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How data-driven
technologies will
help transform
healthcare
management

Author: Satta Sarmah Hightower

We often associate healthcare with the provider-patient relationship, but there's so much more that happens outside the exam or operating room to keep healthcare organizations running. Rising costs and razor thin margins have created a significant priority for health systems to optimize healthcare management technologies over the last decade.  In order to accomplish this, healthcare management needs to better harness their data and cloud-driven technology to improve care and make their operations more efficient.

Here's how they can begin to move in this direction.

What is healthcare management?

This type of healthcare administration involves a healthcare organization's front- and back-office workflow management—from revenue cycle management and practice coordination to supply chain and risk management. It focuses on the day-to-day operations of a hospital, clinic or health system supported by healthcare management technology.

While clinicians like doctors, nurses and medical assistants are on the front lines of patient care within a healthcare organization, the key players in the healthcare management space are largely different. They include people such as benefits coordinators, medical office administrators and health information management professionals, like those who work in medical billing, coding and transcription.

Better healthcare management plays a critical role in improving healthcare outcomes and overall operational efficiency within healthcare organizations. Effective management can help clinicians and staffers avoid burnout by automating parts of daily work, freeing up more time for patient care. It can also give healthcare administrators more insight into areas where there may be fiscal waste, productivity waste or such issues that might compromise care quality, improving the odds the organization is financially sustainable enough to continue serving patients.

Good healthcare administration can also establish business or discharge processes that improve key metrics like hospital readmission, patient engagement, postoperative complication rates and even clinician and front-office staff turnover.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)’s health systems reimbursement programs have created a positive impact on both health systems as well as patient satisfaction and loyalty, helping to improve healthcare management's effectiveness.

Better management is one important aspect of achieving the Quadruple Aim, or the goal to enhance the patient experience, improve population health, reduce costs and improve the healthcare provider experience. While healthcare organizations can make operational improvements to attain these goals, using healthcare management technology can accelerate their progress.

Transforming care with data and healthcare management technology

Healthcare management technology and data tools can facilitate seamless healthcare administration in several ways.

Electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) systems have been some of the most impactful technologies in healthcare during the 21st century. These solutions have transformed the way patient information was stored from paper files into digital records.  EHRs enable faster, more accurate exchange of patient information among payers, providers and patients while enhancing portability of the information.  However, there can be inconsistencies in electronic healthcare data, such as outdated information if an EHR is not updated immediately with new test results, outdated systems, along with security and privacy concerns.  Overall, EMR and EHR have helped providers and healthcare organizations to have greater accessibility to data they can use to deliver higher quality, more targeted care.

Cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can help healthcare organizations optimize their internal business processes and deliver patient-facing communications more efficiently. For example, they can use this platform to send diabetes care management communications to select patients, inform patients about upcoming clinical trials, manage scheduling and track performance data for administrative staff.

Other cloud-based tools that can benefit healthcare institutions include cloud file-sharing systems that allow administrative staff to securely share documents and collaborate on the same document in real-time. These cloud-based solutions can help doctor's offices and smaller clinic practices manage their operations more effectively and collaboratively.

With the right healthcare management technology that aligns with their business needs, healthcare organizations can better track key performance indicators (KPIs) and CMS rating and reimbursement. These KPIs include employee retention, medical adherence rates among patients, average time for appointments, average patient wait times, staff-to-patient ratios and patient satisfaction scores, among other data points.

The path to better healthcare

Healthcare organizations are businesses, too. This means, like any business, they'll significantly benefit from automation and greater visibility into their data. The stakes are often much higher in healthcare, which is why hospitals, health systems, clinics and other healthcare providers need to do their best to improve their operations.

Effective healthcare management can help these organizations not only boost their operational efficiency but also deliver transformative care and better outcomes for patients at scale.

Learn how Verizon can help you deliver on the promises of digital healthcare.