Technology road map to implement shared platforms

November 11, 2016
From the November 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Bipin Thomas

This article is the last part of a three-year technology road map series.
This is the year of supporting the organization’s growth without overburdening it with capital expenses. It can be accomplished with patient engagement platforms and software-as-a-service (SaaS). SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted by an organization’s technology provider. It has become a common delivery model for many business applications because it helps hospitals avoid making huge investments in hardware, software and ongoing maintenance and support costs.

Tailored SaaS should be utilized to keep hospitals competitive in the new ecosystem. These platforms are necessary for meeting new regulatory and reporting demands, maintaining and attracting consumers and improving clinical outcomes. These subscriptions can be incorporated into a hospital’s operating budget without weighing down its capital budget, thus yielding a quick ROI while avoiding any threat to a health care organization’s bond rating.

Shared platforms are an efficient avenue for improving care and saving money, and they harness other sectors’ expertise — in software design, platform upgrades and support resources — to meet the needs of the organization. These shared service platforms are HIPAA compliant and integrate with a provider’s electronic medical record (EMR) system.

Patient engagement platforms
Patient engagement is one of the key areas where shared software platforms and advanced data analytics are poised to make a tangible difference in how health care is financed, managed, delivered and accessed. Effective patient engagement platforms can significantly reduce hospital readmissions, which potentially cost the hospital money — if Medicare does not cover the readmission reason, for instance — and certainly decrease customer satisfaction. Hospitals need to cultivate continuous engagement with consumers, offering them useful information and signaling that the hospital is a partner in their health. Patient engagement platforms serve several purposes, including:

They create communities for people afflicted with the same diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure, through which experiences can be shared and care treatment plans discussed. They facilitate communication between the patient and the physician team, offering a convenient avenue of communication for post-release questions and support. They capitalize on the web-based medium to stream instructional videos that convey disease management and treatment plan instructions that patients can access when, and as many times as, they wish.

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