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Question: I am the accounting manager for a private physician group of approximately 500 employees and subcontracted clinicians. We have been growing steadily over the past few years, and are looking to upgrade our overall business office systems. Can you provide any advice?Answer 1: Although this is not an area of specific expertise, I welcome the opportunity to share some initial thoughts that may assist you. Choosing an integrated information system is an extremely important task and something that can impact the practice, either positively or negatively for years to come. Preparing a request for proposal (RFP) is an important part of the process, and it should be extremely comprehensive. (See answer 2 for links to some RFP resources and templates.)
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In terms of specific IT systems that may be of interest to your organization, you may consider using a firm that counsels healthcare organizations with IT system procurement decisions to help guide your practice through the process of identifying key system requirements and, subsequently, potential vendors for consideration. The firm, based on your input and parameters, may narrow prospective software systems to three or four and help coordinate the process of in-person demos, etc. Additionally, it is important to gather all of the key stakeholders of the organization and include them in the process. Forming a variety of related committees may be helpful to identify, evaluate, and prioritize what’s important in a new system. Furthermore, these committees may be helpful during the evaluation process (e.g., during the demonstrations and reference reviews). In conclusion, this is a very important decision to the future of your organization, and a careful and thorough process should be considered with input from all stakeholders. This question was answered by Craig Nesta, partner, TRG Healthcare, LLC, Philadelphia, and a member of HFMA’s Massachusetts-Rhode Island Chapter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Answer 2: In relation to putting together an RFP, the federal government provides some tips on this process and provides a sample RFP for a physician electronic health record and integrated practice management system. AHIMA also provides some guidance on the RFP process, as well as an RFP template. This question was answered by Maggie Van Dyke, managing editor, HFMA Forums (email@example.com).
Do you have any additional advice related to this question? Share your views on this question—or pose another question to our Forum experts.
Publication Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Dale Hockel, senior vice president of operations, and Jim Fanelli, CFO, TriMedx, share strategies for elevating clinical engineering through innovative management programs.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
Scott Schmidt, vice president, Cerner RevWorks, LLC, shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnership.
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