Becker’s recently published an article on the Top 5 health IT issues, according to CIOs that caught my attention. They asked hospital system technology leaders: What are your most-pressing health IT issues this year?
Joel Klein, MD, senior vice president and CIO of Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System says, “Nurses, doctors, therapists, lab techs, pharmacists — basically, everyone who works in the field — are all exhausted and on the receiving end of a lot of animosity. We have to find ways to make the computer part of their day less taxing — any less friction is an improvement.”
I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and insights based on how to make the computer part of a medical professional’s day less taxing.
As we know from our own customer-base of hospitals across the country, patient assignment is one of the areas that can be particularly exhausting and taxing for medical professionals. It’s especially arduous when the process is done manually using spreadsheets. Creating morning rounding lists can take hours, and it doesn’t stop there – patients need to be assigned and provider relationships still need to be updated throughout the day.
The result? A lot of friction and wasted time for physicians, nurses and support staff, plus delays in clinical rounding time. It’s no wonder hospital staff are exhausted.
When a hospital embraces technology and transitions from a manual patient assignment process to an automated patient assignment solution that is seamlessly integrated with their EHR, the system automatically populates rounding lists AND updates the patient/provider relationships directly in the EHR – EPIC, Cerner, Meditech (or any other system).
This removes the manual burden of creating morning rounding lists and updating patient assignments throughout the day, reducing the length and stress of the computer part of a medical professional’s day and freeing up more time for patient care.
Billing and Coding
Another area that is particularly exhausting and taxing for medical professionals is billing and coding. When we speak to hospitalists, they don’t hesitate to express to us their dislike of medical billing and coding.
Sure, there are some who excel at (and may even like) the billing requirements of their job, but for the most part, they do not want to handle things outside of their calling. They did not study medical billing, but medical care.
Providers are trained on how to code their encounters. However, there are so many rules and exceptions that are outside the scope of the standard training, including different payer and insurance rules, actual coding edits, procedures that cover multiple different billable events, just to name a few.
Medical professionals are not the only ones frustrated when they have to perform billing and coding functions. Medical billers and coders, typically with formal training and years of experience, become frustrated having to go back and forth with providers to gather missing information and make corrections to charges.
Automation can help alleviate the frustration of billing and coding. Hospitals that have an EHR-integrated charge capture solution no longer have clinical staff recording billing codes (which they don’t want to do anyway), coders see far fewer errors that they need to correct, and administration has confidence that the billing matches the documentation.
It’s time to automate manual processes
You can continue to do the status quo because adopting a solution seems too complex or expensive. But, as we enter a financial downturn and the pressure to tightly manage resources while increasing revenue mounts, having the right technology systems in place to automate taxing, exhausting manual processes like patient assignment and medical billing and coding will not only increase efficiency and revenue, but will also reduce stress for medical professionals, resulting in better patient care. At the end of the day, patient care is the top priority, isn’t it?
As Joel Klein said in the Becker’s article, “Everyone who works in the field — are all exhausted. We have to find ways to make the computer part of their day less taxing — any less friction is an improvement.”
We can help reduce the friction. We’ve been doing it for over 20 years.
Book a demo of our intelligent revenue optimization and workflow automation solutions today.