Financial Software Delivers Excellent Healthcare
Written by Pooja Thakkar
Health care organisations the world over are leaving no stone unturned to offer quality patient care and ensure sufficient margins. Besides they are establishing adequate operating controls, procedures and mechanisms to ensure that the care providers abide by the industry practices, regulatory guidelines and corporate human resources policies. Central to these controls are financial management activities that help the top management to know their revenue and costs by location, service line, department, or other organizational structure.
A good health-care manager deals with technological innovations, integrated health-delivery systems, restructuring and ever-changing regulatory requirements. The job might even include hiring personnel, ordering medical supplies and developing the financial framework by which new programs may be implemented or old ones expanded.
Reacting To Technology Change
Every industry experiences periods of transformation around their IT infrastructure. The healthcare industry is no different. In recent years, providers have been redesigning their finance functions to recognize the changes that have been occurring in the health service industry. Substantial investments and change have already been made in medical and patient technology; however, the same level of change has not been duplicated in the business infrastructure of many healthcare organizations.
There are few key ways the right accounting software for healthcare organizations establishes seamless, automated business processes that connect front office to back office and gives healthcare professionals more time and resources to reach their goal – excellent care for patients >>>
A typical healthcare organization finds itself stuck in the paper-based data collection and runs dozens of disconnected systems and a plethora of patient billing and records solutions.
Accounting software that integrates with other systems can dramatically improve operational efficiencies, reduce administrative costs, and ultimately free up cash for better affordable patient care.
Finance staff in many healthcare organizations today are overburdened with increasing pressures from internal and external demands. As other areas of a healthcare practice advance due to technology investments, the organization now expects quicker turnaround on requests and more financial information. Externally, many of the requirements from HIPPA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and HHS-GIO present challenges that are initially often overlooked for the finance team. Today, a top accounting software can help a small finance staff more efficiently address payroll/HR requests, automate expense reporting and purchase requisitions management, provide a paperless workflow around payables management, and much more.
Many healthcare organizations are only using financial software as a tool to present their practice to external users for financing, tax returns, and owners, rather than as a system to help improve the quality of patient care, reduce costs, or to increase revenues.
An improved efficiency in medical care drives down costs while maintaining excellent patient care. Today’s accounting software lets you do more with less, with a high and rapid return on your investment.
The need for business intelligence and the demand for predictive analytics will grow in healthcare over the next few years in order to respond to the needs to increase revenue, reduce costs and comply with industry regulations and standards.
Good financial software reveals relationships between data rather than merely making data more accessible. With electronic health records, healthcare organizations are able to do more complex analysis than ever before. Accounting software should ideally provide strong reporting features with the ability to report by locations, departments, physicians, and service lines.
Good Management And Quality
It is costly for healthcare organizations to comply with government regulations, industry standards, or corporate quality. Powerful accounting software helps healthcare organizations reduce the cost of regulatory compliance, lessens the risk of compliance failure, and protects company assets.
Health care financial management also serves as a key barometer for corporate performance because it helps senior management allocate corporate funds, analyze and forecast corporate financial condition, monitor personnel productivity and prepare accurate accounting reports.
These programs can analyze financial information such as medicine costs, training costs, medical equipment costs, patient billing, insurance billing, health care professional salary information, patient education program costs and general operation costs.
Software Technologies That Are Driving The Growth
The major types of software used in a healthcare organisation are listed below >>>
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
The most well known type of health information system is the electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR), which is the electronic equivalent of a patient’s paper chart.
Electronic health records give providers and patients’ easy access to timely health information. Using secure internet portal systems, patients can: schedule an appointment; view their medical records, including test results; update their demographic information; request a prescription refill, or communicate with the doctor or nurse.
Data is transmitted via a secure portal system to the patient’s electronic medical record and, if necessary, to a physician’s smart phone so that the patient’s condition can be monitored in real time.
Practice Management Software (PMS)
Practice management system is considered the backbone of the practice. The software allows workers to schedule appointments for different patients and ensure that there are no overlapping or overbooked time slots. Payroll and other accounting can also be carried out with the system, and workers and employers can easily keep track of the hours.
Medical Billing Software
The software is a type of computing or cloud application that enables healthcare professionals to develop, submit and track various claims as well as utilize coding systems throughout the billing cycle. These claims can either be submitted electronically or even printed and mailed to both the public and private health insurance organizations in order to collect all kinds of receivables. The software assists in the complete streamlining of the complete medical billing system.
These financial software packages are not only enabling healthcare organisations to deliver quality care but also streamlining the way information is created, collected, accessed and shared.
Hospital executives the world over are having to react and adapt to these digital changes. It is essential for healthcare institutions to embrace digital formatting – it brings with it many benefits – however, it is also vital that healthcare execs take the time to find the right software for their establishment. Take the time to speak to your employees, listen to their feedback, invest in the correct software and train people to use it efficiently. If all these steps are adhered to, then medical software has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
A guide to labelling compliance for medical devices
Small medical device manufacturers often find themselves scrambling to achieve the necessary compliance and validation, risking costly mistakes.
Validating systems and processes including labelling, to ensure they are compliant with stringent regulatory standards is tough and can be expensive. Indeed, compliance with the EU’s Medical Device Regulation (MDR) will cost more than 5% of annual sales, according to 48% of 101 companies polled by the German company Climedo Health, in July and August 2020 about their MDR-readiness.
But if companies bungle the software validation process or put incorrect and uncompliant data on the labels themselves, the penalties are likely to be more severe than just making corrections. Health and safety may be put at risk and fines imposed for failing to comply. When it comes to compliance, they may become overwhelmed with regulations in other geographic regions that focus on device traceability, each with a unique device identifier (UDI-like) component to it.
On the validation front, companies may not be familiar with the software validation process and the multiple tests and documentation necessary for validation are demanding if companies only have a small IT team that is very busy.
Putting a plan in place
MDR-compliant labelling, however, brings with it certain requirements which differ from what is demanded under the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) system rules. Under MDR, for example, manufacturers must ensure the label specifically states the device is a medical one using an MD symbol in a box. This is only one of many stipulations that usually require redesigned labels.
Small medical device manufacturers who rely on time-consuming and error-prone manual or legacy labelling processes to facilitate these label updates run the risk of mislabelling which can lead to non-compliance. They may have limited staff and no structured processes around roles and responsibilities when it comes to label design, changes and approval. As project leads work toward a compliant labelling process, it is therefore important to establish defined roles and access for each stage of the process.
When dealing with a compliance initiative, up to date, correct and compliant labelling is imperative. This involves having all the relevant label design elements in place to comply with the EU MDR or FDA regulations. Many times, label templates are hard coded, meaning IT must be involved in making changes. And with IT staff often being tasked with multiple mission-critical projects in the organisation, labelling projects can be delayed. For many small medical device manufacturers who have limited resources, finding a solution can be a challenge.
Why labelling in the cloud offers a roadmap forward
Validation-ready cloud labelling solutions have now emerged to ease compliance with regulations and time-consuming validation requirements. These solutions, built with the needs of regulated companies in mind, digitise the quality control processes and facilitate compliant labelling with role-based access, approval workflows and electronic signatures. Outside of compliance, carrying out labelling in the cloud drives scalability and productivity for small medical device manufacturers and boosts overall efficiency.
The latest cloud labelling solutions integrate with other cloud solutions, allowing for seamless functionality and minimising the need for local infrastructure resources and cost.
When it comes to validation, as with many labelling systems, those hosted in the cloud have vendor-supplied documentation that streamlines the process and significantly eases the burden when it comes to installation qualification (IQ). The manufacturer itself has a much lighter burden and a streamlined path to a validated system and process.
A more relaxed software release schedule eases the validation burden on life sciences companies because the software is updated once a year rather than multiple times. This gives them a continuously updated and maintained labelling solution without increasing the validation workload on their IT staff.
The manufacturer would of course need to work closely alongside the vendor and review the documentation, but, if needed, the vendor is able to do much of the work for them, providing not only the full validation acceleration pack but also professional services to assist with the validation process.
While some medical device manufacturers choose to tackle validation on their own, the vendor supplied validation acceleration pack or documentation helps to simplify the process. Consultancy and advice around validation is usually available from the vendor, tailored to the business’s specific needs.
Given the immense hassles of compliance for small device manufacturers, cloud-based labelling systems offer the benefits of a full label management system while easing compliance and validation. This is a future-proof technology. With a cloud-based labelling system, medical device manufacturers can be confident that they are running the most up-to-date software, enabling them to address the fast-changing new regulations and cope with whatever comes their way. And especially in the current pandemic, when face-to-face meetings are still problematic, it is a perfect way to keep labelling operations moving forward.