(Weymouth, MA) January 14, 2014…The healthcare market in Western Europe is fragmented and remains very paper intensive. Fully fledged electronic medical/healthcare record (EMR/EHR) systems rarely exist in European hospitals today. Whilst some smaller, more agile economies have streamlined their healthcare processes, the larger economies within Western Europe have lagged behind. The healthcare industry, like many others in Western Europe, can be challenging because of the different ways it is being administered – whether it is controlled by the government or another entity, or if certain regulations may hinder or make automation more complex. Understanding each of the country’s healthcare structures, trends, differences, and nuances is important to seek out the best opportunities for business process automation.
InfoTrends’ Business Process Automation Study: Healthcare maps out key business processes in this paper intensive market and identifies manual paper-based processes that can be addressed with scanning, mobile, and workflow solutions. In addition, InfoTrends examines cultural, generational, and attitudinal barriers or stimuli that are slowing or accelerating the adoption of each of these solutions. This study also identifies key return on investment metrics for each of these processes that equate to time saving, monetary, compliance, and/or auditability benefits and can be used to promote the reasons for an investment.
One key highlight from the study is that the top five goals and initiatives for healthcare were compliance and regulations, accuracy of patient data, coding and billing accuracy, satisfaction with patient care, and confidentiality of patient data. “Throughout the world, InfoTrends has seen that compliance and regulations still are on the top of the list for goals and objectives for the healthcare industry, says Deborah Hawkins, Senior Consultant of InfoTrends’ Office Document Technology Team. “Unfortunately, paper continues to be a very non-secure medium used to communicate, review, and transfer information. Business process automation solutions that eliminate paper from business processes can help solve this huge problem within this industry.” For admissions and accounting, the large opportunities are around collection of patient records and the reconciliation of rejected billing. Both still use paper to transfer information from patients and doctors to the hospital and both can be seen as processes that are not secure, time consuming, and non-automated. For nurses and doctors, many are still using paper to take notes, create orders, and refer to paper documents when caring for patients. Again, in each of these instances, paper can pose security risks if not handled properly, can be easily lost or stolen, and slows many of these processes down.
Educating this industry will be key. Many still believe that automation solutions can fall into place within any location, but it will take a great deal of training and identification to show the healthcare industry where paper exists and where it can be eliminated to help them become more efficient and more secure.
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