Making the Most of Technology in Healthcare

by MK Strupe on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 @ 02:52 PM
In an industry that is continuously looking for ways to improve  quality of care,  patient satisfaction, and financial performance, there are a few key best practices to keep in mind when it comes to technology.  Often times hospitals, like other organizations, build up a multitude of systems that lack the ability to communicate and share information. By overcoming this complication through the connection of your systems with a Business Process Management Suite (BPMS), hospitals can improve their overall initiatives by:
  • Being innovative and becoming a meaningful user as mandated under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. ARRA is offering hospitals and healthcare organizations financial incentives to become "meaningful users" of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. This means that they must: (1) demonstrate use of certified EHR technology in a meaningful manner; (2) demonstrate that the EHR technology provides for the electronic exchange of health information to other applications and systems and (3) provides information on clinical quality measures.

  • Eliminating paper and becoming green. Unlike any other industry, healthcare is fundamentally document-based and always has been. At the core of the healthcare delivery system is the medical record. Rather than moving paper documents from one hospital to another, or between departments, or from a patient's home to a laboratory appointment, connecting technology systems via BPM software allows for an electronic transfer of information at a moment's notice. As a process improvement workflow platform, BPM allows you to capture and store documents in a repository, so that the patient record can flow seamlessly between processes and departments - from registration to clinical process to final billing - whether all under one roof or at several locations.

  • Starting small, thinking big. Whether using process templates or building your own, begin connecting your technology systems one step at a time. With workflow technology, you can optimize one business process at a time, linking the technology systems across your hospital, and building from your successes. Using process template as a starting point, customize the process based on the unique rules of your hospital. Connect your technology systems to conform to your hospital's processes, not the other way around.

  • Becoming operational and sustainable. Hospital processes do not operate in a silo - they move across different clinical and administrative departments, among numerous hospital personnel, and often between multiple healthcare providers. With the core of a hospital's infrastructure being the exchange of information between different point applications, systems integration is essential as it facilitates this and provides a healthier and more sustainable environment for day to day operations. The electronic exchange of information, as provided by a BPMS empowers healthcare providers with knowledge at the point of care, reduces duplication of effort, and, most importantly, increases patient safety by ensuring that all providers treating the patient know everything they need to know about the patient.

  • Continuously reviewing and optimizing the process. Develop an enterprise-wide strategy to take a close look at each and every process in every department and uncover the pain points. Utilize workflow solutions to eliminate these pain points, process by process, each time bringing you closer to the enterprise vision and process optimization.

Depending on how well you use and integrate your technology systems, can either hurt you or help you. Connecting point applications to seamlessly share data and communicate with each other is a recipe for success and meaningful use.

Learn more about making the most of Technology in Healthcare, click here to view the following webcast.


Expert Webcast

Relevant Links:

Eliminate the black screen: Your Company's New Year's Resolution

Expanding Business Process Communications Outside Your Office 

The Challenge Ahead: Putting an End to Wasteful Spending in Healthcare

BPM, the "Glue" Connecting Disparate Systems


Mary Katherine Strupe
Marketing Coordinator

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This post was written by MK Strupe