Answers for a Healthier World

Strategy is everything in healthcare. If you think about it, regardless of your industry, strategy is what makes every company function across the board. The foundation of successful strategy is effective leadership - particularly in the healthcare industry when dealing with optimizing and managing an electronic healthcare record (EHR).

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It’s never easy to pick a vendor. No matter what type of industry you’re in, most companies rely on the expertise of a vendor, partner, consultant, or other kind of third party expert to design or deploy some new items into an existing workflow. In healthcare and Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) implementations, this task can be especially tricky. And its success or failure will directly impact the adoption of a new solution like an EHR.

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Top 5 Considerations for an Affiliate Partnership

Collaborating and integrating electronic health record (EHR) systems between a host and an affiliate network carries several advantages. For the host, it can lower the overall budget of technology by spreading the burdens associated with large technology implementation and transferring some of those costs to affiliate hospitals and clinics. The affiliate hospitals and clinics gain the advantages of a single EHR system that can extend services to their patients through technology such as online patient portals, allowing their customers access to test results, appointment scheduling, and communication channels with clinicians.

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Strategic planning is essential in healthcare- particularly when implementing and operationalizing an EHR. One key extension to proper strategic planning is project and portfolio management. According to the Project Management Institute, 89% of high-performing organizations value project management and 81% of high-performing organizations actively engage sponsors.  An overall Portfolio Management Framework, however, is a necessary component to effective project management since it can instill a programmatic but practical approach towards implementation and optimization initiatives. To sum it all up, portfolio management helps projects align with overall enterprise strategies.

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A regulation-based, seismic change recently hit the healthcare industry. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a Medicare payment reform, went into effect January 1, 2017. MACARA and the associated Quality Payment Program (QPP) regulation will shift the reimbursement model from a straight fee for service model to a more comprehensive value-based framework.

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The launch of a new project such as an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system implementation is a major milestone for a hospital, and represents the culmination of significant investments of time, effort, and money. The success of the EHR launch and subsequent adoption by clinical staff will either have a positive or negative resounding impact on employees, the patients and the finances of a hospital. The consequences of an unsuccessful Go-Live are considerable — to the point where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources & Services Administration recommends planning, testing, training and piloting the system before rolling it out.

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Go-Live events are expensive. Many Go-Lives can be in the millions in total costs. This cost factor makes it important to set a budget for Go-Lives ahead of time, which requires planning early in the process. The total labor costs of the project are a combination of the number of “elbow support” used, how long the project is planned, the hours worked per week, and the rate from the external vendor. Travel expenses for the Go-Live project are mainly driven by the hotel costs since it’s a daily cost.

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Understanding and optimizing the revenue cycle is not easy. There are so many activities and steps pertaining to all administrative and clinical functions within healthcare, that the ability to capture, manage, and collect patient service revenue can seem daunting. Gaining an effective capability to do so requires that healthcare providers achieve revenue cycle readiness by examining and mapping each step from patient admittance to the release of their final bill. Each step in between represents a piece that leads to a complete revenue cycle. Successful and profitable healthcare institutions often have a firm grasp on every individual step, including visibility into the revenue cycle as a whole.

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Mergers, acquisitions, and joint partnership agreements among hospitals have picked-up over the past few years, and for good reason. Organizations are looking for alternative partnerships or affiliations as a pathway to success under the emerging value-based business model, often referred to as a population health management model.

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Many of the technologies as well as the business processes and even best practices that have been a bedrock for industries are being washed away by a phenomenon called digital transformation (DX). Cleverism.com defines digital transformation as the use of digital technology in every aspect of human society and living. They see digital transformation as the third step of a long process, coming after achieving digital competence and then becoming fully digital literate. This definition, however, doesn’t address what this means for hospitals.

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