From EHR to Health IT Operations: 10 Ways to Lower Costs and Save Time

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By CereCore | Dec 3, 2021

4 minute read MEDITECH| EHR/EMR| Epic| Blog

Looking to streamline healthcare IT operations or costsNeed tried and true tactics to save time for clinicians and IT teamsAs you develop strategic plans to support patient engagement, improve clinician satisfaction, and enable health system growth plans, consider adding these healthcare IT solutions to your toolbox. Whether you are looking to save time and money at year-end or year-around, check out these resources for a wide variety of tactics to maximize your IT operations.

Maximize your MEDITECH investment 

1. Get registration right with pre-built MEDITECH worklists and rules

Registration is an area ripe with opportunity for time-saving automation, improved data accuracy, and streamlined workflows. MEDITECH worklists and rules are a cost-effective way to optimize the EHR with pre-built, tested, and customizable solutions within a matter of days. We offer a library of worklists and rules specifically for common problems with registration, but we tackle other areas, too. Learn more about this accelerator: MEDITECH Expanse Registration Worklists: A Quick Win for EHR Optimization and Revenue Cycle 

2. Support revenue integrity by validating orderable charges in MEDITECH  

Have you performed annual pricing changes, implemented regulatory updates or added new services? If yes to any of these, did you use an automated testing process to make sure orderable charges are flowing through the billing queue correctly? Check out this cost-effective, automated solution that helps your health system validate the build of orderable charges whenever it is needed. 

3. Move to MEDITECH Expanse when the timing is right for you 

If enabling more coordinated patient care, reducing total cost of operations, and increasing clinician and patient satisfaction are goals on your long-range strategic healthcare IT plan, then a move to MEDITECH Expanse could be in your future. Download our latest eBook The Path to MEDITECH Expanse: Why Your Organization Needs a Single EHR, and glean practical insights, pros and cons of moving to MEDITECH Expanse, lessons learned from clients, budget considerations, steps for readiness, and questions to ask potential partners before embarking on this transformational EHR journey.  

Enhance hospital operations with Epic solutions 

4. Help clinicians save time collecting regulatory data with Epic Flowsheet SmartForms™

Epic Flowsheet SmartForms™ are a cost-efficient way to help clinicians capture regulatory data during their clinical documentation workflow. These smart forms can be configured with programming and scripting behavior as simple or as complex as you would like. For example, you can build out different types of cascades based on age, sex, or answers to various questions, or you can require a practitioner to answer a question (or multiple questions) prior to exiting a form. See five practical ways Epic Flowsheet SmartForms™ can be used to capture regulatory data. 

5. Implement a cost-efficient care planning and coding framework consistently approved by the Joint Commission 

Another cost-efficient use of SmartForms streamlines the electronic documentation of nursing plans of care (POCs). Using CereCore’s build of the Clinical Care Classification (CCC) system in Epic helps you fulfill Joint Commission standards for nursing POCs at approximately half the cost and completion time than with in-house, ground-up efforts. Find more details about the CCC solution in Epic and help clinicians fast-track care planning. 

6. Setup virtual local printing through Epic Hyperspace for better overall experience

Maintaining printers can feel like a never-ending support cycle and printer issues can frustrate caregivers and cause delays in patient care. Traditionally, printing in Epic is handled by a standard server-side printer setup, and it can be time consuming to configure and maintain each printer. However, virtual local printing through Epic Hyperspace can help reduce both your build and maintenance times. You can setup virtual local printing for patient labels, armbands and plain paper, and this blog shares our experience with an Epic go-live where we set up the facility for Hyperspace Local Printing/Virtual Local Printing (HLP/VLP). 

Evaluate the value of regulatory reporting and data archive solutions 

7. Examine potential cost savings with commonly-owned tools like Microsoft PowerBI  

The value of a data visualization tool comes from being able to answer a healthcare operations question with actionable insights or to satisfy regulatory data submission requirements. However, third-party reporting platforms can be costly. Based on our years of hospital operations experience, we offer several recommendations of how you can take advantage of commonly-owned software such as Microsoft SQL SERVER and PowerBI for reporting.

8. Retain online access to data from retired IT systems at a lower cost

If moving to a new EHR is on your roadmap for the new year, do you have a cost-effective option for handling legacy archive data? According to KLAS, 85% of interviewed organizations reported that archiving their data is less expensive than continuing to pay licensing and maintenance fees for a legacy system. Save your hospital money by not paying for obsolete systems for look-ups or data retention requirements. Avoid the sticker shock when it comes to a legacy data archive, and learn how our solution based on industry-standard software works as a legacy archive solution for virtually any data set including: Patient Accounting, Clinical and EMR, Human Resources and Payroll, Enterprise Financials, and Supply Chain. 

Right-size healthcare IT operations with managed services 

9. Research the value in outsourcing your infrastructure needs

As a healthcare IT leader, you are bombarded with high-priority projects that are paving the way to transform patient care and improve experiences. Meanwhile, you juggle hardware refresh efforts, software upgrades, user access management, cloud migrations and more. With the pressure to drive increased efficiency at a lower cost along with staffing challenges, managed IT services is a growing trend used by healthcare CIOs to deliver high-quality IT services to their organizations. Read why could you benefit from managed IT services 

10. Assess IT support costs and opportunities for improvement

The IT service desk often stands between the caregiver and the patient. Delving into the most commonly reported issues, service level agreements, staffing models, and reporting can reveal insights that turn into cost savings, improved productivity and satisfaction. High-performing service desks are critical to hospital operations. How healthy is your IT support desk? Download this eBook to discover how service level metrics can uncover hidden costs and how other health systems have tackled IT support challenges. 

Bottom line: The stakes are high when measuring the return on investment for healthcare technology. It has the power to restore focus, give back minutes to patient care, and empower care in new ways. The solutions, accelerators, and best practices covered in this article have proven to solve pain points, and have been developed through our heritage as healthcare operators and IT professionals in America’s top performing hospitals. Wise investments today can transform healthcare in the years to come.   

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