor. Resources that make it easy to select patients that may have outstanding balances make it possible to send out targeted gentle reminders without fumbling through paper records. Similarly, online tools promote easier payment options for both patient and provider. Individuals and families can pay bills remotely, and this data is automatically integrated into a patient profile, eliminating the need for reporting at the end of the month and tracking down delinquencies or mistakes, should they occur.
An emphasis on security
Unfortunately the proliferation of health IT solutions has brought on a new issues in the form of cyber security and hacking. Health IT.gov found that in 2015 alone there was a major jump in the number of hacking instances in the industry.
Though the government reported that a good majority of these security breaches were instances of unauthorized access or disclosure, the rates of theft and improper disposal of data is troubling. Selecting an IT partner that prides itself on security is critical for minimizing these issues and keeping patients and providers safe.
Though vendors typically take measures to reduce instances of cyber security issues, some may not have the bandwidth or expertise to ensure safety when it comes to clinical data. The best IT providers aren’t just equipped to provide maximum efficiency in a changing healthcare landscape, but are also ready to protect these measures no matter the threat.