“As HIT systems provide timely access to patient information and encourage collaborative exchange of health information with other providers, patients, and insurers, small practices can look to benefit in terms of effective and efficient medical care delivery, optimized operational expenditure, and maximized revenue generation.”
The significance of Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) in today’s medical care has grown to be so much that it is hard to imagine an effective and efficient healthcare delivery without streamlined, integrated and comprehensive HIT. Whereas large clinical settings, hospitals, and multi-specialty groups – owing to their ability to afford HIT related capital expenditure – have tried, tested and relied on HIT for optimizing clinical and operational efficiency, it is the their smaller counterparts – standalone and small practices – who are yet to realize the potential of HIT in their medical practices. If HIT can hold good for larger hospitals, it should also hold good for small practices.
With the clinical and operational process remaining more or less similar to that of large hospitals, small practices can benefit greatly from an integrated HIT module that comprises variety of integrated data sources, including patient Electronic Medical Records, Decision Support Systems, and Computerized Physician Order Entry for medications. As HIT systems provide timely access to patient information and encourage collaborative exchange of health information with other providers, patients, and insurers, small practices can look to benefit in terms of effective and efficient medical care delivery, optimized operational expenditure, and maximized revenue generation.
But, like in any venture scenario, small practices would have to clear obstacles in terms of Market Forces that come in the way of migrating to a full-pledged Health Information System (HIT). Current market conditions place serious obstacles in the way of effective HIT implementation. Amongst many such market forces, the following pose greater obstacles:
- The cost associated with installing HIT being relatively higher, small practices might not show a radical inclination towards installing HIT. They would rather rely on instinctive judgment or secondary data for managing clinical operations. Owing to such apprehensions, only about 20 to 25 percent of hospitals and 15 to 20 percent of physicians’ offices have a HIT system. Small hospitals and hospitals with half or more of their patients on Medicare are less likely to have HIT.
- The extent of connective and collaborative clinical management is still in its infancy amongst small practices. Although the realizing is dawning upon many practices, there seems to be little sharing of health information between existing systems. Adding to this slow pace of migration is the lack of customized HIT solutions from healthcare information system designers and manufacturers.
- Last but not the least is the ambiguity as to cost-benefit analysis on HIT. As small practices are still unclear of HIT’s potential to yield manifold benefits over cost, there seems to be a lack of expert advice on the efficacy of HIT in small practices.
As small practices evoke mixed reactions to HIT implementation in their practices, expert advice from competent and credible sources will go a long way in not only clearing the ambiguity but also convincing them of the efficacy HIT in elevating clinical and operational management to a new height. Medicalbillersandcoders.com – whose credibility as an advisor for Medical Billing and healthcare management is well-known across the length and breadth of U.S – should be a preferential recourse to clearing the ambiguity over Health Information Technology.