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Automating Healthcare Industry
Introduction of automation in pharmacy gave rise to fears that robots will replace human pharmacists. Ultimately, their work became easier as they wasted less time on tasks requiring low cognitive value, and focus on clinical work of high relevance thus increasing productivity at regular worktimes.
Moreover, automation cannot replace nurses and doctors. However, you can blend technology into their workflow processes to deliver efficient healthcare facilities and services on time. For example, automated check-ins and reminders are a great way to increase patient engagement.
Here are some of the top benefits of applying automation in the healthcare industry:
- Save Labor: Automation replaces manually intensive tasks that a machine can perform better as a result it saves time. You do not have to get rid of the employees instead you can promote them to perform high-functionality tasks that put their clinical expertise and training in use.
- Improve Quality & Consistency: Avoid human errors or complaints of fatigue by using automation tools. These tools provide a consistent performance of healthcare activities. Automation has hugely helps areas such as maintaining patient records, order entry, as well as better decisions that have resulted in reducing the death rate, simplified complex medical processes, and has reduced overall medical expenditure.
- Waste reduction: Automation is an eco-friendly initiative. Rather than using paper and spreadsheets, you get notifications and email alerts for patient’s status. Moreover, nurses connect with discharged patients more efficiently. The medical bill is sent to the patient’s email address, a copy of which is maintained in the hospital database.
- Predictable outcomes: A standardized healthcare procedure has been established due to automation. Patients following these procedures are more likely to follow predicted outcomes. Moreover, a doctor can also track when a patient has drifted from the recommended plan, and then the team can intervene accordingly to take the best possible measures.
- Turnout: Now, a nurse can handle several patients simultaneously with the help of these advanced tools. A common platform for different patient types helps increase scalability and flexibility to attend to all age groups.
- Useful Insights: A huge volume of valuable data is generated in a continuous loop of feedbacks that helps clinics and hospitals improve their performance and optimize their healthcare facilities. In every cycle, these tools collect data about the performance of the current processes and utilize this information to make necessary amendments. In this way, the processes improve over a certain period of time, become efficient, accurate, and reduce the workload of the entire healthcare team.
Types of Health Information Technology
- Electronic Health Record (EHR): it plays a vital role in healthcare IT infrastructure. It refers to a person’s official health record in a digital form that is shared among multiple healthcare facilities and agencies.
- Personal Health Record (PHR): It is a self-maintained health record of an individual
- Regional Health Information Organization: It refers to exchange of health information i.e. a collaboration of several healthcare facilities entering into an interoperability agreement to share data between various healthcare IT systems.
In the last decade, implementation of EHR systems has grown manifold with the introduction of the HITECH Act, 2009; thus introducing an EHR meaningful use program. The criteria is created and supervised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health. Hospitals and clinics that implement their EHR systems fulfilling these criteria can win incentive payments.
Other examples of healthcare IT infrastructure include the Vendor Neutral Archives (VNA) and Picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). These tools help healthcare professionals in storing and managing medical images of patients.
Hospitals should devise a definite plan for integration of PACS system with other internal healthcare IT systems. Often, VNAs are installed to compile and merge data generated from the images stored in specific PACS thus forming a comprehensive multiple-facility healthcare IT solution.
The Power of Cloud will Help
Healthcare institutions are established to deliver services related to patient care. They are not technically well-equipped to boost technology innovation. Several expensive healthcare projects have failed while embedding IT solutions. Significant complexities are associated with management of multiple stakeholders for creating an effective IT healthcare system.
Cloud technology is seen as a great solution to be integrated with your existing healthcare IT systems. The flexible model of cloud technology includes sensitive information requiring careful implementation to leverage your existing system over the cloud. Few of the hybrid on-premise services that can be integrated over cloud include:
- Managing best healthcare practices
- Managing Electronic health records
- Patient information about health insurance
- Managing electronic prescriptions
Want to enter healthcare industry? Things an MSP should consider
An important question MSPs ask is how can they connect with different hospitals and clinics, and ultimately, provide them the desired level of IT support.
We are listing three important tips every MSP must keep in mind if you wish to target the healthcare industry:
- Gap Identification: although, many MSPs have explored the healthcare industry and recommended best possible solutions, a thin line of differentiation lies in your innovative approach. Solutions catering to new and evolving areas like healthcare provider’s performance, care team’s performance, patient treatment options analytics etc. are some of the measures that will help you gain a competitive edge.
- Covering EHR topics broadly: healthcare providers are concerned about four major constituents – operating cost, efficiency, productivity, and ROI, especially when it deals with EHR management. MSPs conducting deep research on these subjects can understand the needs of healthcare customers better and can recommend short term as well as long term managed services accordingly.
- Extensive cybersecurity: the primary requirement for a healthcare provider is cybersecurity. An MSP which offers data as well as network security will protect healthcare providers from cybersecurity threats efficiently.
An MSP must spend sufficient time and resources to acquire knowledge about the current healthcare market, and discover ways of supporting healthcare providers for a long time.
Partnering with a healthcare MSP reduces nursing turnover
In 2013, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced the “HIPAA Omnibus Rule,” i.e. regulations modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules to implement various provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
Any healthcare provider falling under HIPAA must follow these rules when implementing IT solutions. Healthcare providers are looking for HIPAA compliant IT Solutions partner that will secure the sensitive client data. Do you see an opportunity for yourself? Awesome! Then you must follow tips below to choose the right MSP:
- Optimization of healthcare services: job dissatisfaction is one of the major reasons of high nursing turnover. An MSP is highly skilled in delivering healthcare IT solutions. The service provider can streamline operational processes to enhance patient care. Since few routinely tasks are managed by an MSP, nursing managers can now focus on improving patient care facilities. Managed services provide a central resource hub for doctors and nurses.
- Reduce workloads: Addition of contingent labor, part-time nurses is some of the advantages an MSP provides. Since managed services involve a team of skilled industry experts, it results in quicker placement of nursing staff. Additional support to nurses by the means of timely reports, medicinal stock reports etc. helps the entire chain of activities performed by the healthcare team.
- Clinical expertise: A third-party service provider with clinical expertise is the best option. The service provider will implement long-term solutions to enhance access to clinical care. An MSP is well acquainted with top methods of improving the existing healthcare processes and provides sufficient support to care teams. Now, clinical teams can ensure deployment of efficient healthcare systems by enhancing their quality of services and compliance at affordable prices.
- Strong staffing relationships: A healthcare MSP develops strong relationships with clinical staffing providers across the globe. They have a high rate of supplier adoption. Clinical care stands to benefit from the expertise of qualified candidates; it will help healthcare providers become competitive with better market rates and improved access to suppliers.
Are you prepared to outsource some of your healthcare administration activities to a third party MSP? It is crucial to choose the right MSP for delivering high-quality healthcare services for your patients. Healthcare IT requires special knowledge and technical expertise which can be provided by an MSP.
Recalling the common points of consideration you must look for guaranteed response times, the MSP’s ability to support business continuity plan, manage application performance, proactive governance of IT systems, advanced level of security, auditing process, and hire compliant staffers that will adhere to HIPAA requirements.
While there is no perfect solution to search for an MSP, the things mentioned above are good to begin with. The right MSP will conduct a thorough analysis of your business requirements to suggest an appropriate IT solution.