Today's healthcare system is under great pressure to bring rising healthcare costs under control, and many strategies have been put into action in order to achieve that goal. What most of them have in common is an emphasis on providing value to healthcare consumers via better, more efficient care delivery, while containing or reducing costs. Much of the responsibility for bringing about these changes rests on the shoulders of healthcare providers, as government and commercial payers demand that they streamline their practices to do more with less.
While modern, holistic healthcare information technology is often viewed as an expensive luxury by many of those financially stretched providers, it is actually a vital tool for success under these new healthcare payment conditions. These are not going away. Smarter technology, used to its full potential, can enable smarter healthcare management, easing the financial pressures on individual providers as it helps them do their part in stemming the tide of rising healthcare costs.
So just how can a healthcare IT system provide results? Via a fully integrated, end-to-end solution that is one database for ease of analyzing these areas; providing efficient data management tools and meeting all medical and non-medical practice needs. PMS (practice management software) for example, offers a variety of tools and capabilities that can help providers streamline care processes and pathways throughout the continuum of care to reduce inefficiencies, redundancies and waste, as well as solutions that increase the accuracy, scope and availability of patient information for safer, more effective and efficient care. These improvements increase value to clients and payers in the form of improved health outcomes, as well as working to reduce expenses for providers and overall costs for clients and/or payers.
A truly comprehensive PMS (practice management software)can also significantly reduce staff time needed for administrative tasks, including appointments management, insurance verifications, client intake, check-ins, check-outs, medical records management, billing functions and much more. Reduced staff time spent on administration/paperwork means more spent providing services to clients – which increases value – and/or reduced staffing costs – which eases financial pressures on providers and reduces overall healthcare costs.
Now - imagine this is all part of the same database that includes the patient portal data and the clinical records and medical data management. A single database platform designed for today's focus on value based, person centered care with a variety of patient engagement solutions is the answer. This can enhance care delivery by improving efficiency and convenience for both healthcare clients and providers with features like direct, secure client-clinician messaging, online prescription refill or appointment requests, online access to personalized and actionable health information and education, and secure, 24-hour online access to personal health information and an area for them to file their own items as to their healthcare journey. These features and others improve client involvement in their care team, improve the client's understanding with easier communication from them online. This is the way we can help build solid healthcare relationships, in this new world of online 24/7. The opportunity for this to build a new level of trust between client and clinician is there; use the portal engagement to bring the client into a better decision making role - all factors that have been shown to improve health outcomes and have beneficial effects on healthcare usage and costs.
So an end-to-end healthcare IT systems can add value, reducing costs and improve clinician-to-clinician and client information sharing tools. There is the opportunity to analysis and report across all data collected from the clinic the client and the clinician. These IT capabilities enable easier monitoring of clinical and administrative processes. These are just a few of the many ways that smarter technology can enable smarter management of healthcare costs, so a well-designed, modern and comprehensive system is not a luxury. Rather, it is very necessary infrastructure for today's healthcare practices.