Sure, hospitals, medical practices and other healthcare providers of all sizes have spent a ton of time and money electronic health and medical record (EHR/EMR) technology, much of it as a direct result of meeting government requirements. But unfortunately, the IT investments and commitments of many small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in the healthcare arena stop there, with little or no investment in enterprise resource planning systems and software, better known as ERP.
Healthcare ERP has taken a back seat for many reasons, including:
The situation has changed, and it is high time for people at healthcare organizations to become educated about ERP and how it can help them. “This proactive software was once associated with the manufacturing industry because earlier ERP systems were designed to solve problems that inhibit production potential; however, ERP is now able to improve efficiency in lots of businesses,” according to IT Toolbox. “As a result, ERP is being endorsed by different industries, including the healthcare industry.”
This business-critical system (or suite of integrated ERP tools or applications) can collect, store, manage, and interpret data from many business activities. This, in turn, gives users an integrated view of core business operations, such as cash flow, production capacity, orders and purchasing, and payroll.
This technology is designed to monitor data and improve communication between an organization's departments, making it easier to access and interpret the most up-to-date business facts and figures.
“Think of ERP as the glue that binds the different computer systems for a large organization,” cites Investopedia. “Typically, each department would have its own system optimized for that division's particular tasks. With ERP, each department still has its own system, but it can communicate and share information easier with the rest of the company.”
ERP software functions like a central nervous system for your operation. It collects information about the activity and state of different departments and makes this information available to other parts, where it can be used productively by any time by any authorized user.
Depending on the specific ERP software you include, there are specific benefits to the healthcare industry, including:
That’s not an easy question to answer for most SMBs in the healthcare field. There may be only a few people on your IT staff…or your people may not have the time to become authorities on the many available ERP systems. Or software you may be using could soon be outdated or not have the right tools to meet your 21st century needs.
Smaller or medium sized healthcare organizations and practices may find it hard to handle such a big, business-critical task. So, what can you do?
Easy! The solution is to turn to objective, outside ERP experts on an as-needed basis. These consultants can readily help assess your current situation and needs, then help you decide on the ERP solution that’s efficient and effective for your organization. Plus, outside consulting experts can help train your end users and help make your EHR system more user friendly.
You should make sure that any and all consultants you bring on board have real-word operational experience and:
Medical providers need to stay competitive and deliver top-notch patient care and value. Now is the time for healthcare organizations to cash in on everything ERP systems have to offer.
A 2017 Black Book report revealed that healthcare organizations are underinvested in ERP technology. "Crucial back-end software that manages finance, supply chain and inventory management, purchasing, payroll and coding have been disregarded into a confused entanglement of different products that don't communicate and left executives with the inability to realize cost savings in preparation of value-based care," said Black Book Managing Partner Doug Brown. So, you need reliable, expert ERP advice. If you have a project coming up or a need that we can fill, please call us at 1 (866) 981-1095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.