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Clinical vs. Operational Platforms: Taking the Bull By the Horns

Clinical vs. Operational PlatformsSo, we thought we’d jump in with both feet and take on thechallenge of clinical (EMRs) vs. operational (capacity, optimization, throughput) platforms.

While the adoption of electronic health records has been good for healthcare, it has also created many additional stresses on already burdened caregivers.   A chaotic environment remains on the operational side of hospitals because of deep vendor and solution fragmentation with little to no integration.

A lot of bull has been slung around – plus around $20 billion in cold, hard cash – concerning the impact of Electronic Medical Records on healthcare.

It’s time to clean up some of what’s been left behind.

First, no one is arguing that EMRs can’t be vital to a hospital’s mission and the patient’s well-being. After all, having records available on time and in the right place is almost as important as having the patient there the same way. There can be no question that a fully informed physician, with the help of decision-making support software, can make a better call on the patient’s health.

Second, who can argue against a vast database that shows which patient treatments work best and which don’t?

But when it comes to saving substantial dollars as part of Health Care Reform, we have to draw a line in the cow pasture. Just about anyone who is not in the federal government is hard pressed to show how EMRs save money, except perhaps by preventing readmissions.

In almost all cases, federal EMR incentives are just that. They whet the appetite, but don’t pay for the meal. Hospitals must lay out millions of dollars for implementation, and then hope they qualify for reimbursements by meeting meaningful use requirements.

Yet, as the Health Reform law now stands, hospitals are on the hook to cut between $155-to-$200 billion in waste from their operations over the next decade. EMRs won’t do that.  At TeleTracking, we recognize the principal mission of hospitals is to provide the best care they can to the people who most need it. EMRs certainly can help do that.  But, as the wise administrator of a Catholic hospital once said: “We’re Sisters, not suckers, and we know that without a margin, there is no mission.

TeleTracking has been in the business of cutting hospital waste and generating revenue for over 20 years.  We are committed to solutions and services designed to optimize hospital operations to support a healthy bottom line – and we have hundreds of hospitals that can attest to our “meaningful use”.   We do it by streamlining the operational side of the business through automation and real-time business intelligence, the way many private industries now do – and we call it Real-Time Capacity Management.

No margin, no mission – a simple but incredibly powerful statement.  What do you think when you hear those words and what are you doing to be sure both have equal billing in your organization?

Valerie Fritz

Categories: Operational Efficiency, Real-Time Capacity Management