Hayes' Healthcare Blog

Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Your Legacy Support During a System Implementation

Posted by Tracy Welsh on October 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Implementing a new system comes with its own set of resource challenges. Oftentimes organizations utilize their internal staff to support the legacy system while learning and implementing the new system. It seems logical and cost effective at first. But it puts a lot of stress on help desk employees who are trying to focus on learning and building the new system while they worry about a backlog of help desk tickets waiting for them to resolve.

There becomes a breaking point where staff feel overwhelmed and may resign during an implementation. Or there are resources who are not being trained on the new system and see the writing on the wall and proactively resign leaving the old system with little or no support. Hiring a vendor to manage the help desk can be a cost-effective solution including accounting for unforeseen costs like:

  • Losing staff who possess significant institutional knowledge
  • Hiring and training new employees to support the legacy system
  • Ramp up time it will take new resources to come onboard midway through a new implementation
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Topics: clinical optimization, system change management

Restoring the Joy in Clinical Practice

Posted by John Halamka on September 20, 2017 at 9:00 AM

By Dr. John D. Halamka, MD, MS, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 has been blamed for many things, including the diminished joy of clinical practice.  

While HITECH certainly has its flaws, it’s hard to deny the positive impact.  In 2008 before the act was passed, less than 10 percent of non-Federal acute care hospitals were using a basic EHR. In 2015, 96 percent of those same organizations had implemented a certified EHR system. No other sector of the U. S. economy has experienced such accelerated technology adoption.

However, HITECH is just one component of the legislation, regulations and demands that have increased practice burden without simplifying processes through automation.

What can we do to transform the EHR from a burdensome requirement into an essential tool that improves the quality of practice life? Ideally the EHR of the near future will integrate patient data from multiple sources - providers, payers, patients, employers and devices then turn that data into wisdom, providing the clinician with actionable advice that will improve quality and reduce total medical expense. To realize that goal there is foundational infrastructure to be built. Instead of wringing our hands and blaming “information blocking”, we should focus on a short term work plan with the following.

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Topics: clinical optimization, EHR, value-based care, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series, HITECH

5 Reasons You Should Use an Independent Healthcare Expert for Clinical Optimization

Posted by Rena Hrivnak on April 12, 2017 at 9:00 AM

EHR technology has reached near universal adoption as organizations continue to invest in their IT environment. The clinical and business side of most healthcare organizations have adapted to the use of EHR’s and as resistance has melted away, there is a clamor to get even more utility from their systems. The general upheaval in the industry has also continued to shrink revenue and squeeze margins, leading organizations to launch cost savings initiatives across the board. Many look to their clinical systems to help them improve productivity, efficiency, and patient satisfaction to help drive revenue increases and trim costs.

Attaining those goals often leads to a clinical optimization program. Though worthwhile, these initiatives can often fall by the wayside or fail to get enough mind share because existing staff is tied up with day-to-day tasks that consume their time. Some organizations look to their EHR vendor to help but this can lead to a narrow, single solution view of potential improvements.

Often the best solution is bringing in an independent expert consultant who can help drive the optimization program and achieve tangible results. Here are five reasons you should consider an independent healthcare expert to help with your clinical optimization program.

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Topics: IT staff management, clinical optimization

7 Tips to Cultivate Your Trainer, Part 2 of 2

Posted by Angela Hunsberger on March 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM

This is the second installment of a two-part blog mini-series where I share the tricks of the trade with detailed tips surrounding 7 essential “train the trainer” categories.  Missed the first half? No worries, you can check it out here: 7 Tips to Cultivate Your Trainer, Part 1 of 2.

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Topics: training, clinical optimization

7 Tips to Cultivate Your Trainer, Part 1 of 2

Posted by Angela Hunsberger on March 15, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Preparing your trainer to deliver an impactful learning experience is essential for getting the most return on your training program. Aside from the curriculum, learn how to inspire, groom, and mentor your trainer to enhance your program and promote skill set growth. A good teacher mixed with a thoughtful technique can make the difference in what learners retain.

This is the first of a two-part blog mini-series where I share the tricks of the trade with detailed tips surrounding 7 essential “train the trainer” categories.

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Topics: training, clinical optimization

Optimizing Your EMR Project: Utilize Your Lessons Learned

Posted by Lisa Laravie on February 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM

“If I knew then what I know now…”

How many times have we all uttered that phrase? It’s easy to see mistakes or opportunities for improvement once a project or event is complete. The trick is taking that knowledge and utilizing it for current or future projects to avoid unnecessary headaches.

Nowhere is that truer than when you’re implementing an EMR. Learning from your experience during implementation helps you fill in functionality gaps and optimize your EMR as you go. If you’re like most organizations, your EMR projects represent a huge undertaking.  With the resource management, legacy systems to adjust, and new processes to be put into place, you will find it hard to keep track of all the details.  You can often be left wondering how you’ll maintain the project on time and on budget, let alone how to optimize the change. 

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Topics: project management, clinical optimization, EMR implementation

Verifying Patient Eligibility: Leveraging Epic Benefit Collection Workflow for Improved Collections

Posted by Karen Lilly Castle on February 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The turmoil in the healthcare industry is no more apparent than the effect it is having on patient health insurance. Rising costs in premiums and deductibles, the establishment of healthcare exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a workforce that continually changes jobs is forcing mass confusion in the healthcare insurance market.

As people assume more responsibility for payments, they are shopping for less expensive insurance options. To accommodate this new consumer mentality, insurance companies are offering a wider variety of plans than ever before. These dynamics place even more stress on the already overburdened front office function of most providers.

With patients moving from plan to plan, verifying eligibility has become crucial for hospitals and physician practices. The complexity of plan options makes the process even more challenging for front office staff. Determining coverage, benefits, co-pays and deductibles for each patient can be an overwhelming task.

Despite widespread use of electronic business transactions, many providers are still handling eligibility verifications manually. A recent report from CAQH Explorations reveals that health plans fielded more than 72 million phone calls on eligibility in 2015. The same report says the cost of a manual verification process is $8.39 per transaction, more than 17 times greater than the $0.49 cost of an electronic verification. In all, CAQH estimates the healthcare industry can save over $5 billion by using an electronic eligibility verification process.[1]

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Topics: clinical optimization, epic, Real Time Eligibility

How to Maintain Healthcare Security during Staff Augmentation: 4 Critical Areas

Posted by Steven Botana-Gumbs on January 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Every organization, at one time or another, will require staff augmentation. The reasons are common and include maternity leaves,
sick leaves and extended vacations. These absences while typical can cause disruption as management all too often does not have employees with bandwidth to cover their coworkers’ responsibilities and their own.

Many times, external resources are brought in on a temporary basis to help keep the wheels turning with minimal bumps in the road. This is necessary to ensure that all duties are covered and all deadlines are met.  

Unfortunately, what may seem like simple staff augmentation requires a great deal of forethought. Due to the security complexities in today’s healthcare environment, a cushion period is often necessary.

It is always a good practice for an organization to think about possible stumbling blocks that may lead to a break in the workflow process before the staff augmentation begins. Here are four critical areas to examine as you assess staff augmentation for your organization.

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Topics: clinical optimization, Change management, staff augmentation

The 3 C’s of Clinical Care – Clarity, Collaboration and Communication

Posted by Susam Vang on November 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

While patients today have more complications and multiple health problems, clinical care has become even more complex and specialized.  These days, an entire team of healthcare workers including physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, and health professionals work together to coordinate a patient’s well-being while reducing the number of medical errors, increasing patient safety, and improving patient satisfaction. This collective effort also inevitably leads to improved patient outcomes.

Health information technology has also become even more important than ever as healthcare professionals manage patients suffering from multiple health problems and need to quickly learn new methods. Multidisciplinary health teams need to be assembled and work well together in order to solve complex health issues and attempt to understand the patient’s health problem(s). By asking probing questions, making an initial assessment and, after discussing among the team members, the healthcare team needs to provide a recommendation to the patient.

For this reason, healthcare is a multifaceted environment in which health professionals from different specialized knowledge, training, and responsibility for different tasks must work together, communicate often, and share resources. Teamwork is essential for delivering quality care to patients and in order to keep up with the ever growing healthcare challenges, you need to assemble the best team you can.

Teamwork in healthcare means collaboration and enhanced communication among team members in order to expand the roles of clinicians and health professionals. Additionally, teams function better when they are able to make decisions together, and when they have shared goals and a clear purpose in order to implement protocols and procedures.

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Topics: clinical optimization

Transitioning to a New EMR – 3 Tips to Smooth the Way

Posted by Clinical Transformation Team on April 6, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Authors: Rosie Montemayor and Kelsey Kazmierczak 

 Electronic Medical Records (EMR) have become a crucial part of everyday healthcare operations.  Chances are your organization is currently working with an EMR system. Many organizations have not only adopted one, but have transitioned to another, newer model in hopes of returning the significant investment if the first implementation did not go as well as planned.  By the second go-live, organizations have a list of what to do and what not to do based on lessons learned from the first time around.  So how do you know if adopting a new EMR is the best choice?  What are some of those tips and tricks that you could learn from your peers? 

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Topics: ehr implementation planning, clinical optimization, EMR implementation

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