Reducing expenses is a common goal for all businesses, and healthcare organizations are no exception. The field of healthcare is constantly evolving, and the advent of new technologies doesn’t just benefit patient care — it offers new ways to reduce costs while preserving quality and service.
Here are five tips to get you started:
Opt for apps to manage the workforce
Online scheduling tools are a great way to streamline staffing needs and reduce labor expenses. These tools also help organizations track patient utilization rates and identify any patterns in patient demand, which helps when scheduling nurses and other staff members based on need.
Technology can also play a huge role in coordinating care between admin staff, physicians and specialists. For example, healthcare organizations can use technology to:
- Streamline communication between different departments
- Send alerts and updates to appropriate personnel in a timely manner
- Quickly and easily share patient information among all relevant parties
By using technology to facilitate communication and coordination among all members of the treatment team, organizations can improve the quality and efficiency of care.
Automate the basics
Automating basic administrative tasks can save healthcare organizations a significant amount of time and money. Automation tools can help physicians quickly and accurately input test results and patient notes, which reduces the potential for human error.
Technology can also help medical providers reduce no-shows — which cost the medical industry $150 billion per year, according to the patient engagement platform Intrado.
Tools that allow patients to book appointments online can automate appointment reminder emails and reduce the need for staff members to spend time on the phone booking appointments.
Take advantage of telemedicine
Telemedicine is a rapidly growing field that uses telecommunications technologies to provide medical care from a distance. According to a recent ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, 22% of Americans used telehealth services in 2022.
It’s easy to see why this is a growing trend. This innovative healthcare option offers a number of advantages for both patients and staff members. This type of care can be tremendously beneficial for patients who live in rural or remote areas or who have difficulty getting to a doctor’s office, as it allows them to see a doctor without having to leave home. In many cases, telemedicine visits are covered by insurance, which can save patients from having to pay out-of-pocket for a doctor’s visit.
Healthcare organizations also benefit from telemedicine. By using this technology, they can reduce the need for on-site staff members, which can lead to significant cost savings. Additionally, telemedicine allows staff members to work remotely, which can be especially beneficial during times of inclement weather or emergencies.
Overall, telemedicine is a valuable tool that can help healthcare organizations reduce expenses while providing quality care to patients.
Use tech to track your supply chain
Technology can play a huge role in the supply chain of healthcare organizations, helping to streamline operations and reduce costs. In particular, the use of barcodes and RFID tags can help keep track of medical supplies and equipment, which can lead to significant savings.
Barcodes are a form of optical character recognition that can be used to track items through the supply chain. By scanning barcodes on medical supplies and equipment, healthcare organizations can track where everything is, from the manufacturer to the hospital. This can help identify any shortages or discrepancies in inventory and help organizations optimize their supply chain to save money.
RFID tags are similar to barcodes but use radio waves to transmit data. This allows RFID tags to be read from a greater distance than barcodes, making them ideal for tracking large items such as medical equipment. Healthcare organizations can use RFID tags to keep track of when equipment is used and how often it needs to be replaced. This information can help organizations plan their purchases and avoid over- or under-stocking medical supplies and equipment.
In fact, according to a 2017 study, one organization that implemented RFID technology saved $6,059 per month on workforce costs and $17,357 per month on product loss and penalty costs.
Healthcare organizations can also reduce expenses by streamlining their supply chain. By collaborating with trusted suppliers and working to optimize inventory, healthcare organizations can save money on everything from medical supplies to foodservice items.
In addition to working with trusted suppliers, it is important to optimize inventory. This means stocking only the items that are needed and ensuring that those items are ordered in the correct quantities — another area where technology can help. Too much inventory can lead to wasted money, while not having enough inventory can cause delays in care.
By streamlining the supply chain, collaborating with trusted suppliers and optimizing inventory, healthcare organizations can reduce expenses and improve the quality of care they deliver.
Rely on billing software to manage insurance claims
By using technology to manage insurance claims, healthcare organizations can speed up the claims process and ensure that all claims are filed accurately and on time while reducing expenses.
One of the most important tools for managing insurance claims is a good billing software program. Billing software automates the billing process, which can help reduce the time it takes to get paid. It also ensures that all information is entered correctly and that no claims are missed.
Another helpful tool for managing insurance claims is an electronic medical record (EMR) system. An EMR system can help healthcare organizations track patient information, including insurance information. This is another step that can help ensure all claims are filed correctly and on time.
Joseph is a Content Marketing Analyst at LendingTree where he works to empower people to make their best financial decisions. He earned his B.A. from Penn State University.