- December 9, 2020
The Statistics on Hospital Consolidation Trends
Rising costs of maintaining electronic health records (EHR) have caused the number of hospital consolidations to skyrocket. With a 55% increase in hospital merger and purchase transactions from 2010 to 2016, the number of transactions has remained consistently high in the past few years for reasons that are apparent. For providers, it is becoming an increasingly challenging environment to stay afloat as a small hospital or medical practice. The use of electronic health systems often require expensive and specialized expertise that are costly and often exceed small medical centers’ budgets.
The Current Status of Electronic Health Records
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 required all public and private healthcare providers to adopt meaningful use of electronic medical records to be eligible to receive benefit payments. Since then, electronic health records have become standard in medical facilities. Their benefits include keeping track of data, identifying when patients are due for checkups, and overall improving quality of care in practice.
Why Switch to EHR
Meaningful use of electronic health records has allowed hospitals to have more efficient staff dedicated to helping patients. By using optical character recognition (OCR) for health records, medical staff are able to search through a patient’s health history in a fraction of the time it would take to manually look for the information. OCR technology allows staff to perform simple, instant keyword searches to obtain specific patient information needed. This improved employee efficiency enables staff to focus on patient care and improve turnaround times on diagnoses, lab results, and other patient communications.
In addition, file compression helps small healthcare providers remain competitive. By reducing storage and bandwidth requirements, providers can free up room in their budgets to be used in other areas of the hospital. Smaller file sizes also make medical records easier to share, store, and work with. Further, features such as watched folders allow for file compression to occur with minimal supervision, so staff can spend less time managing documents and more time treating patients.
File compression, optical character recognition, and automated watched folders are all great ways to improve staff efficiency and reduce costs as the institution grows. If your organization is worried about falling into forced consolidation or even bankruptcy, make sure that an inefficient document management system isn’t holding you down.