The technology was touted as being a game-changer for the healthcare industry. Most leaders in healthcare apparently believed in its possibilities, according to a November 2018 Stat poll by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). While the number of respondents (70 percent) who indicated that they would be investing in new healthcare tech the following year wasn't surprising, the fact that it has stayed consistent for a number of years indicates that they haven't found a true solution that addresses their pain points.
Here's how to stop the cycle of stress and find solutions instead:
1. Identify the Goal and Process
Healthcare is an industry that is both varied and highly regulated. Understanding the process their own practice uses to approach and meet these sometimes contradictory elements is the first step in finding the right tech. Each practice leader has to decide if they will delegate this process or handle it themselves. Regardless of their decision, the desired goal must be understood before working backward to create a process that meets it.
It's vital that this goal -- and the approach that's necessary for the practice to reach it -- are fully understood prior to shopping for healthcare tech. Though vendors will assure a practice that their solution is the one that can address their pain points, it's not possible to determine that unless a goal is established first.
2. Standardization is Necessary
It might seem like standardization is something to be avoided because of the lack of personalization and ability to meet each patient at their own level that the concept implies. However, if implemented correctly, standardization can be a good tool for delivering evidence-based best practices across the board to all patients. These broad standards of care can boost efficiency while also decreasing volatility at the same time. Both of these components are projected to become even more important in the healthcare industry in the future.
That being said, the healthcare tech that meets the needs of a colleague might not be the one that is best for the practice across town. There is no one-size-fits-all model for healthcare tech or patient treatments. In both, however, there is room to compromise and still meet the goals of each.
3. Who is Using the Current Technology?
Sometimes the fact that a particular model of healthcare tech isn't working has nothing to do with the tech itself. Instead, it could boil down to the people who are -- or aren't as the case may be -- using it. Before making a switch and starting the integration process, do a little research. Find out exactly who is using the tech, how they are doing so, what -- if any -- benefits they are seeing from it and any issues they are experiencing.
There could simply be a disconnect between the experiences of those people who are hands-on with it and the administrators who make budgetary decisions. In other cases, these two entities could have vastly different needs from each other. This could mean that the same system won't work for everyone. There is also the possibility that the system that's chosen will have some features that aren't being used by one or the other group.
For example, instead of a completely new set of healthcare technology, it could be as simple as contacting the point person to discuss optimizing the existing features or adding access to additional components that better meet the needs of the provider. Before making that decision, though, everyone in the organization needs to understand the purpose of the tech and why they are using it.
4. Understand That it Takes Time
Time is something that most people -- especially those in the healthcare industry -- don't have enough of. Between meeting all the requirements for insurance paperwork, marketing the practice, delivering excellent patient care, employee management and a plethora of additional tasks, finding the right healthcare tech can fall far down the list of important duties.
In spite of this reality, healthcare providers will need to choose a tech system for their practice. It's not a question of "if" such a system will be needed. Instead, it's simply a matter of when the time will be devoted to researching what's available. In some cases, the management will be proactive enough to do so at the start of the process. At other times, a crisis will prompt the push to implement such a symptom.
If healthcare providers need any more justification, they can find it in the knowledge that other practices have experienced adverse effects by not having a system in place. For example, some practices were experiencing an uptick in the number of patients who never picked up their medications from the pharmacy or who wanted to change their prescription.
This was the result of these patients being unpleasantly surprised by the price of their medications when they arrived at the pharmacy to pick them up. Having the healthcare tech in place that allows providers to share pricing information with their patients before they ever leave the office. Not only does doing so help improve communication between the two, but it also protects patient health and boosts loyalty. As an added bonus, it protects the reputation of the healthcare provider that is writing the prescriptions.
Regardless of your actual working experience with healthcare tech, though, it's here to stay. It's time to look for a different healthcare tech solution that was built with physicians in mind. M-Scribe Technologies was built from the ground up by a group of physicians. As a national provider of medical billing services including documentation and ICD-10 coding, M-Scribe Technologies is the choice for more than 500 healthcare providers working across more than 25 hospitals and 200 clinics. Contact us at 770-666-0470 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can meet your needs.