Leveraging HIT solutions so your healthcare organization can achieve growth

March 1, 2024


How HIT solutions can help your healthcare organization achieve your goals

Healthcare organizations today are increasingly faced with rising pressures that impact their ability to reach their strategic goals. Burnout and high turnover rates are a sobering reality, with over half (56%) of physicians surveyed saying they’ve considered no longer seeing patients or leaving the medical field altogether.1 Increasing revenue while managing costs is another ongoing challenge, with operating costs on the rise. Not to mention, competition to attract and retain patients is growing, and it’s harder than ever to stay on top of evolving regulatory requirements.

Against this backdrop, it’s important for healthcare organizations to create new efficiencies and manage productivity. Healthcare IT (HIT) solutions improve efficiency and satisfaction across your organization, from clinicians to operational staff to patients, picking up the slack so your business can focus on the important work: achieving business growth. Here’s how you can free up time and resources to devote to strategic initiatives, whether you’re laying the groundwork for expansion, identifying the best new services to add next, or growing your patient and provider count.

Grow your market share and stay ahead of the competition with an engaging, efficient patient experience

Patients are looking for an efficient digital experience with their healthcare provider, and 26% of patients say they’re willing to switch to a new provider for high-quality digital services.2 Patients will go elsewhere if they don’t get the level of experience they’ve come to expect.

Losing patients to your competitors has a major impact on your bottom line. Healthcare organizations need to curate an excellent patient experience that will help retain existing patients. You also need to attract new patients, so you can stay competitive and grow your business. For example, if you’re an ambulatory surgery center that needs to bring in a high volume of patients and procedures to succeed, patient experience is the key to beating competitors and ultimately driving more volume.

HIT solutions can help through digital patient engagement software and services that prioritize convenient interactions at every touchpoint. Your organization should look to these three tools as a starting point:

Patient portal and patient app: Empower your patients to manage their health and engage with your organization with a patient portal they can access from their smartphone, whenever it’s convenient for them. Through their portal login, patients can send secure messages to their clinician, pay their bills, attend telehealth visits, self-schedule new appointments, and check in for appointments, helping save time and create efficiencies for both your patients and your organization.

Automated patient outreach campaigns: Your patient outreach can go beyond simply helping patients remember their appointments. With automated outreach campaigns, you can identify care gaps and contact patients who are due for appointments like wellness visits, cancer screenings, or immunizations, helping you drive schedule density and improve quality measures. Automated outreach can also remind patients to pay their balance, so you get paid with less manual work.

Robust digital patient payment tools: You need to make it as easy and frictionless as possible for patients to pay what you’re owed. Digital patient payment solutions help organizations get paid 15% faster, with a 44% higher pay yield than organizations who don’t offer digital payments.3

A digital patient engagement strategy that enhances the patient experience across all touchpoints — from secure messaging via patient portal to self-serve options for scheduling and payments — is crucial to growing patient volume. For this specialty and urgent care provider, digital patient engagement solutions have helped improve patient loyalty, fueling significant organizational growth over the past decade.

Utilize revenue cycle management services to achieve peak financial performance

Getting paid is becoming more and more difficult. Denials are increasing year-over-year and are often not resubmitted for payment, which is an area for massive lost revenue.4 Prior authorizations are also ballooning, and that’s taking a toll on resource management: 89% of practices have had to hire additional staff or redistribute current staffing resources to process prior authorizations due to the increased number of requests.5

It’s nearly impossible to be an expert in hundreds of distinct payer rules and the specifics of every quality program, especially since that information is constantly evolving. Revenue cycle management software and services can help you collect every dollar you’re owed as efficiently as possible and maximize financial performance, allowing you to grow without increasing your fixed costs:

- Extended revenue cycle management services: Authorization management, medical coding, and denials management are some of the most burdensome tasks for staff, but revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions can pick up and handle the majority of the work. RCM services help you collect more of what you’re owed by submitting clean claims, obtaining prior authorizations, and working denials to completion — all without devoting time, effort, and money to training new talent.

- Performance reporting and insights: You need clear visibility into your organization’s financial performance, so you can pinpoint areas for improvement. HIT solutions provide visibility into revenue cycle management tasks, giving you actionable insights that help you enhance revenue.

- Automate routine tasks: Managing the revenue cycle is complicated, but medical billing software can help relieve the burden on your team by automating routine accounts receivable tasks. Automated tools can also keep track of evolving regulatory and payer requirements, so your team is free to devote time to more strategic work.

Revenue cycle support can help your organization optimize financial performance so you’re well-positioned for growth. By freeing up additional time and resources, your team can focus on strategic initiatives, whether you’re finding opportunities to build a new service line, hiring more staff, or planning for expansion.

Choose EHR software that enables clinician efficiency

EHR software is table stakes for many healthcare organizations, but not all EHRs are made alike. Clinicians should look for technology that’s easy to manage and helps them to deliver high-quality care. On average, clinicians spend 22.5 hours a week interacting with their electronic health record (EHR).6

That time — over 20 hours — is negatively impacting relative value units (RVUs), contributing to burnout, and reducing time during the workday that could be spent focusing on patients.

Healthcare organizations need clinical solutions that help take on administrative tasks, working to not only prevent burnout, but create efficient workflows that will free up additional time to enable your organization to grow and thrive. These important features of clinical HIT solutions can help reduce the administrative burden and increase RVUs, so your organization can maximize reimbursement:

- Efficient and intuitive clinical workflows: The right EHR will help streamline clinical workflows, serving the right information to clinicians when they need it, with fewer clicks. Your organization may also benefit from offering accelerators like text macros, order sets, encounter plans, and customizable templates, which can help improve documentation efficiency.

- Mobile EHR app: An integrated mobile EHR app enables clinicians to complete administrative tasks whenever, wherever is most convenient for them, whether they want to send a quick patient message or check off documentation tasks while waiting in line at the grocery store.

- Integrated, point-of-care value-based care (VBC) capabilities: Keeping track of quality program requirements is a headache. Your HIT solutions can lessen the burden by connecting with payers to surface open care and diagnosis gaps directly within the clinical workflow, so your clinicians have the information they need to close gaps and help your organization succeed in VBC contracts.

When integrated into one centralized EHR, these features work together to help lift excess administrative work for clinicians and reduce documentation time. When clinicians are empowered to work more efficiently, they can maximize RVUs, helping to increase reimbursements. And when your clinicians are happy, you’ll have the stability needed for your organization to focus on growth.

From revenue cycle management to clinical solutions, HIT solutions help fill in the gaps so your business can focus on the most important work: increasing the patient roster, keeping patients satisfied, and maintaining strategic growth. Whether you’re exploring new payment models, adjusting existing workflows, or even adding new services, your organization needs to be prepared to adapt as the healthcare market evolves. That means your HIT solutions need to be adaptable and innovative, too. Look for HIT vendors who can meet your unique needs, so your unique business can thrive.

Interested in learning more? Try these related topics:

3 Ways to combat employee burnout

Your patients want more time with you, and AI can help

Building patient loyalty — and a stronger business

1. 2023 Physician Sentiment Survey, commissioned by athenahealth and fielded by Harris Poll, Jan 2024.
2. Accenture, August 2020, How can leaders make recent digital health gains last?;
3. Based on athenahealth data as of Dec. 2023.
4. Fierce Healthcare, December 2023, Payers' increasing claims denials, delays 'wreaking havoc' on provider revenue cycles;
5. MGMA, October 2022, MGMA Annual Regulatory Burden Report-2022, pg.7;
6. Medical Economics, April 2022, Physicians spend 4.5 hours a day on electronic health records;