Healthcare Professionals: Three Information Management Strategies for Better Results
In healthcare, information has long been touted as the key to optimizing organizational, financial and clinical performance. But it’s never that simple. For example, if information management strategies are not implemented properly, they may well be causing costly errors that set your whole organization back. Creating effective strategies to produce the results you seek can seem like a near impossible task; yet it is doable, and it might be easier to achieve than you think.
When staff can access the information they need no matter where they are — and from the device they prefer — it can alleviate some of healthcare’s ongoing financial woes while leading to improved efficiencies and patient satisfaction. But in order to see maximum benefits, your data management strategy must be implemented correctly.
So how exactly do you do that in a way that cuts costs, not raises them? Here are three strategies to help you get started:
1. Analyze administrative capacity and operational efficiency: Let’s say a 20-physician practice wants to improve efficiency by grouping all claims denial information into a single packet. It consolidates financial operations into a singular process, hoping to achieve savings by reducing staff and technology. However, the organization quickly learns that with only two printers to support a staff processing countless claims denials, the “streamlined operation” is anything but efficient. Instead, chaos and confusion, missing pieces of paper and mixed-up print jobs take over. In short: Staff can’t process any more denials than before because of inefficient processes and technology.
On the other hand, with the right technology, electronic “staples” could be used to better manage information flow, printing and document assembly. Providing your staff with the right tools and a supportive work environment that fits their specific needs could vastly improve the daily claims processing volume without forcing you to purchase additional equipment or increase headcount.
By bridging the gap between capacity and operational efficiency, you can reduce the time between denial receipt and actual payment.
2. Address gaps in care: Now take the case of an academic medical center that knows its 48-hour turnaround for the electronic capture of unstructured documents is impacting patient care and operations. So it sets a new goal: All unstructured data is to be captured and accessible within four hours. Staff scan documents immediately at the point of service, versus sending them via courier to the medical records department.
Putting unstructured data directly into the electronic chart at the point-of-care allows information to be accessed much faster by both clinical and business office teams. This allows billing to occur faster and more seamlessly so that the hospital can receive timely and accurate reimbursements while reducing claim denials.
3. Improve security and compliance: Finally, let’s review an all-too common scenario that you’ve probably witnessed. A staff member inadvertently leaves a document with protected health information (PHI) in the printer bin. When another employee sees it, the organization immediately takes on potential security and financial risks – especially if it doesn’t know exactly what’s being printed or who’s printing it.
Technology vastly improves security and compliance by creating access authorization and audit trails to avoid compromised PHI. The key is to manage and move information with security, so it gets where it needs to be when it needs to be there – whether in the care environment or the business office. This not only creates an overall smoother experience for patients and staff, but also helps protect your organization from financially devastating breaches and the public relations nightmare that comes with them.
Financial, operational and clinical pressures in healthcare aren’t going away. An effective strategy to close information management gaps and enable staff to properly capture, access and share information (whether paper or digital) anytime, anywhere can help ease financial pressures while also improving care and patient satisfaction.
And that’s where we can help. Learn more at www.stratixsystems.com or call us toll-free 1-800-444-2943
About Stratix Systems
With offices in Reading, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Central and Northern New Jersey, Stratix Systems is one of the region’s leading technology solutions partners —with the people, resources and experience to deliver the IT, content/document management and imaging support you need: where, when and how you need it. In fact, very few providers in the region can match the vast array of total business solutions and responsive service available from Stratix Systems. It’s no wonder why we are the partner-of-choice for over 4,500 organizations throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Have a question? Get an answer. Our experienced systems experts would be happy to answer your questions, help you explore your options and develop a customized plan for you. Learn more at www.stratixsystems.com or call us toll-free 1-800-444-2943.
This post originally appeared on WorkIntelligent.ly, authored by Ricoh USA’s Michael Campana.