Although healthcare providers have been eager for innovation and digital transformation, they have often been unable to achieve their goals because of the lack of funding. The discrepancy between needs and resources is a hot topic in 2022, emphasized recently in a study funded by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport and released by the University of Twente, as well as at the HIMSS annual conference in Helsinki. The focus is on maximizing the limited available resources to expand capabilities and deliver connected workplaces, improving healthcare and patient experiences.
“The pandemic showed us that many obstacles on the road towards digital care could be overcome in a short period of time,” the authors of the Twente study pointed out. The authors added despite these gains, “the implementation of many digital applications is lagging behind. We need a change in culture, digital literacy training, and better long-term funding to ensure that digitization has a lasting impact on healthcare.”
Although there’s still a lot of work to be done, healthcare organizations are discovering better ways to expand workflow capabilities with their limited budgets, creating more efficient processes that lead to better patient care and outcomes for all. And it all begins with transforming the workflow.
One way to keep workflows current and on budget is by adding prebuilt workflows to existing systems and then adding new apps to address future business and care models. Compared to rip and replace, this method is less expensive and less time-consuming to deploy. Providers have access to upgraded tools immediately and can implement better practices and provide better healthcare services as a result.
The addition of new programs and capabilities to healthcare IT systems is allowing providers to gain new insights that help them improve patient experience and the quality of care. Online systems that provide a more comprehensive picture of patients’ information with just a few clicks are replacing outdated, manual record-keeping and data filing systems. These allow patient information to be compared quickly and easily across providers. Providers are even adding consent management to their workflow platforms, expediting the creation, signing, routing, and storage of all consent documents, including HIPAA authorization, procedure-specific consent, and program enrollment.
Upgraded IT systems are also directly improving patient experience. In recent years, portals have been playing an increasingly important role in providing patients with the tools and resources they need. The pandemic accelerated patient interest in accessing their records and information digitally and also accelerated provider adoption of portals and other digital tools. For example, healthcare providers are also taking advantage of virtual agents to free up critical staff for other tasks. A chatbot can answer patients’ questions instantaneously without taking the time and attention from an essential employee.
Healthcare providers are also adding capabilities to their workflow that make it easier to manage not only COVID-19 vaccine administration but seasonal influenza and other immunizations as well by embracing online vaccine administration management tools Streamlining these processes online in a patient-friendly format simplifies the customer experience while also encouraging a healthier community. The successful incorporation of online vaccine scheduling is also enabling patients access to more online scheduling tools for regular appointments. Not only does this save frontline healthcare employees time, but it also improves the patient experience by making it easier to schedule appointments where and when is most convenient to them.
Healthcare has undergone tremendous transformations in recent years, but limited budgets have also hampered many providers’ efforts to drive change. To solve this problem, many organizations are expanding their already established workflow systems with new and improved capabilities. They are enhancing networks, improving the patient experience, and adding the tools necessary to build for the future of care.
A solid healthcare management system is the heartbeat of workflow. Learn more about expanding workflow capabilities by downloading the pdf below.