Healthcare Operational Crisis and Automation

Efficient Healthcare is the foundation of humanity’s well-being and prosperity. Just in the past 100 years, the advancements in Medicine allowed people to treat diseases that previously had been incurable or deadly. As a result, in just half a century, life expectancy increased by 30 years. The pace of Healthcare’s evolution has been mindblowing. 

However, the 21st century’s Healthcare sector has new challenges to overcome. While scientists continue searching for new cures, the organizational crisis approaches. This crisis undermines the efficiency of the Medical establishments and takes its toll on the personnel. Perhaps, automation of Healthcare can help and effectively treat the crisis’s symptoms.

The Crisis

In 2016, some of the most prominent US hospitals reported significant revenue drops despite the positive state of the economy and reliable funding.

In 2018, Fitch Ratings’ not-for-profit hospitals report predicted that in 2019, nonprofit medical establishments would have difficulties paying more attention to operations. 

2018 report by Moody’s demonstrated that the growth of expenses outpaces the growth of revenue for nonprofit hospitals.

One of the main reasons for such a situation according to Harvard Business Review is “a mismatch between organizations’ strategies and actual market demand, and a lack of operational discipline.”

Add to this the burnout among medical personnel, which stems from “time pressure, lack of control over work processes, role conflict, and poor relationships between groups and with leadership, and emotional intensity of clinical work.” 

As a result, we have a cocktail that creates an ideal environment for the crisis. 

Treating Symptoms 

There is not a universal solution that will magically solve all the problems. The corrections of the strategic course and new economic initiatives are required to solve the operational crisis. However, automation of Healthcare operations can ease the symptoms. Implementation of the relevant software will help Healthcare establishments overcome the new age’s challenges and save costs on top of it.  

Automation can take care of the following aspects of the Healthcare establishments’ operations to mitigate the negative consequences of the crisis: 

1. Scheduling and Patient Management

According to the report on “Top Challenges for Medical Practices,” 46% of respondents voted for “the lost revenue from broken appointments” as the top issue. Besides, managing appointments is quite monotonous work that consumes a lot of time and energy. 

Relevant software targets this problem because it

1) Allows for scheduling and managing appointments

2) Provides convenient feedback mechanism

3) Provides possibility to notify patients via phone or mail 

4) Automates patient check-in system  

2.EHR 

In the US, preventable medical errors are among the top causes of patient deaths. The authors of this study on Improved Documentation argue that  “appropriate documentation and record management in the Healthcare system is a must to identify the causes of medical errors and to find ways to prevent them from happening.” 

Also, a recent study indicated that 65% of physicians feel overworked today because they are doing more paperwork and spending less time with patients.

This is where EHR (electronic hospital record) comes in handy. Having the possibility to conveniently store and manage all the information about patients and their treatment stored on a cloud cuts paperwork, saves time, and reduces the possibility of human errors.  

Therefore, EHRs should be created, maintained, or updated if required. 

3. Onboarding

Onboarding can be a major hustle with tons of paperwork. During this stage, new employees should learn everything they need to know about the company’s mission, vision, and corporate culture and, perhaps, acquaint themselves with the organization's management systems. Software can make this process smooth, effortless, and paperless and save your managers a lot of time.

4. Telemedicine Solutions

People would rather stay at home than go to a hospital. Telemedicine allows them to receive Healthcare services remotely while staying at home. Thus, relevant telemedicine solution can boost a Medical establishment’s productivity as well as decrease the number of unnecessary face-to-face meetings with physicians.

Full Circle Telepsychiatry is a bright example of the telemedicine solution, which provides  

 - teleconferencing service 

 - visibility of medication lists

 - lab values

 - diagnostics results

 - clinical status 

 - evaluations 

 - measurement of progress

Conclusion 

Overall, the emphasis on the automation of Healthcare has an amazing potential to improve the efficiency of the establishments and the quality of services they provide. For instance, it is predicted that in the UK alone, “the potential value of time released for NHS [National Health Service] staff through improved productivity from increased automation is estimated to be £12.5 billion a year.” 

However, the primary benefit of the software implementation is not cutting costs. Automation of Healthcare can give physicians and nurses more time to treat people and managers —  more time to make required corrections to the strategic course.

Therefore, let’s give Healthcare professionals more space to do what they do best — save lives, while all the routine work is handled by the machinery.