Health information exchange. It creates a free-flow of clinical information between IT systems, enhancing patient care and connecting hospitals that have different EHRs. And for CFOs and CIOs, it can lead to big revenue returns. “These are silos that nobody thought about 10 or 15 years ago this shared info in such a structured format,” explained Dave Caldwell, executive vice president of Certify Data Systems, an enterprise HIE provider.
“IT departments of hospitals and health organizations are driven by financially-minded individuals with medical and clinical input. They’re buying HIE for revenue enhancement.”
Caldwell explained seven reasons why bringing on an HIE across a healthcare system enhances profitability.
1. Better engage doctors
Doctors not employed by or affiliated with a health system have to compete for admissions. If hospitals can make it easier to do business with independent physicians over their competition, they’ll be able to grow revenue stream due to “acquiring” those admissions. Furthermore, physicians would rather work for a hospital that offers electronic results, orders and continuity of care documents that freely integrate with their workflow over one doesn’t. “There’s definitely an upperhand to have that sort of HIE/EHR implemented,” remarked Caldwell.
2. Cost effectiveness
When an organization moves from paper processes to fully-automated, integrated EHRs, they’re cutting out manual steps on both the hospital and physician side. “What we found with HIE systems is that the efficiencies healthcare organizations gain when they’re fully automated from both inpatient and outpatient settings really starts to pull labor costs,” said Caldwell. Reallocation of resources for better care and provision of care can also improve the general workflow.
3. Participate in associated bonuses
As ACOs are developed, health organizations can move to incentive programs and risk-sharing agreements based on cost, quality and prevention of complications associated with chronic disease.
4. Labor savings
Savings on labor costs due to efficient workflow processes “is clearly being demonstrated in hospitals moving from manual process to electronic orders and results, like in radiology or lab testing,” said Caldwell. “Efficiencies start to be experienced and this impacts labor costs,” remarked Caldwell.
5. Equipment and supplies
If an organization has a mechanical method to manage processes – someone managing supply and equipment internally – they will start to see savings. “Large healthcare systems can go from $250,000 to $1 million savings cots associated with those type of processes,” Caldwell said.
6. Reduction of errors
Moving from manual processes with human errors in keying, for example, to electronic where a provider is capturing information without mistakes is going to lower risk of medical errors. This has an impact on medical malpractice and general liability insurance premiums, for example.
7. Reduce readmissions
A reduction in readmissions leads to an increase in profitability and is also best for patients. “By paying attention… by having access across the care continuum… we can intervene with potential problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” Caldwell said. “This helps with care plans to avoid readmission to hospitals post-discharge.”
Source: Healthcare Finance News