As healthcare reforms continue to shape the industry, medical practices are forced to adapt to these changes as smoothly as possible. Although several of these reforms are new to the health industry, many are made against the backdrop of existing challenges. These range from structural and management issues to physician-to-hospital relationships, all of which are considered organization-related concerns. When these are not addressed, adopting and implementing healthcare reforms become more difficult than they should be.
Common Problems that Plague Hospitals
Hospitals and other medical practices are good at making sure operations run smoothly. But this doesn’t mean they are free from the problems that affect their industry. As mentioned, many of these stem from organization-related concerns that often go back decades. By finding the appropriate solutions to them, you create a work culture in which the medical staff is better equipped to provide patient care. Additionally, you realize new practices and systems that provide added value to your operations, whether this is a practice management service or electronic billing software.
Your medical staff is overworked because of administrative tasks.
The Problem: In most hospitals, members of the medical staff will be seen carrying out administrative tasks on top of their other duties. Although this is a typical practice in the industry, it is also the cause of fatigue. Without the appropriate administrative help, your medical staff can run themselves ragged trying to finish everything.
The Solution: When your medical staff is well-rested, they have more energy and better concentration for their actual duties. This means they can provide patients with the right care and service during their visits. Hiring additional people for administrative work is essential for your operations. With people dedicated to these types of tasks, your medical staff can redirect their attention towards pertinent matters.
Your hospital is slow to adopt technological solutions.
The Problem: The healthcare industry has a reputation for being one of the slowest to adopt technological solutions. Although reasons vary for every hospital, they can often be traced back to the “medical standard of care.” Most hospitals are reluctant to adopt technology because they fail to see the value in them. Rather, they see a learning curve and believe that these innovations can create operational delays for the hospital and its staff.
The Solution: The “medical standard of care” is defined as the appropriate care that a trained healthcare professional provides their patients. Adopting and implementing technological advancements will not hinder this. When done correctly, these innovations will improve the medical standard of care. Educate your medical staff on the importance of these innovations by presenting the advantages of using them in carrying out their tasks.
You are not maximizing facilities because of poor patient management.
The Problem: A common problem in hospitals is the number of too many patient days. This occurs for several reasons. One of them is when a patient awaiting their discharge is kept in their room rather than being moved to another area. This prevents the room from being utilized by another patient. It results in other rooms, such as the ER, reaching full capacity. When hospitals are not proactive in moving patients out of rooms, they experience inefficiencies that result in profit loss.
The Solution: The above mentioned example is just one of the common causes of excessive patient days. Review your patient management system and identify the areas that can be improved. Ask your medical staff on how to address this problem. As the people dealing with patients directly, they have better insight on how to move patients faster. There are also technological solutions that may solve this, such as patient management software.
Your hospital still uses outdated information technology.
The Problem: Most businesses in several industries have adopted information technology (IT) solutions to streamline processes. When your hospital uses outdated software or systems, you fail to maximize the advantages these innovations provide. Additionally, you open your hospital to other issues, from misplaced files and corrupted data to security breaches and other cybersecurity attacks.
The Solution: When your IT systems are slow and inefficient, they make it more difficult for your medical staff to carry out their tasks. By updating your systems regularly with the necessary software or infrastructure, you maximize their use in your hospital. Hiring a support team to monitor these systems will also address any issues in real-time, reducing the downtime caused by troubleshooting.
Make sure your hospital is prepared to adopt and implement healthcare reforms. By learning how to identify common problems in medical practices, you can determine the appropriate solutions for them. Fortunately, many of these problems have readily available solutions in the form of outsourcing agencies and technological advancements. It’s a matter of deciding on the right course of action for your hospital and staff members.