Healthcare has traditionally lagged behind other industries in adopting and utilizing technology. Despite a slow start, leading healthcare organizations today are finding innovative ways to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and provide better care with a wide range of practice management and other cloud-based health information technology (health IT).
Some of the most widely used health IT programs and platforms include:
- Electronic health records (EHRs): 86% of office-based physicians use an EHR1, according to the most recent data available from HealthIT.gov (2017).
- Patient portals: Over 90% of healthcare organizations offer a patient portal2, although the rate of patient adoption and engagement is still low at around 25%.
- Telemedicine: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 11% of patients reported3 using telemedicine; today 76% say they are interested in using it in the future. Providers report an increase of 50 to 175 times the number of telemedicine visits now compared to last year.
- Integrated practice management solutions: There are hundreds of practice management solutions that integrate every step of the patient journey, from scheduling, appointment reminders, and electronic check-in to the EHR, coding, and bill payment.
If your practice is behind in adopting technology, these three important steps will help you create a health IT system that fits your needs.
Step 1: Audit Your Existing Technology
Before you decide what you need, take some time to audit your existing systems. If you’re not an expert in health IT, you can streamline this process by working with an experienced partner like PAG. During this process, we can review your system, identify what is working well, and determine areas where there is room for improvement or where you are leaking money as a result of inefficient or ineffective IT systems. Identifying cost-saving opportunities will also help you uncover available budget to put toward new software and systems.
Step 2: Examine Your Organization’s Specific Needs
Every healthcare facility is different, and the health IT you need will differ based on factors specific to your practice or organization. An experienced partner like PAG can help you narrow down the list of available technologies to the most important items, so you can maximize your available budget without overspending on things you don’t really need. We can also go one step further and help you figure out what features will be most important in your evaluation. For example, do you have network security issues? If so, it will be important to focus on data security and other cyber security technologies.
Step 3: Evaluate Vendors
This is possibly the most important step – and definitely the most difficult. There are thousands of software vendors offering various healthcare tools, and each one will tell you they have the best products and the best prices. Sorting through them to simply get to a shortlist of potential vendors can be daunting. Having a partner that understands the healthcare industry and the tech industry can bridge the gap so you get exactly what you need without spending too much of your valuable time in the research and vetting stages.
Contact PAG Today
Find out more about the advisory services available at PAG for organizations looking to expand their health information technology systems. Our expertise in the healthcare industry and long history of helping organizations improve operational efficiency can benefit your search for the right software and systems. If you’re ready to start the process of upgrading your health IT, contact PAG today.