The healthcare industry has turned into a highly competitive territory. In such a scenario implementing ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning can go a long way in improving services. ERP development can help streamlining services offered by different departments of an institution. The healthcare industry is focused on improving the quality of healthcare and operational efficiency while reducing costs and optimizing back-end operations.Worried how to implement that perfect ERP to provide high quality service to your patients? Get it done by experts, hire the services of ERP consultants from an offshore development center and get the best model implemented for your institution. Contrary to popular myths, ERP implementation isn’t a highly expensive affair. You can outsource it to development firms in countries like India and get a system which will help you reduce operational cost substantially in the future.Objectives of ERP in Healthcare· Better Patient Care- Health care is no longer about treating a patient. It is a complete treatment-to-recovery process. With the increasing number of healthcare institutions patients have lot to choose from. One deciding factor to choose between hospitals is the technology involved. This helps in making every aspect of the institution like admission, treatment, recovery, billing etc. smoother, much to the benefit of the patients.· Service-On-Demand- A good ERP solution automates many daily activities in your hospital. Patients can book appointments with the doctors or for some clinical tests through an online system. The system intimates the patients on the availability of doctors and other services prior to their booking.· Improved Recordkeeping – One of the primary tasks in any hospital is to maintain records and fetch them when required. Enterprise Resource Planning helps in logical storage of patent and other data in a hospital and allows their easy fetching when needed. So you can do always with stacks of files and folders in your facility!· Reduce Operational Costs – It is helping hospitals reduce their overhead cost with the simple adoption of technology. Different departments like Administration, Finance, Healthcare, Public Relations and Promotions can be centralized with lesser headcount and even lesser human activity to run the operations.· Decision Support System – An ERP solution will provide with real-time data to any authorized person in an institution. This helps individuals manning different departments of a hospital take important decisions relating to patient care. This does away with the communication gap between different departments.A custom ERP solution can go a long way in creating a competitive advantage over your rivals in the industry. It’s no longer a luxury for your business but sheer necessity. So why let patients slip away from your institutions just for the mere lack of technology? Remember in today’s market scenario it is the patients who have the power to choose and not you!
If you’re a claims manager or adjuster workers comp, auto, health or disability insurance, one of the scarcest resources you have is your time. When you have complex and costly cases, your time gets eaten up adjudicating claims and consulting others for opinions. If you find yourself in positions where you’re stretched too thin, a great way to extend your capabilities and to move your most difficult cases through your organization is to use the services of an Independent Review Organization. Independent Review Organizations are dedicated to providing medical decision support to claims payers of all types on healthcare benefits or on medical benefits related to specific treatments. An Independent Review Organization provides an external, objective medical review service for insurance carriers, Third Party Administrators, and other types of payers. Independent Review Organizations help them allocate their resources effectively and provide decisions about the approval and denial of treatments.Independent Review Organizations are typically accredited by a URAC (at least the good ones are). They provide a panel of external peer physicians in all specialties and sub-specialties who are capable of providing standard or expedited reviews of health care cases by determining their medical necessity, standard of care, whether they are experimental or investigational, whether they indicate an appropriate length of stay in hospitals and other types of questions that a doctor must review.The Independent Review Organization always matches the case with a specialist having the same background as the referring specialist. Independent Review Organization specialists are always board certified, licensed and in active practice. This insures is that you will be able to use the same expert knowledge to make your claims decision as was originally applied to the treatment being considered. It allows you to speed up your claims decision making, eliminate unnecessary medical treatment, reduce premium costs for disability and workers comp and ensure that your claims resources are being allocated to members who deserve the care, and not those who don’t.So if you’re a claims manager and you’re not using an Independent Review Organization today to evaluate claims inside your organization, consider one.
The United States is currently facing a healthcare staffing crisis, based primarily in a shortage of nurses. There is a growing need for nurses, especially travel nurses, and the problem is anticipated to become more acute in the next year. Since 2006, patients have won significant settlements from hospitals for negligence due to nursing shortage, and as the cost of hiring too few nurses comes to outweigh the cost of adequately employing, healthcare staffing companies should have definite growth.People who feared that healthcare staffing would slow in today’s shaky economy and sold their shares in such companies now regret the decision, as these businesses have jumped in value. Shares of several companies providing travel nurses and temporary physicians initially fell due to fear in our current recession, but have since rebounded sharply.According to BMO Capital Markets analyst Jeffrey Silber, “an aging population and advances in medical technology should drive demand, while supply may be constrained as caregivers age with few replacements coming through the pipeline. This should bode well for healthcare staffing supplier stocks.”Silber estimated a travel-nurse staffing revenue of $2.5 billion annually, which is 21 percent of total healthcare staffing revenue. The growth forecast for travel nurses is set particularly slow as tough times push people towards stable jobs at home. He also pointed out that growth in the travel-nursing segment is estimated at 3.5 percent in 2009, compared with 8 percent in 2006.This has not, however, affected many healthcare staffing companies. For hospitals to even maintain current (depleted) numbers of nurses, they must continue to hire new nurses on a regular basis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median age of registered nurses (RNs) was 45 years in 2007. Also, another study reported that a third of all current nurses plan to leave their job within the next year.Furthermore, staffing companies specializing in travel nurses are expected to continue to do well financially because of the nature of the job of travel nurse. These healthcare workers are employed by hospitals from around one to four months, so staffing companies increase their profit margins because of the rise in billed rates.Even the weak housing market gives a strange advantage to travel nurse staffing companies, as housing costs is one of their biggest expenses. The fall in housing costs has boosted profit margins.Analyst James Janesky of Stifel Nicolaus reported that hospitals must pay more as the the nursing shortage becomes more acute, predicting a 3 to 5 percent price increase in the foreseeable future.
In the healthcare industry, where patient privacy is key, call recording and reporting technologies help drive productivity, reduce overhead costs and optimize provider/patient communications.Healthcare professionals face unique challenges every day. Whether it’s adhering to strict Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, implementing training and coaching programs for staff, or managing patient scheduling, optimizing healthcare provider communications and enhancing customer service can seem a bit overwhelming.Call recording and reporting solutions have been used in call centers for years; however, there has been a surge in the implementation of this technology due to the unique needs and privacy requirements in the healthcare space. Specifically, call recording and reporting applications have been integrated into healthcare business models to help optimize quality assurance, patient relations, insurance reimbursements, office operations and scheduling management. These features, and subsequent benefits, can be found all within software programs that are capable of recording calls, providing users with playback controls and the ability to easily create and share graphical reports – including Excel® spreadsheets and Adobe® PDFs.The latest call recording and reporting technology also takes into account the necessity for compliance and health provider/patient privacy concerns, providing a system that is completely tamper-proof and secure. If the facility is in the process of implementing electronic records (EMR) or electronic health records (EHR), adding call recording and reporting to the existing business model can substantially streamline operations, optimize patient relations and provide exact documentation of patient interactions so that users can playback recordings to reference errors and omissions.Call Recording & Call Reporting – The Right Solution for Any PracticeQuality Assurance:With the recording of inbound and outbound calls, supervisors and administrators have confidence that information is being communicated correctly to patients and in alignment with HIPAA regulations. Call recording gives administrators and supervisors the ability to listen to calls so that they know exactly what is being said and what isn’t being said. The key here is to share these recordings with staff so that they know exactly how to handle similar situations in the future.Liability Protection:Malpractice and licensing complaints deal at least in part with information that is communicated over the phone between physician and/or staff and the patient. With call recording, it’s easy to locate, retrieve, play back and securely share phone-based conversations with administrators, clinical nurse supervisors, attorneys and additional staff in the event that litigation ensues.Proof-of-Call:Call recordings are an excellent and exact means of providing proof-of-calls to administrators, supervisors, staff and patients. For example, healthcare providers who charge no-show fees to patients have documented proof that their staff called the patient prior to the appointment to confirm the date and time. No longer are there ‘he said, she said’ situations since the call is recorded and can be easily played back for review. Having this monitoring device in place can have a substantial impact on revenues that would otherwise be lost without having a way to prove the call took place.Train & Coach Staff:Reviewing what is being said during provider/patient communications is a great tool for coaching and mentoring staff. Administrators and their employees can listen to playbacks together and discuss call standards and how certain situations should be handled. The review of telephone calls can also easily be made part of telephone-based employee performance reviews.Streamline the Receipt of Insurance Claims and Payments: With call recording in place, the facility has the specific date and time a call took place. For example, if an insurance company calls and provides information that the facility will be paid on a certain date/time; there is proof of this information. If payment is not received in a timely fashion, this documented recording helps clearly state the facility’s case in order to resolve the situation.Superior Usability: Call Recording solutions that have browser-based, Web interfaces are usually the easiest to adopt by healthcare facilities, providing a manageable learning curve for both supervisors and staff. When researching different solutions, one should look for a system that is easy to work with, understand, and customize for his/her specific needs. For example, features such as creating ‘Hot Lists’ of important calls, such as ‘Good Calls’ and ‘Bad Calls’ can be critical in teaching and training new employees about exactly what should be said and what should not be said during provider/patient interactions.Improve Patient Relations:Most healthcare facilities have hundreds of incoming calls per day — a large amount of data and communications to manage. If an employee overlooks getting critical information — like the patient’s name, phone number or exact healthcare status – the facility’s administrator can review calls made from that specific extension and retrieve the call recording. Patient cancellations, whether made by the staff or the patient, can also be recorded and easily played back in order to settle any questions or disputes about an appointment time or date.The Bottom Line:
With call recording and reporting technology in place, administrators and staff have peace-of-mind that all of calls are being recorded and documented for critical proof-of-call purposes, streamlined business operations and improved provider/patient relations.
Whether your office is large and busy or small and growing, making use of RFID tracking and the latest healthcare software can improve your office manager’s ability to track assets, ensure patient safety and control access to patient records. Overall, your office will run more efficiently and your patients will be better satisfied. As time goes by, the cost of implementing these systems is recouped numerous times through increased profits.Security and inventory tracking are big issues for all kinds of companies these days. Most companies are making use of standard UPC bar codes and other electronic devices. RFID tags may never fully replace bar codes, but the amount of information that can be stored in them, as well as the distance from which they can be read is superior to any other kind of tracking device.The pharmaceutical industry is currently making use of the technology. If you store drugs, medical equipment or similar items in your office, and you have the right programs installed in your office PCs, you or your employees can find out what pharmaceuticals you currently have on hand, without even opening a storage closet.Accurate tagging and the latest healthcare software programs make inventories a breeze. In a matter of minutes, an inventory can be verified, printed and placed on your desk.Studies indicate that this kind of tracking reduces problems with low inventory. You can be sure that the items you need are close at hand when you need them. RFID reduces loss and helps to prevent theft, as well. Your employees’ nametags can be equipped with a tag that allows them access to or prevents them from entering stockrooms. This practically eliminates drug theft.If you have a busy clinic, incoming patients can be fitted with wristbands that include chips containing their medical history. The histories can be read with portable readers. In hospitals, the use of these wristbands has reduced the number of errors, which improves patient satisfaction and safety.The latest healthcare software can be used for staffing, payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable. Programs are available that help doctors treat patients and educate patients about caring for their own health. RFID tags are being used to keep track of home health care devices. With the right tools, doctors can ensure that drugs and medical equipment are going to the right patients and staying with them.In short, healthcare software and RFID tagging is improving the medical industry at all levels and making it easier for you to do your job.
If you are a hospital or health insurance payer today, there are a myriad of workflow applications available to help improve efficiency and reduce cost in your organization. Everything from inscription software, to case management systems to finance and accounting software has been specialized for clinical practices. Those are just some of the examples of the way organizations can use software to perfect their business processes, reduce their costs and improve the overall viability of their organizations and its competitiveness.A good example of workflow software in the healthcare arena is the use of Web applications for conducting reviews. Whether it is a independent medical review for health plans or hospital peer review, today there are new cutting-edge applications that support the Independent Review Organization review process and allow for the exchange of critical, confidential patient information (PHI) in a secure, Web based work flow.We’re developing a Web-based application at Allmed called PeerPoint. This software will allow us to transact with our business partners, clients and specialist doctors across the country securely and greatly enhance our ability to efficiently track and manage cases as they move through the medical review process. We’re excited about this software and the benefits that it’s going to offer to you, our clients. You will have the ability to check the status of cases online. We will benefit from internal cost reduction and improve the scalability of our company.If your company is considering deploying Web applications in a healthcare environment, in particular if you’re thinking about deploying a custom Web application, we can give you some advice and ideas, because we’ve spent the last year developing experience and perspective by building ours.
With the development of patient simulators, the use of simulation is now rapidly increasing for healthcare professionals, particularly in anaesthesia, surgery and critical care environments. High Fidelity Patient Simulator development has been driven by the need to train technical skills, but the value of advanced patient simulation in the training of human factors skills, known in healthcare as Team Resource Management, is now also being recognised.To date, clinician assessment has largely focused upon an individual’s technical abilities, but it has failed to examine significant human factors, such as situational awareness, decision making and workload management.Healthcare, like the aviation industry is a technically complex, dynamic and high risk environment. It is an interdependent process carried out by teams of individuals, who have varying roles and responsibilities.Research suggests that a majority of incidents and accidents in healthcare are not due to deficient technical ability of clinicians, but the result of failures in areas such as communication and decision making. These are areas that have been addressed in aviation training since the 90s. Essentially, the application of lessons learned in aviation Crew Resource Management training, could save lives in healthcare.Instructors from the aviation and healthcare industries are now working alongside each other to develop techniques in teaching and assessing non-technical skills in the simulation environment.Joint training allows for shared learning and the opportunity to explore the perspective of human factors in another professional setting. The focus of these courses often presents healthcare practitioners with new perspectives on how influences such as organisational culture can impact upon human performance and safety.Human Factors training has been prevalent in the aviation industry since the 1980’s, however the current developments outlined above will demonstrate how the application of aviation derived training techniques to other high risk industries could reduce adverse incidents and accidents. Transferring these approaches in to healthcare will revolutionise existing protocols, improving safety and ultimately save patients lives.