Technology has invaded the healthcare industry. And while much of the technology implementation has stemmed from an effort to create more efficient processes and keep up with other industries, there’s another factor igniting the shift: money.
Healthcare facilities are increasingly looking for more cost-effective ways to manage back-end processes and patient care. And they are landing on collaboration and organizational tools that promise to do just that. How? By reducing paper processes, streamlining doctor-patient communication, and creating happier patients.
If you’re considering whether healthcare IT is worth the investment, read on. Here are 3 key benefits of using innovative healthcare technology at your organization:
#1: It eliminates (or reduces) paper processes.
Using paper to manage patient onboarding and other healthcare processes means hours spent faxing, scanning, printing, and shredding sensitive paper documents. Not only is this cumbersome and fraught with security risks, but it’s also costly!
A PricewaterhouseCoopers report indicates that wasteful operational spending in healthcare—like inefficient use of IT or use of paper prescriptions—amounts to at least $126 billion annually. This means using online healthcare collaboration tools to digitize paper workflows, like patient registration and prescription management, can shave some serious expenses off your facility’s bottom line.
When you eliminate paper processes, you reduce the costs associated with related supplies and equipment:
- Fax machines
- Filing cabinets
#2: It streamlines communications.
Time is money, right? That means inefficient communication practices can cost your facility. If providers don’t have a seamless way to communicate with patients, information could be lost in translation or other problems could arise. For instance, hospital readmissions have been a big problem in recent years. In 2015, 76% of hospitals in the United States were penalized for readmissions by way of reduced Medicare reimbursements.
Why are so many patients being readmitted? In most cases, it’s related to a doctor-patient communication breakdown. Thus, adopting digital organizational tools that provide easy ways for patients and doctors to check in with each other can prevent costly miscommunications.
Additionally, these tools can give patients and providers the freedom to communicate at any time of day. For instance, if a facility uses an online form or portal for doctor-patient communication, patients can submit questions and concerns outside of office hours. Likewise, providers can schedule time to respond to messages instead of facing interruptions throughout the day with phone calls or visits.
#3: It creates happier, healthier patients.
Technology has the ability to improve the quality of healthcare your organization provides. When administrative processes are digitized, they are more efficient and less error-prone, which means everyone’s workload is reduced and providers have more time to focus on patient care. It also means patients have easier access to the health information they desire and can play a more active role in their healthcare.
When patients receive quality care, they are more satisfied and healthier, which means facilities and providers experience fewer financial setbacks. Satisfied patients are less likely to file malpractice lawsuits that lead to fines and bad press. Additionally, financial reimbursements are now tied to HCAHPS scores, so organizations get paid for providing a quality patient experience and receiving high scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.
Looking to cut costs at your healthcare facility? Click below to learn more about Formstack’s healthcare IT solutions.