healthcare support solutions

How Nurses Are Using Health Informatics to Improve Patient Care

If you want to pursue a career that will make a mark in every patient’s life, there’s nothing as vital as the field of Nursing. 

While nurses execute orders from doctors, they are also to create a certain level of connection to the patients. They do this so patients will not worry about entrusting their lives to a total stranger.  At any given medical procedure, the doctors act as the brain who finds a solution to a problem. Nurses meanwhile are the hands that carry out to the patients what the doctors conceptualized. This is how vital their function is. Today, as the world of healthcare evolves, so does their function. They are now more empowered to decide on how a doctor’s decision will be executed.

In the field of healthcare, we all know a patient’s life is heavily reliant on every decision nurses and other healthcare professionals make. With the increasing nurse to patient ratio, nurses should also have their supporting arm to carry out their function.  This is where Health Informatics comes in. Introducing robust Health Informatics to their treatment and care plan will make them more efficient in taking care of the patients. 

What is Health Informatics?

Health Informatics started in Europe in the 1940s and mid-1970s in the USA. It is a form of healthcare discipline that uses technology in collecting data, organizing information, analysis, and management that enhance healthcare services. With the use of electronic records obtained, stable information management is built, resulting in high-quality clinical standards. And today, Health Informatics has reached its widest spread across the globe.

So how do nurses use Health Informatics?

Enhanced Patient Documentation Process

One key advantage of Health Informatics is having available data, both real-time and historical.  Having access to electronic data will make the work of the nurses easier. Manually written records need to be read and understood; it takes time. Searching for a patient’s medical history stored in a conventional steel drawer takes time too. Instead of doing those, they can quickly verify a medical record from an automated database in a computer. The needed information can be accessed promptly, having all the information on hand.

The kind of data stored in the database though must be kept accurate and complete. Bad data leads to bad decisions. Lack of data leads to delays in making a decision. The institution must ensure that only actionable data is collected to deliver health care service to a patient. 

Aid Nurses in Decision Making

Nurses work in a fast-paced environment. Every blink of an eye is equivalent to a life threatened or a life being saved. If nurses have quick access to data, making prompt and accurate decisions will not be hampered. The data will be the guiding point of nurses as they treat a patient’s condition. If there is a need for further studies, Health Informatics will be able to provide reporting and analytics, resulting in more sound decisions and actions.

In fact, according to an article from Saudi Medical Journal and Canadian Center of Science and Education, access to Health Informatics reduces medical errors hence enable nurses to deliver high caliber patient care. 

Refining Nursing Care Plan

Establishing Health Informatics means automating the nursing care plan. A care plan is a strategy of action that guides healthcare practitioners about executing patient care; NCP consist of identifying patient’s problem, nursing diagnosis, nursing intervention, rationale of action and expected outcome. Automating these data provides easy access to other healthcare practitioners that refers to NCP for providing treatment and carrying out necessary care procedures. With Health Informatics, computers are used to search and update the patient’s records. A decrease in processing time also allows healthcare providers to accommodate new  treatment and procedures without the need for longer coordination process among other healthcare personnel. 

Help Build Care Network among Healthcare Personnel

For a patient to be discharged from the hospital, may-go-home procedure needs to be done. These include final advice from the attending physicians, arranging financial matters with the billing section, checking with the housekeeping if there are concerns, ensuring that take-home medicines are available in the hospital pharmacy, and scheduling follow up visits after discharge. Coordination with the numerous, different hospital personnel prolongs the patient’s waiting time hence, increasing the agony of waiting to go home. With Health Informatics on hand and updated in real-time, nurses need not undergo long coordination. They can prepare the discharge report at once and release the patient.

This only shows that Health Informatics enables the merging of all the medical reports, findings, and records of a patient. There is a care network on hand. They can refer to the electronic record on hand instead of flipping through pages. 

Cost Efficiency 

In any procedure, processing time being shortened translates to cost savings. Less error in treatment provided, accurate tests and medication given, faster coordination between healthcare providers, all equates to efficiency and cost reduction. With Health Informatics, the productivity of the nurses increases as well because readily available information decreases procedure time such as deciphering doctor’s order and checking patient’s chart manually from time to time. With increased productivity due carrying out treatment faster, more tasks are accomplished, enabling the healthcare institution to not save just time but also save on cost. Automating data records also make processing medical claims more accurate which equates to minimizing billing errors, and equally cost efficient example.

Health Informatics also helps eliminate errors that have cost implications. If procedures are automated, errors are prevented if not, minimized to an acceptable level. This gives the institution savings on operational cost brought by the errors.

Building your Health Informatics

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The most challenging part is establishing your Health Informatics infrastructure. There is so much work to do. Doing it on your own will result in hiring healthcare practitioners thus allocating a higher budget on man power and up to date Health Informatics training.

Having someone who can round up a team of healthcare practitioners who are trained and knowledgeable in Health Informatics can aid your business in overcoming the aforementioned challenges. Leveraging on innovations such as Health Informatics help not just nurses and other healthcare providers but also your business in adapting with the ever growing trend in providing the best patient care and improving their overall hospital experience. One thing you can do is to team up with a solutions partner such as Infinit-O.

Here at Infinit-O we understand the value of the doctor-nurse-patient paradigm. We provide Revenue Cycle Management, Nursing Triage, Patient Concierge, Data Analytics, Business Process Management, Medical Billing and Medical Coding and other healthcare support solutions. We stay on top of the latest updates in Health Informatics to ensure high-turnover of doctor’s orders to the nurses and limit patients wait time in receiving care. By building a great team of healthcare professionals, we can work together to accomplish the goals you are striving to achieve.

At Infinit-O, our aim is to create long lasting partnerships with our clients; rendering a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, HIPAA– and GDPR-compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.

Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with Health Informatics. 

Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.

4 months ago No Comments Views

The Advantages and Challenges of Outsourcing Operational Support in the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare is one of the biggest and fastest expanding industries in the world.  Knowing how businesses grow with outsourcing can be used to your optimal advantage in the midst of a gliding health economy. However, to deliver exceptional patient care requires a considerable amount of resources and manpower. In effect, health facilities spend more on serviceable expenses to cater to the demand for quality.

In countries like the United States, there is a sky-high rise in the cost for healthcare. A recent Black Book Survey states, for an average hospital to break even, it needs to cut its cost to 24% by 2022. Fortunately, one great way to save overhead is outsourcing. An ever present need in any healthcare industry is Revenue Cycle Management which luckily can be outsourced. This entails some but not limited to the following:

  • Patient Scheduling and Registration
  • Insurance Verification
  • Medical Coding
  • Claims Submission
  • Denial Management

But the big decision is not which outsourcing companies are available in the market pool, rather, understanding how outsourcing can be favorable for your business. Laying out the gains and pains is one great way to help you decide.

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The Advantages

Allows Patient-Centered Care

Health practitioners cannot effectively provide excellent care if they are mired by the administrative and financial side of running a practice. By outsourcing non-core functions and optimizing revenue cycle management, you can focus more on what you do best — diagnosing and treating a patient. It is important to balance non-care responsibilities to promote curative and therapeutic services. Less administrative tasks help health personnel realign their focus on managing workload resulting in improved care standards and increased patient satisfaction. 

Reduce Billing Errors and Ensures Billing Compliance

Medical billing companies’ sole purpose is to guarantee that billing claims are accurately submitted in a timely manner. By hiring billers who underwent thorough training and those fully equipped with knowledge on the billing process reduces the number of denied and rejected medical claims. Altogether, it maximizes feedback assistance on reimbursements and future assets. Since this is an ever-changing industry, by working with an outsourced claims team, you stay up-to date with the latest changes in regulation and requirements to maintain compliance and ensure the submission of clean claim. 

Cost Effective and Improved Cash Flow

Most asked question in any industry is, “What to do if labor cost is growing faster than your business?”. By outsourcing, you can curb thousands of dollars from operational expenses while securing the steady flow of profit. Outsourcing generates a pool of professionals on behalf of the company, thereby saving you cost in acquiring and training additional staff. Reducing the workload and administrative burden from your staff increases productivity, efficiency and morale, which is directly proportional to increased patient satisfaction. Happy patients generate profit and improve cash flow by becoming living testimonies of the great service they received. Stable operations ensure quality health service, giving you a cutthroat advantage over your competitors.

However, with every gain comes with an analogues pain. To combat these challenges, awareness on these things fortify your success in the healthcare industry. 

The Challenges

Patient Data Privacy and Security Breach

Information breach predominantly transpires in healthcare thus careful evaluation of which outsourcing company to partner with is very crucial.  Not having direct control and supervision of outsourced staff can pose vulnerability on patient data and information. Whether intentional or accidental, unauthorized disclosure of patient’s information is a breach to the data privacy act and doctor-patient confidentiality. The more people who have access to private and confidential information, the greater the risk for breach. Knowing the pillars of information security is essential for providers and outsourcing partners to protect patient data and comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations. Other things to consider are companies with ISO-certification, complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Privacy Act of 2012, and superior IT infrastructure coverage. That being so, before considering any partnership, secure your position on the whole operational process.

Practical Limitations

Lack of access to information and miscommunication between the outsourcing company and the medical office can be limiting. In-house staff have easier access to hospital records and patient information than those off-shore. Therefore, during the contracting phase, it is crucial that the outsourcing team receives the proper information they need to function accordingly. It is equally important to partner with a company that has the proper tools and technical knowledge about your business to avoid viable disconnect.

Since outsourcing isn’t a panacea, it is the provider’s due diligence in ensuring that right services are outsourced to the right partners. Companies centered in building great teams of health professionals help you combat these limitations. Knowing the latest trends on the coverage and values of outsourcing also works to your advantage.

Process and Contractual Misunderstanding

Partnership may go downward spiral if the provider and the outsourcing party interpret the contract differently. No contract will ever be perfect, technical and legal lingo can cause contractual misunderstanding. Ergo, necessary adjustments on the terms and conditions should be implied. Managing expectations is as important as finding the right partner. Both parties are accountable in securing a fortified and effective linkage. That is why, before deciding to collaborate, medical providers should be aware of the common outsourcing misconceptions all the while surveying industry experts aligned with operational excellence. On the other hand, outsourcing companies should research more about the industry of their partners and arm their workforce with the proper technical knowledge. 

The Decision Phase

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Weighing the advantages and challenges of outsourcing is the first step to embrace your company’s growth. Knowing the boons and banes of your prospective partners help you to identify what works best for your business. 

Finding the right partner is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. Careful consideration of all the pains and gains of outsourcing can be dreary but is worth all the effort. Researching and reading more about the leitmotif catapults you to success because it gives you the liberty to choose what’s best for your company. True enough that there are a lot of fish in the sea – until you find the best team – then there’s only one. 

Infinit-O is a trusted healthcare solutions partner that can help you build and operate a dedicated team of well-trained healthcare practitioners & RCM professionals specifically designed for your unique needs, with cost savings of up to 70%.

We will assist in optimizing clinical documentation, streamlining medical claims, upto securing patient co-pay collection while you put more focus on patient care and promote patient wellness. By building great teams, we can match you to the right pool of  highly skilled doctors, dedicated license nurses and qualified medical coders that can help you grow your business. 

Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.

4 months ago No Comments Views

3 Reasons Your Healthcare Company Should Invest in Clinical Documentation Improvement

Clinical documentation is crucial to every step of a patient’s healthcare process. From providing physicians the necessary information to diagnosing a patient for proper treatment, clinical documentation enables healthcare companies to render high-quality services to patients and accurately record the transactions that are due. Clinical documentation improvement is implemented so that these healthcare providers can give physicians the necessary feedback to improve the said documentation.

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7 months ago No Comments Views

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