The new year will bring a continued focus on quality and costs. How will quality improvement professionals use enterprise systems to meet organizational goals? Enterprise quality improvement will be a major focus in 2020 as healthcare organizations grow larger by contracting with and acquiring other companies, according to Amy Andersen, healthcare industry lead with North Highland Worldwide Consulting in San Francisco.

“They need to find a way to operate that will get rid of duplicative systems and technology platforms that are not serving them,” Andersen says. “I think there is going to be a continuing drive to look at enterprisewide services like claims and touching on the clinical side of patient-facing systems that also touch on the financial side.”

What is new is how much Andersen is hearing healthcare CEOs and CFOs concerned about the implementation of systems and particularly their adoption by clinicians.

For example, the decision to adopt a particular financial platform across the entire enterprise is driven by financial and technological concerns. However, organizational leaders then start to worry about how well it is going to be used.

“The implementation is the harder part. More and more, I’m hearing from leaders that they are concerned particularly with the implementation and adoption by physicians,” Andersen says.

“I’m getting more questions about physician adoption, how to get them on board with what we’re trying to do,” she continues. “With so much of these efforts involving quality and data collection, I see these leaders turning to quality improvement professionals to help the organization reach its goals.”

Quality Leaders Can Help

Healthcare leaders are recognizing that physician adoption of any new technology or process is the last hurdle — and one of the most challenging, Andersen offers. Leaders are turning to quality professionals to assist with showing physicians the value of the new systems. Further, these quality professionals can assure physicians that leadership wants to support clinical practices without adding unnecessary administrative burdens, such as logging in to a separate screen, she says.

Quality professionals are uniquely suited to assisting with physician engagement and the introduction of new, potentially disruptive systems.

“There’s a new awareness of physician engagement, and also more concern about patient engagement,” Andersen says. “This is an opportunity for healthcare organizations to think differently about how they interact with patients and how systems can be designed and implemented to better serve patient care and patient experience. That is something that ought to be on the radar of leaders as they think about cost and quality.”

Concern Over Physician Burden

Andersen also notes more concern about the administrative burden on physicians, the “pajama time” required for data entry at home after patient encounters.

“Healthcare organizations need to be very aware of how much we are requiring for physician engagement in quality programs and all the data collection efforts or networks that have an effect on costs and revenue,” she cautions.

“We ask physicians to do a lot of stuff,” Andersen continues. “We need to look at all of the information systems, the reporting that is required, the contracts you have, and see if there is a way to get the access you need that will reduce some of the burden on the physician.”

A thorough assessment may reveal that some of the reporting requirements are duplicative, which will not be a surprise to the physicians, Andersen says. “There is an opportunity to look at the processes and the desired output, and to redesign the reporting requirements,” she offers.

“There can be ways to develop a menu of information that you only request once, and then that information can be used to inform multiple needs,” Andersen continues. “There has not been enough of a review of how information is gathered, and physicians are often the ones who carry the burden of that inefficiency.”

SOURCE

  • Amy Andersen, Healthcare Industry Lead, North Highland Worldwide Consulting, San Francisco. Phone: (415) 624-6572. Email: amy.andersen@northhighland.com.