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.
NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance
A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England.
Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year.
The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time.
From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.
Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction.
Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.
The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years.
If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.
Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”