Workflow Software Can Act As Efficiency Expert for Healthcare Providers

keyboardEach patient who steps into a hospital brings along a complicated tangle of data: current health complaints, medical history, allergies, medication lists and more. As the patient moves through the hospital system, the data follows—or at least, it should. When data fails to reach its proper destination, delays or failures in care may result.

Poor data management and other inefficiencies in hospital workflow are inconvenient for patients and stressful for staff. Bottlenecks in the continuum of care can cause overcrowding, decreased quality of care, and unsafe hospital conditions. In a bid to improve efficiency and productivity, hospitals and medical practices are turning to automation software to handle the vast stores of data and the disparate number of patient-related tasks inherent in the system.

The Children’s Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha, Nebraska, has found workload automation software to be an invaluable data management tool. The full-service pediatric center serves five states and handles over a quarter of a million patient visits annually, which generates a wealth of information that is crucial to patient care and hospital administration. The hospital uses ActiveBatch workload automation software, developed by Advanced Systems Concepts, to manage data across a range of different platforms, databases, and applications. Previously, most of the hospital’s processing tasks had been handled through a combination of manual operations and internally generated scripts. ActiveBatch allows the hospital to handle all of their data management tasks through one source, freeing the staff to focus on higher-level tasks. The software has been a boon to the hospital’s IT team, eliminating the time-consuming need to backtrack when processing errors occur. “If a multitask job fails,” says Kevin Sherlock, Database Administrator, “we’re able to ID where on the data flow the failure took place, and we’re able to tell what all the dependencies on that task are.”

Not only does data need to be managed, so does every stage of patient care. Workflow automation is another important aspect of hospital management, allowing medical centers to streamline care and improve efficiency and productivity. Here are some other companies that provide workflow automation for the healthcare industry:

TeleTracking Technologies provides solutions to track and manage bed turnover, room availability, patient transport jobs, patient procedures, patient transfers between hospitals, and more. The company has more than 735 hospital clients in North America and the United Kingdom.

Alteer Office from Alteer Corporation is a practice management solution that handles billing, electronic medical record creation, document management, and scheduling, among other tasks. Prescription writing and refills are handled using a drug database and local pharmacy listings.

Phreesia automates the patient check-in process with a self-service touch screen. The system collects patient information and automatically verifies health insurance eligibility and benefits. The patient can swipe his or her card at the machine to take care of the copay.

Do you know of any software systems that have helped a medical practice improve workflow efficiency? If so, please post in comments.

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