Midway through 2021, and it is shaping up to be a large year for transformation in the healthcare industry. The industry has seen a large push for telehealth options and growing ways for patients to be in charge of their data on the front-end, but what technology innovations are healthcare leaders focusing on in human resources, financial management, and supply chain?
People First Technology
Experts suggest that organizations that put their employees first not only have higher retention rates, but are able to attract top talent, and that talent wants to be valued for their work and accomplishments. While this starts with the culture, technology can also help hospitals and health systems advance their talent acquisition, employee engagement, and retention strategies.
Improving and automating the hiring process: Talent shortages are one of the main challenges affecting hospitals under pressure to improve quality care and patient safety. Talent management solutions help organizations take a strategic approach to finding, developing, and growing talent for current needs and into the future. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are able to analyze resumes and job applications to deliver more information about candidates and reduce implicit biases, making the hiring process fair and equitable while accelerating the best profiles through the talent pipeline.
Streamline scheduling: Along with a talent shortage, nurses have been on the frontlines since early in the pandemic. Overworked and burnt-out staff may be a result of ineffective scheduling and inadequate staffing. Workforce management systems offer the ability for demand-driven scheduling, making sure health systems have staff with the right skills available to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Additionally, allowing employees the flexibility of self-scheduling, to make changes to their own schedules throughout the day and for the coming week, improves morale among the workforce.
Minding Mental Health: HR executives’ top priority in 2021 is employee wellbeing and mental health. With new COVID variants spreading across the U.S., the pandemic continues to have negative effects on the mental health of healthcare workers. New technologies are available to measure how people are feeling and ways to help managers and leaders understand employee wellbeing. These tools can be used in addition to human efforts to aid employees in getting the help they need.
Firing Up Financials
Finance executives have also faced unprecedented challenges over the last year, including the revenue impact from the shutdown of elective procedures and a rise in supply and labor costs. As a result, hospital CFOs have had to look at ways to effectively reduce expenses and drive ancillary revenue as well as have long-range strategies to ensure the organization is more nimble and agile as pandemic-related uncertainty continues.
The move to automation: Digital transformation activity is picking up and finance is utilizing automation to remove repetitive, time-consuming tasks and reengineering processes for greater efficiency. This allows finance professionals to focus on higher value activities and enhance forecasting, improve collaboration, and provide strategic insights to the business.
Re-evaluating payment models: Over the last year, many hospitals and health systems saw patient demand and fee-for-service income plummet, forcing some clinics to furlough staff, cut wages and benefits, or shut down completely. This has finance professionals rethinking payment models, especially as the push for more transparent pricing grows.
Insights Across the Supply Chain
Supply chain disruptions were a large problem as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain leaders understand the need to build up the resilience of their supply chain to avoid future interruptions of critical supplies, whether that’s looking to domestic manufacturers or evaluating how inventory is managed.
Improve integration to limit leakage: While revenue cycle management budgets are expected to decline, finance and IT leaders are still expected to lower costs, which may come from ensuring supply chain integration to limit revenue loss.
Breaking down bottlenecks: Increasing transparency and collaboration through big data can help hospitals optimize the delivery of care for each patient. Predictive analytics can be leveraged to match products with specific patient needs, combined with automating and speeding the procurement process, to get patients the care they need as efficiently as possible.
While the last year has been a large transition period for healthcare, it has brought a large push for innovation, improving the patient experience, the employee experience, and the operations of healthcare organizations.