Regardless of the various problems they encounter in terms of size and specialty, implementing the ideal healthcare ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution is critical across the healthcare industry. They all confront the common challenge: identifying patient and personnel management solutions that improve their abilities to give superior care while minimizing needless expenditures, risks, and inefficiencies. An increasing number of healthcare organizations are realizing that healthcare ERP software can help them overcome this operational challenge head-on.
What should CIOs and other IT executives consider when determining whether or not to implement or extend an ERP platform into a healthcare setting? How ERP is used in healthcare? These four essential features should be considered when searching for a healthcare ERP platform, especially when new problems like the COVID-19 pandemic and continuous regulatory changes force you to increase operational efficiency.
1. Eliminate Repetitive Data Entry and Coding Errors Across Different Departments
Many smaller healthcare organizations commit employees to the time-consuming and error-prone process of data input, which leads to duplication of effort across patient and client management tools. Repeated data input across scheduling software, billing and reimbursement software, and CRMs results in lost time, lost money, and human error. A robust healthcare ERP can tackle these issues. By sourcing generally needed data sets from the ERP hub and routing them to other applications in the network, the proper tool improves accuracy and efficiency.
Healthcare organizations of all sizes suffer comparable data input silos, and they frequently try to alleviate the inefficiencies by connecting their networks using bespoke dev API connections. If your team invests a lot of time and money in maintaining API connectivity, you may realize that a centralized healthcare ERP system manages these connections better and requires less regular and specialized maintenance in the future.
Let's take a look at how healthcare ERP systems benefit home healthcare organizations minimize data input points, reducing time, and increasing overall accuracy. When a client receives treatment through a Medicaid, Medicare, or VA waiver program, the issuing program provides a patient-specific authorization code and other information that must be entered correctly into various systems to assure reimbursement. When this data is not correctly coded or is miscoded while transcribing data from one system to multiple others, the company will most likely see a delay in payment, which will likely result in a long internal auditing procedure to avoid underpaid reimbursements.
You can ensure the following with a healthcare ERP that properly transfers this data across key platforms:
- The proper authorization codes and subsequent billing information are attached to the client's care profile and EMR (electronic medical record) for all of their covered services and supplies.
- All employees who work on that client's shifts have the proper authorization tag attached to their employee profile in both the scheduling and HRMS/payroll software, tying their pay to the sort of care they provide.
- All bills submitted to the waiver programs will include the right authorizations and billable hours the first time around, guaranteeing prompt and accurate reimbursement.
2. Manage The Growing and Diversifying Supply Chain Processes for PPE and Vaccines
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of properly integrating supply chain visibility and care delivery. According to Fierce Healthcare, the total usage of N-95 masks among acute healthcare organizations typically averages approximately 25 million per year, but in the first half of 2020, that group utilized more than 300 million of the same N-95 masks. This example demonstrates that many healthcare institutions had substantial quantities of medical equipment on hand before the COVID-19 pandemic, but most had never dealt with the supply, demand, scarcity, and urgency that the pandemic induced. With a larger and more diversified collection of medical products to manage and distribute, healthcare organizations must find ERP solutions that properly and effectively connect their supply chain operations to vendor invoicing and the unique requirements of each of their facility locations.
Again, COVID-19 highlights these two instances of shifting supply demands that healthcare facilities should think about while looking for an ERP system:
a. Better PPE Supply Chain Management
When a rise in COVID-19 cases occurs in one of their hospitals or congregate living facilities, healthcare organizations require more PPE (personal protective equipment) at a faster rate than ever before. Finding an ERP software that allows you to handle PPE ordering, donations, inventory, and depletion rates is critical. You may also require a more effective approach to supply and track PPE to employees' and customers' homes in the case of home healthcare and hospice. To help your organization get the resources it needs for your patients and employees, the appropriate ERP solution integrates inventory, shipping, invoicing, and even predictive analytics.
b. COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Tracking
Healthcare workers are among the first to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, followed by patients with chronic and critical illnesses. Your healthcare ERP suite allows you to effectively track which members of your staff and patient pool have been vaccinated as the healthcare community continues to play a part in tracking and administering the vaccination process. This information will be especially useful in the patient realm, where it will be used to inform data such as hospitalization prediction analytics. When tracking vaccination data in your ERP, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- If your organization provides vaccinations to patients and/or employees, your ERP should have supply chain capabilities that manage vaccine quantities, administration rates, and dates, expiration dates, as well as supplier and delivery information. This information should also flow into your HRMS, scheduling software, and any other ERP systems if you need to track a person's vaccination status or any adverse effects they have.
- Even if your organization does not administer vaccinations, an ERP system that allows you to track vaccinated employees in your HRMS and vaccinated patients in your CRM/medical records should be considered.
You can ensure that data about the supply, demand, and success rates of vaccine dissemination are accurately recorded throughout your systems by using a healthcare ERP platform.
3. Robust Employee and Patient Management with Built-in Regulatory Compliance Features
Government regulations in the healthcare industry change frequently, according to the Ministry of Health, as well as shifting recommendations from organizations like the WHO, CDC, and VA. Failure to comply with certain changes may simply result in minor issues or fines for the organization. Other blunders, such as a Tier 4 HIPAA violation, may result in fines of up to $1.5 million or, in the worst-case scenario, a license revocation.
Your hospital or facility can automate the process of avoiding compliance breaches by using a healthcare ERP solution intended to track compliance measures both internally and externally. Look for the following healthcare-specific compliance features:
- An ERP that can quickly adapt to new regulatory information across the platform's features and monitor changing regulations on state and federal websites using sophisticated AI.
- To secure PHI and avoid data breaches that result in HIPAA violations, an ERP with strong security protocols is required.
- An ERP that avoids human mistakes by transmitting correct employment and medical history/PHI data across databases.
- An ERP that can handle the increasing amount of telehealth data while also providing the necessary cloud-based security to provide such virtual services.
4. Incorporate Predictive Analytics and AI Centered on Patient Quality Assurance
Predictive analytics has become more widely used in healthcare, allowing physicians to analyze a variety of risk variables that might lead to a severe, life-threatening occurrence for a patient. Your healthcare ERP platform should be able to not only keep up with this information on your patients' health but also utilize it to guide other choices, such as in the following scenarios:
- If your scheduling software indicates that several of your Alzheimer's and dementia patients are high hospitalization risks, your healthcare ERP system can link data from patient EMRs to employee profiles in your HRMS and/or LMS, allowing you to quickly identify which employees have the necessary training to provide specialized dementia care to these patients.
- Your predictive analytics can suggest that a patient is high-risk if they have been hospitalized a particular number of times in a certain time, prompting your team to make care plan changes in your scheduling or care management software.
- If several catastrophic events or health scares occur while an employee is under their care, your predictive analytics may suggest that they are a high-risk employee who requires more training or termination.
- Predictive analytics might suggest that you need to raise the order amount, frequency, or distribution of N-95 and surgical masks if one of your facilities has historically gone through them at a faster pace than others. This will ensure that your patients in that area are never treated by a member of staff who is not wearing PPE.
Well-informed care and training decisions come from ERP platforms that incorporate predictive analytics, whether they are native to your selected ERP or exist in another one of your company's applications.
5. Final Thoughts
By the end of 2021, “demands for product/service adaptability and agility will position elasticity as a top-three criterion for more than 75% of enterprise technology and services purchases”, according to Gartner. Across the board, the healthcare industry has been plagued by several inefficiencies in technical procedures and sophistication for years, resulting in operations with data that is less trustworthy, more prone to security breaches, and less insightful in terms of cross-application information. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed these flaws to entire the world, demonstrating that things like better PPE supply chain management and medical practitioners offering widely accessible (and secure) telehealth were not fully considered until it was too late.
Healthcare ERP systems are designed to alleviate these new operational issues, helping your team accomplish a better workflow with more efficient work, fewer expensive compliance and reimbursement errors, less lost income, greater predictability in staffing, and more logistical control over supply chain management. With a healthcare ERP platform in place, your organization will be able to handle both present and new operational problems in the future.
It's critical to take advantage of technology advancements to satisfy corporate needs on time in this digital world. Healthcare ERP Solutions are included in such developments and may be utilized in the healthcare industry, including hospitals, diagnostic centers, and other healthcare facilities. To receive customized ERP Solutions for the HealthCare Industry built by skilled Odoo ERP developers, get in touch with SotaTek, a well-known IT solutions provider that offers services in Odoo ERP customization and implementation. Our team of seasoned technology experts is ready to dig into the ERP solutions that will help you stay on top of the healthcare industry's changing landscape.