New health is an exciting topic in healthcare as it signifies the emergence of change more impactful than any the industry’s seen within the past 70 years.
Price Waterhouse Coopers noted that in 2017, healthcare clinics and hospitals will be tempered by a demand for value in the “New Health” Economy under a new government administration, which will place increasing pressure on providers and their employers to provide access to consumer-friendly services while decreasing unit costs.
From an operations perspective, this will force healthcare clinics to reassess how they leverage processes to produce optimal outcomes. This article will explore the ways healthcare clinics and hospitals can leverage certain tools to ensure optimal outcomes amid changes to the New Health Economy.
Managing Protected Health Information (PHI) through Document Management
Healthcare administrators have been privy to the Trump administration’s changes, and are keenly aware of the necessary steps they may have to take to comply with his administration’s guidelines.
When it comes to Protected Health Information (PHI), clinics and hospitals are always looking for easier ways to simplify the compliance aspect of their services in consideration of HIPAA’s Privacy Rule and its stipulations for PHI.
It’s not that systems claiming to secure PHI can’t, it’s just that most of them, including EMRs like Cerner, make it far more difficult for providers to secure protected health information in a fashion consistent with the reduction of operational costs demanded by the efficiency strictures of the New Health Economy.
Given that medicine and healthcare were initially highly inelastic services, technology efficiencies hadn’t taken center stage in terms of what’s important to hospital administrators, because the hospitals and healthcare clinics would continue running independent of slow technology adoption.
However, as healthcare is on the brink of becoming increasingly privatized, any operating expenses that can be reduced—whether through technology or some other medium—are becoming paramount to most healthcare and hospital administrators.
The New Health Economy strives to ensure the safety of public health information, but also demands it. Relying on the right tools can make this easier for hospital administrators and the healthcare providers working in these contexts.
HIPAA asserts that protected health information includes but is not limited to information, including the demographic data of patients, that details any given patient’s past, present, or future health or condition; including the provision of healthcare to the individual, or; the past, present, or future payment of the provision of healthcare for the individual.
The role-based user permissions, encrypted web portal, and file versioning sequences of eFileCabinet’s document management system make it a superior technology alternative to EHRs and EMRs when providers are striving to secure HIPAA compliance—if not for functionality than certainly for usability.
Weaving Policy in to Strategic Practice through Document Management
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes policy as a concerted effort referring to the decisions, plans, and actions undertaken to achieve specific health care goals and objectives within a society. As healthcare is increasingly privatized, the New Health Economy will demand technology adoption focused on cutting operating expenses more than ever before.
Although this will not sacrifice the quality of healthcare, it will provide the financial resources and efficiencies necessary to make radical improvements in the caregiving process, and a cross an array of different provider specialties.
Handling the New Health Economy through Technical Safeguards
Technical safeguards comprise the largest portion of HIPAA’s rules. Under full and proper use, eFileCabinet’s document management system can provide the efficiency needed in managing technical safeguards for protected health information under direction of the New Health Economy.
When it comes to what HIPAA calls access control, they are requiring that the system used by the healthcare administrators is given the means necessary to read, write, modify, or communicate data and information within the system’s pool of resources. eFileCabinet’s role based user permissions facilitate this.
Another technical safeguard for ensuring HIPAA compliance in the New Health Economy, as it pertains to finding relevant systems, is audit controls. Essentially, there are such a large number of patients in clinics and hospitals that it can be easy to fail in compliance objectives without audit safeguards native to robust document management systems.
Ensuring only the right eyes see the right paperwork can become nearly impossible under manual information management methods. But that’s where audit controls in document management systems take center stage.
This technical safeguard admonishes healthcare clinics and hospitals to implement hardware, software, and/or procedural mechanisms that record and document activity within the system.
To do this, audit trails, permissions, and other safeguards within a typical document management system for small to mid-sized healthcare clinics will get the job done.
Furthermore, integrity controls that ensure the data and information of any privatized system has not been altered or destroyed by unauthorized parties is necessary to following technical safeguards, and the document retention, data backup, and role based user permissions facilitate this possibility as well.
Additionally, transmission security is necessary under HIPAA strictures, and SecureDrawer, our web portal, can serve as a means of achieving this stipulation.
Bringing Practices Toward the New Health Economy
The New Health economy is nascent, but will soon proliferate. It is the most significant restructuring of our health system since the 1930s. It will entail a very open marketplace with lots of room for innovation and cost reduction strategies on the end of healthcare clinics and healthcare providers alike.
Essentially, The New Health Economy revolves around care delivery models predicated on absolute devotion to the efficiency of internal operations. Without this step in the right direction, it will be difficult if not impossible to fully bring healthcare into the 21st century.
Although the demand for healthcare will always exist, that shouldn’t be a sign for leading healthcare providers to not compete with those in the marketplace and begin vying for the devotion of their customer base.
Money will matter more than ever, and billing practices will need to become fully paperless to reify the objectives of the New Health Economy. The digital revolution has enabled this powerful change, but it’s up to healthcare clinics and medical providers to agree on the solutions that will best solve the problems of their patients—solutions that assure providers can do what they love for a living—not paperwork.