What’s possible — and what’s right for your organization
Without a doubt, the future of healthcare is connected care. Consumers today expect personalized, device-enabled, intuitive 24/7 service that revolves around convenience and empowerment in all areas of their lives. And emerging technologies are what is helping them access it, based on how providers deliver it and what outcomes are achieved.
To establish a connected care delivery model that will advance your company to the next level, begin investing in your current technology infrastructure now. Pay particular attention to your network and security; they need to handle the technology demands of tomorrow, while providing robust data protection today.
Determining next steps for your organization
“Today’s healthcare businesses need to focus on the patient side, what technologies are being used, and how they are managing key performance indicators around it. They need to agree on the key metrics to observe, choosing those that are right for their business.”
Virtual care strategy and implementation require a thorough understanding of your organization’s internal capabilities, goals, and where and how to engage disruptors. Acknowledging that business operations ultimately impact patient care, look within your organization for processes that will benefit from the efficiency and accuracy that technology provides.
The facts show that many providers are pursuing process automation, while others are focusing on interoperability and application strategy. However, most healthcare organizations are at a disadvantage today because of reliance on disparate systems and data silos to make critical decisions. Recognizing the need to change, more organizations are looking to integrate their enterprise resource planning and electronic medical record solutions to drive data interoperability across systems.
So, what are your most important next steps to growing a healthy digital future?
Focus on care delivery and health maintenance
If there is one lesson the healthcare industry has learned over the past year, it is how mobile everyone is and how effective telemedicine and telehealth can be. Today, providers are using the latest technology to make telehealth a reality and improve the quality and affordability of their services. With skyrocketing costs and regulatory changes adding to the challenges and opportunities for healthcare, there is no better time to explore how telehealth can improve patient care and provider efficiency, while simultaneously reducing costs.
Questions to consider include:
- What service lines and workflows should be digitized . . . and which should not?
- Are the applications your organization has the ones you need?
- Do you have redundant technologies?
“One thing that’s striking about today’s healthcare industry is that consumerism is now driving the components of innovation.”
Re-evaluate your internal controls and auditing processes
Now, more than ever, it is important for all providers to understand the impact of telehealth and telemedicine on their internal structure. From a coding and billing perspective, this includes determining if your current policies for both are clearly documented. It also includes ensuring that your systems provide the appropriate mechanisms to identify proper current procedural terminology and healthcare common procedural systems coding procedures.
In addition, elevating your data privacy and security measures is critical. Are all of your patient communication platforms monitored for vulnerabilities 24/7? If not, take remediation steps.
An example of digital’s ability to serve: U.S. Veterans Administration’s veteran-centric healthcare
Today, the VA is using technology infrastructure modernization across its ecosystem to proactively address the prevention of veteran suicides. As part of behavioral health service delivery, at-risk veterans are provided with tablets, smart devices and mobile apps. The results are extremely encouraging — a nearly 20% increase in the likelihood of veterans receiving mental health treatment and a 20% decrease in visits cancelled or missed.
“The VA’s digital transformation has been focused on being a veteran-centric organization, where patients can receive high-quality, consistent care anytime and anywhere.”
Consider all aspects of enterprise and financial management
To protect profits and ensure sustainability, your keys to success in today’s marketplace are effective, highly automated enterprise and financial management systems. Start by determining which manual financial, human capital management and supply chain management systems are primed and ready for automation. When in place, they can improve your business performance by streamlining invoicing and bill collection, eliminating accounting errors, ensuring compliance with tax and accounting regulations, helping with budget planning and more.
Other actions to consider include evaluating whether your telehealth reimbursement is both timely and accurate, as well as how your remote resources are being tracked and managed.
Ensure a positive patient and employee experience
Addressing all of these critical points helps you maintain and enhance one important goal — Ensuring a positive experience for employees and patients. Evaluate how and how well your staff is trained on new technologies and workflow processes. With instruction and coaching, you can build on their user experience and lay the groundwork for added job satisfaction. For both staff and patients, determine the key performance indicators for your satisfaction strategy.
The next decade: Growing your organization’s digital health
Consumers are making it clear they want organizations to invest in digital transformation. They expect quality healthcare to be more accessible than ever and assurance their data is being kept secure. This will require a review of current capabilities and identifying gaps in order to establish reasonable goals for a connected care delivery model. To maintain marketability and consumer appeal, keep thinking about how to use technology differently and more holistically. With the power of digital, you can exceed expectations about engagement and delivery of high-quality patient care.
Christopher Baratta is a Principal of Grant Thornton’s Business Advisory Services practice and the West Region Health Care Advisory Services practice leader.
- Financial transformation
- Technology transformation
- Operational and organizational transformation
Stacy Tselekis joined the firm in 2005 and has more than 18 years of experience in management consulting. She specializes in strategy and performance improvement, helping government clients design programs, realize performance improvements and implement large-scale change through strategic planning, organizational assessments, processes analyses, performance measurement and change management.
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