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Health systems must improve their financial performance and patient care.
Impossible projects, crazy deadlines and short staffing present a bigger challenge than their own resolution: They draw focus away from important revenue cycle functions that maintain positive margins. Caring for the patient is, of course, the healthcare provider’s core mission. But healthcare’s financial operations help to achieve that mission.
Those involved in the revenue cycle process grasp the value efficiency can bring to an organization. Reduced cost, greater performance and the capacity to work through more patient accounts are the direct benefit, and those goals tie directly to financial performance and that core mission. Workflow, data analytics, reporting and performance dashboards are just a few of the tools used to get to that point.
When working with new technology, having a resource to leverage from an outsourcing perspective can be very beneficial. Providers who outsource do so because they know their health system functions more efficiently when they can focus on what they do best.
What are the specific reasons that make outsourcing a particularly attractive investment right now? Three factors contribute:
1. It’s difficult to stay up to date on today’s technology. Whether it’s a smart phone, a smart appliance or a smart digital assistant like Alexa, new features critical to healthcare processes come and go at a rapid pace. Leveraging technology outsourcing resources helps healthcare providers digest this information more easily and implement solutions more quickly.
2. Siloed information means common, effective practices are shared less freely. Mergers, acquisitions and other forms of consolidation make it difficult to reconcile the most effective practices that different parts of a health system use. A good managed services team focused on your technology can bring all that information together, which means more harmonious operations not only within your team but in concert with others.
3. Increasing productivity is the key to financial success. Fully leveraging new technology can be the key to managing talent, setting goals and ultimately improving productivity, while using expert resources in a technology outsourcing capacity can help bring in new features more quickly. Together, these practices lead to faster returns on investment, as providers today are faced with reduced reimbursements.
What’s the best way to go about identifying a need for technology outsourcing that works? Start by assessing core competency, scale and risk. These important criteria will help sharpen productivity and determine where outsourcing can best move a health system forward. By recognizing different processes, opportunities for automation and disparate data, teams can improve their financial performance and patient care.
Start by getting in touch with technology partners and learn the latest features that your healthcare systems might not be using — or using to best effect. Then, identify those opportunities that fit best into the operations supporting your core mission and bring technology outsourcing on board to keep focus on patient care.
Shawn Yates serves as director of product management for Ontario Systems, a company that develops a variety of information systems for providers. Yates defines the company’s strategy for product and service offerings in the healthcare market.
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