The evolving technological systems within the healthcare industry are designed to improve the quality of patient care and ensure that organizations remain cost-effective. In order to keep the implementation process running as smoothly as possible, medical facilities should work with a firm that specializes in healthcare IT consulting.
This will be especially useful for educating providers on the full benefits of new systems. However, a recent report found that many providers question whether current-generation technology can get the job done. Even though health IT will help accountable care organizations (ACOs) cut costs, most ACO health IT strategies are "labor intensive," stated the findings of Salt Lake City-based healthcare intelligence firm Leavitt Partners and Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research.
"Many existing solutions, such as [electronic medical records], have yet to be fully adapted to ACO needs," the report's authors wrote. "Many providers wonder if there is a one-stop vendor that can meet all ACO needs. The current answer appears to be 'no,' but there are some vendors who see themselves as nearing turnkey status."
The research is based on analysis of 324 ACOs and interviews with 57 physician leaders and health executives.
Healthcare IT consulting highly beneficial in crossover period
In addition to choosing which electronic medical record (EMR) system will best meet an ACO's needs, a hospital consultant can also assist employees in medical facilities understand the intricacies of new systems.
For example, patient portals are also considered as highly effective in improving quality of care. A recent KLAS survey found that more than half the health systems, hospitals and clinics in the United States offer the option to patients. KLAS added that the "push" for meaningful use requirements and a "pull" on accountable care have helped 57 percent of medical facilities implement portals.
Healthcare IT consulting services will ensure that employees are fully educated on any new systems, including patient portals and EMRs, in order to further improve patient care.