Top 5 Technologies that Facilitate Better Collaboration
October 10, 2017
Have you heard the phrase, "Too many cooks spoil the broth"? Well, in healthcare, too many people working in parallel without great communication can do a lot more damage than ruining a meal. Improved collaboration in healthcare has been shown to not only improve patient outcomes but also reduce costs and improve profitability.
One of the difficulties for the healthcare industry has been the multi-layers of collaboration needed. Employees need to work together within departments, between departments, with 3rd party providers, and, of course, with the patient. On top of that, the variety in communication channels – in person, on the phone, by fax, by email – just adds further complexity.
Fortunately, there are a number of newer technologies that offer excellent advantages in improved collaboration within healthcare organizations and with regard to the communication with outside providers.
5 Technologies to Facilitate Better Collaboration
There are a number of technologies your healthcare organization can implement in order to better facilitate collaboration and streamline the communication process. Here are a few examples:
- Business Process Management. BPM software, when integrated with document management, can link the entire healthcare organization together, so that every individual piece of data can be found in one platform. This includes not only patient information, but transparency into which employee is working on what, and what information is needed or expected from an external party. This allows healthcare organizations the ability to work in parallel and access pertinent information on a single patient across several departments, from intake to billing to various other departments.
- Mobile Apps. Many of the current technologies are available through mobile apps so that staff can have instant access to information no matter where you are. You don’t have to be sitting at your desk to make sure that everyone is getting the information they need as quickly as possible. This feature dramatically improves communication in situations where one employee's approval is needed on a specific issue. It also can accelerate the claims process and improve cash flow.
- Electronic Form Software. Using multiple platforms is common, so sharing duplicate data is essential to reducing data entry. Electronic Form Software can pull information from various sources and maintain it in a way that can auto-populate needed documentation. This software can also use mandatory field requirements to diminish the chance of missing information which can impact processing time later on.
- Integrated Technologies. No matter what types of software your healthcare organization is using, it's important that it features excellent integration with other applications. This is increasingly necessary in healthcare where different partners work through disparate software applications. Integrations and interoperability is critical to reduce the burden of data sharing.
- Electronic Signature. For healthcare especially, signatures are essential from physicians, health providers, and patients to ensure the revenue cycle can continue to flow smoothly. With electronic signature capabilities, these essential pieces of authorization/confirmation can be captured through a variety of means – at a patient’s home, in the provider offices, or via email. It reduces risk of missing necessary signatures and eliminates the need to rely on antiquated paper/fax systems that add extra, unnecessary effort to store and archive signature capture.
Upgrading Technologies, Increasing Communication
As technology moves forward, healthcare organizations can take advantage of increased abilities to better access data and eliminate human error from many processes. One option includes implementing cloud based technology, which is advantageous because the applications can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. When deciding on technological upgrades, it's important to look at the system's ability to integrate with past technology and other provider's systems. It's also ideal to find vendors who offer optimal support during and after integration.
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