If you live in the world of operations, at some point you have probably thought to yourself, "there must be a better way to do this!" In the world of healthcare revenue cycle management, this is opined almost daily. Whether you were impacted by a merger or acquisition (M&A), oversaw multiple care locations, or worked in a central billing office living within 10 different systems at one time, I can promise you, there is definitely a better way.
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it would be that it's imperative to streamline processes and look for the most productive ways to accomplish daily transactions. In the past, if your operations team relied on multiple systems to accomplish daily work, it was an accepted situation and you learned to deal with it. Some teams probably even prided themselves on the fact that they could multitask to an exponential degree. While this is quite an accomplishment, and in many ways accepted, this is not how you can scale an organization.
To go a step further, this is not only a U.S. phenomenon. This is the same globally and has continued for the last 20 years. This proves that change is inevitable, organizations are growing, and it’s time to prepare.
So, what happens post-merger when the dust settles; or when you look at your internal operations and realize that your smoothly-run operation is now required to work within perimeters and systems that simply do not align with your own? You can look to switch software systems, retrain your staff, and then implement the new platform across your organization. But what if that solution does not work, or if you find yourself in the same situation years down the road?
A recent survey of tens of thousands of tech-weary hospital executives and user-level IT staff indicated that 93% of large health systems had few regrets over their switch to a new system-wide management platform; this while 88% of mid-sized systems were lamenting their decision due to a number of issues they had experienced.
In review, mid-market system CIOs spent a lot of money focusing on functionality and incentive-dollar achievements and did not appropriately understand long-term value by dealing with basic issues, such as departmental workflows, usability, interoperability, and data-sharing standards. When you consider most struggling organizations are dealing with tight margins, it’s easy to understand why the majority of leaders are looking for ways to course correct from bad decisions.