Top Hospital Processes that Are Resistant to Change (And How to Change Them)

Posted by Shift Admin on August 31, 2017 at 6:01 AM

The healthcare industry is no stranger to innovation. Medical professionals innovate new methods for treating patients and curing diseases every day. However, when it comes to innovating the processes and tools used to provide excellent patient care, the industry has been slower to act.

Many hospitals and clinics address rising demands by hiring additional providers and office staff when they could save time and money with innovative, technology-forward processes.

Today we are reviewing several top hospital systems that are resistant to change and the innovative technologies they can’t afford to ignore.

File Management

Hospitals and clinics manage large amounts of complex data, and the most critical information is arguably the patient health journey. From intake forms and charts to insurance claims and billing, this information commonly lives in rows upon rows of color-coded, analog filing systems. Office staff members spend countless hours managing these systems.

Both small and large medical practices stand to benefit from leveraging an electronic health record (EHR) system to record the patient journey. With EHRs, providers maintain compliance and can easily mine data from patient files to identify trends. Ultimately, EHRs allow facilities to take a proactive approach to managing the patient journey and greatly improve efficiency

Patient Scheduling

Typically, a patient must call the office to book an appointment with their doctor. The office must staff someone to receive the call, find the patient an available appointment and place them on the schedule. Before the appointment date, a member of the office staff must phone the patient to confirm. Now, the patient either confirms or insists on rescheduling for another time, at which point the process starts again.

In today’s digital world, this should be the exception, not the norm. Using an online system places appointment management in the hands of the patient. Automation features prompt patients to choose an available appointment and manage the follow-up tasks. Patients can easily book or modify appointments based on preset rules, and facilities can gather important intake information by integrating with electronic health records.

Physician Scheduling

Keeping on the subject of scheduling, managing the physician schedule should be automated and rule-based as well. It can take days to create a schedule that satisfies the requirements of the facility and the preferences of each physician. Plus, it is usually only a fraction of an employee’s regular duties. Many schedulers are physicians themselves, and they have no time to waste creating the optimal schedule for a facility.

Shift Admin’s automated schedule generator allows personnel to create a fully-optimized schedule in minutes. The system works from rules that are predetermined and customizable by the administrator. With the rules in place, the generator takes intelligent action to fill each shift with a physician who meets the requirements. Similar to patient scheduling, physicians also gain autonomy over their calendar with the ability to pick up or trade a shift as necessary.

Payroll

When it comes to functions like payroll processing, most practices use third party management software. The problem here is how important data is uploaded into these payroll systems. Staff members are often required to enter duplicate information into various systems. This is not only time consuming, but it also opens the door to more human errors.

Administrators can automate the transfer of data from Shift Admin’s physician scheduler to trim the amount of time spent on payroll processing significantly. Shift Admin’s customized reporting features eliminate human error and positively impact personnel utilization.

Conclusion

So why are so many hospitals and clinics resistant to change? Primarily because new software often requires large monetary and time investments. The truth is, many of these innovations have relatively simple onboarding processes. The software investment may seem costly on the front end, but the value it adds by improving efficiency, employee satisfaction, and ultimately patient care is priceless.

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Topics: Efficient Scheduling Tips

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