Over the past 20 years, the term ICT (information communications technology) has become a critical part of businesses’ functioning.
Many organisations have welcomed a Chief Information Officer (CIO) into the c-suite as the strategic importance requires a dedicated person. This is in recognition of the paradigm shift in how businesses now function. In my previous post, I pointed out that the relative digitization of healthcare is far behind other sectors and that Ireland is further behind again. This is changing rapidly and many hospitals have a CIO (chief information officer) overseeing their approach to ICT. ICT is a broad term and when thinking of these technologies in a system, communication is essential.
There is a chapter in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, titled “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes.” Gladwell gives an account of a plane crash that could have been avoided had the co-pilot of the plane spoken up against the actions of his superior. Gladwell attributes this deference to a cultural dimension specific to Koreans. This stance has been called into question but what is certain is communication or lack thereof, had a disastrous impact on the crew. In my own role as an emergency doctor, I have a keen awareness of the importance of communication and delivering the most accurate information in a timely fashion.
Communication framework in healthcare
Managing communication is a much written about the topic. The World Health Organisation has a framework that encourages an organization to make communication accessible, actionable, credible, relevant, timely, and understandable. Our contention is that this framework is farther reaching than just intra-communication, it is also a way of reflecting on ICT and the role it plays for hospitals and billing specifically.
Credible: The credibility of information for administrative staff is the source of the data in the first instance. The EHR (Electronic Health Record) is ground zero for data on patients but sources such as insurers are also important and relationships can be very productive.
Relevant: A time-consuming component of having a huge amount of data is picking off the parts that are most relevant. Hospital claims teams spend a lot of time reviewing data that is simply irrelevant to the process but must be done due to constraints of existing systems.
Accessible: The creation of a claim requires the careful stage management of a number of several different sources. Systems should be easily accessed (if not automatically accessed) to fill in repetitive parts of the claim.
Timely: A by-product of silos that have been built in hospitals is that accessing and collating data from various IT systems are inevitably a timely process. Hospitals should focus on how technology can help automate the tracking of actions and notifications to help with communication.
Understandable: technology should only help in accessing information, it should tell a story. Visualizing data is an important component of this as a picture tells a thousand words.
Actionable: Once the data has been extracted, it should be clear what the next steps to be taken are. This can be achieved through enhancing the user interfaces of systems so root causes are clearly expressed and options are shown.
Hospitals are losing 6-9% of their revenue due to leakages in the billing process. MedoSync stops these leakages by creating the invoice in real-time and ensures hospitals get paid in full.
I am taking more time for reflection and writing up posts related to MedoSync’s areas of expertise: medical billing, healthcare, technology, and being a start-up in that ecosystem.