Are your technology systems meeting today’s business needs?
Many companies are using technology implemented five or even 10 years ago designed to meet their needs at that time. But over the years, has it kept up with sea changes that have taken place in our industry?
Recent years have brought major shifts, including: more employee control over work schedules, increased demand for real-time data and greater consistency in technology and processes across the entire enterprise.
It pays to do a technology review every three to five years. Ask yourself these questions to tell if you need one:
- A Have your business needs changed since you implemented your technology?
Years ago, all we asked of scheduling software was the ability for each employee in a unit or hospital to log in and see their upcoming schedule. In the face of today’s cost pressure and labor shortages, healthcare organizations are moving to self-directed scheduling across their entire system. This lets employees pick when or even where they work, rather than being told their shifts for the next month. On the revenue cycle side, healthcare systems are automating workflows like payment processing and patient eligibility verification. Are you taking advantage of what today’s systems can do?
- Are you supporting 10 different flavors of your system rather than one global implementation?
Back in the day, it wasn’t unusual to tailor systems to the needs of each individual unit or department. The end result was 10 or 20 different system configurations to support and maintain. Now, healthcare organizations are moving to one system across the enterprise, with consistent processes and ways of doing things. Greater consistency also allows capturing and sharing data throughout the organization.
- Did you gain new features in your latest technology upgrade but you haven’t changed processes to take advantage of the new features?
Often, I find companies aren’t aware of new capabilities resulting from the latest upgrades of their business systems. For example, new mobile tools could make life easier for employees at many businesses, but they are not being implemented.
- Are you struggling to find the data you need to make sound business decisions and act on them?
Healthcare systems are becoming data-driven, whether it’s a physician practice or a regional hospital system. Faster access to more data shows what’s going well and what needs action. Data needs range from seeing how many days invoices lag in Accounts Receivable to knowing how many staff nurses are qualified and available to work open shifts this week.
Businesses need to do more than measure quarterly performance against key performance indicators. A greater need is seeing real-time data, so you can make decisions and take action to change outcomes. That’s not possible if you are looking at data that’s two weeks old.
If you answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions, it’s time for a technology optimization review.
How often do you review your technology implementation compared to current business needs? Post a comment to let us know what review schedule works for you.