Technology equals efficiency. There is a caveat to that. The caveat being “if it is used properly.”
John Dodd, ION Solutions’ Director of Business and Clinical Consulting notes, “My reason for saying that is because in the four years we have been doing consulting assessments for ION, we have seen several examples where practices have great technology in place but are using processes that are outdated and don’t take full advantage of the technology. Time after time, practices bring in great technology but refuse to change their previous paper-based processes.”
Instead what Dodd sees is practices asking the technology company to build the new software to their old processes, completely negating the huge advantages the new system brings to their practice.
This failure to take advantage of the technology causes the following issues:
- Overstaffing (Note: Staffing costs are the second largest expense borne by a practice.)
- Lack of efficiency
- Lack of productivity
- Multiple layers of management needed to manage the inefficiency
- Vulnerability to staff disgruntlement and apathy
Questions that Dodd will ask of a practice include: Is your technology interfaced? Do your systems talk to each other and provide bi-directional information flow to allow for electronic communications versus paper processes?
There are systems used in oncology practices today that don’t talk to each other or can’t or won’t allow interfaces. This causes additional workload for the staff and greatly increases the potential for human error and reduced efficiency. Lastly, there are still practices today that don’t have an EMR (electronic medical record). That way of doing business carries its own inefficiencies, additional workload and potential financial liabilities and penalties.
If you are looking for a review of your practice to maximize the opportunities for improvement and alleviate many of the questions/issues discussed above, the Business Optimization team can help.
For questions regarding how you can ensure your practice is maximizing your use of technology, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org