Rising patient demand. Short-handed staff. Escalating costs. Shrinking reimbursement rates. Fierce competition.
With such a challenging and complicated healthcare landscape to navigate, we know you have a lot on your plate. And with technology becoming increasingly integrated into the patient experience, it’s critical healthcare organizations maximize their ROI with the right network and technology investments.
So how do you ensure you’re making every dollar count? Let’s look at how the right network solutions can increase your organization’s ROI and profits.
Increase the Productivity and Output of Your Healthcare Staff
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
Loading and sending times for large medical images, such as MRIs or CAT scans, are so long it’s causing frustration among providers and staff.
Navigating multiple buffering EHR screens for an appointment takes more time than healthcare workers spend caring for the patient.
Various Wi-Fi dead zones across your healthcare campus make it impossible to connect to the Internet, preventing providers from accessing critical patient data.
These scenarios demonstrate how low bandwidth speeds and non-optimized network infrastructures can actually make technology an impediment to your organization instead of an efficient tool to increase quality of care. Investments in the proper solutions for your specific network will allow your providers to be more productive resulting in increased output and profits for your facility.
Let’s take a simple example of a primary care physician who typically sees 20 patients on average per day. If each patient appointment is delayed by five to ten minutes because of buffering issues or slow load times, that adds up to a whopping 100-200 minutes or 1.6—3.3 hours of wasted time! This not only affects the productivity of the physician, it reduces the number of patients that physician can see per day. Fixing those buffering and delay times results in more appointment bookings and increased profits.
This same concept can apply to all the cloud-based systems your healthcare organization runs every day including EHRs, billing, business intelligence (BI), forecasting, accounting systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and more. The faster your systems process, the more efficient your workflows become— translating into more profit in your pocket.
Additional Revenue and Service Streams
Another way networking investments can increase your profits is by opening up new revenue streams.
For example, let’s say a healthcare organization wants to offer advanced Internet-enabled healthcare services, such as telemedicine, but is hindered by poor network connectivity in the area. Investment in broadband infrastructure and bandwidth speeds will not only increase the organization’s current efficiency, it will also open the door for a broader reach of telehealth services that could be added.
Investing in a reliable, redundant broadband connection will more than pay for itself. Telehealth services are increasingly being reimbursed by payers and can decrease personnel costs especially in rural areas. Overall, telemedicine is proven to save healthcare organizations money, increase access to care, and improve outcomes. The NTCA Rural Broadband Association’s “Anticipating Economic Returns on Rural Telehealth” report found that, annually, hospitals could save more than $81,000 in states such as Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas by using telemedicine technology. Additionally, rural communities in these states could save an average of $41,000.
Adding new services such as telemedicine can also make your facility more attractive to patients, further increasing an organization’s ROI. Recent studies found a stunning 77% of patients are willing to conduct a virtual care encounter, and about 74% of patients care more about access to healthcare than the need for human interactions with their healthcare provider. Offering telemedicine services can give your organization an edge over competitors in your area that aren’t offering these advanced services.
Avoiding Outages and Downtime
With the Internet playing such a key role in today’s 21st century healthcare organizations, any disruption or downtime can create adverse effects on patient care and cause severe financial implications that you simply can’t afford.
The best way to prevent these financial disasters, is to ensure your network is prepared before an issue arises. Proactive and managed network monitoring solutions can alert IT to potential problems before they occur or escalate to serious levels. These solutions can also increase your savings on staff and needed salary, minimize or avoid outages, and reduce your support call numbers, time to fix issues, and downtime. Setting these network performance thresholds can keep your team aware of red flags and take the appropriate action before the network goes down, saving you money over time.