Enabling innovation in the end-to-end revenue journey

Healthcare is seeing a new age of innovation. One that brings prospects of a more connected and technologically enabled system with real-time accessibility of care and data. Whilst innovation is heavily focused on delivery of care, the backend operators of our hospitals, including health information and hospital revenue processes are also ready for innovation. The opportunity we see lies in maximising hospital revenue through the end-to-end journey.

The end-to-end funding journey

While health information, finance, and clinical services of the hospital often operate separately, when we piece the revenue journey together, they are all reliant and critical to one another. At iMedX we’re focused on understanding the entirety of the journey from pre-admission to revenue or budget utilisation, finding that at each step best practice is not always obtained due to its reliance on other steps. For example, quality coding relies on accurate and timely discharge summaries which in turn rely on comprehensive and complete records of the patient stay. This means that innovation must take into account every step and its people in order to truly make a difference.

What innovation looks like

Innovation in the end-to-end revenue journey is more subtle than what we see in other scenarios. In this context innovation looks like an interconnected, consistent, and reliable journey that enables each function in the journey to operate at its best. The way we do that varies with each hospital.

Innovating across such a complex journey can be a complicated task. From our experience, there are some core factors that are fundamental for innovation.

  1. Aligned processes and procedures
    To achieve consistency and reliability across the journey, processes and procedures are a great place to start. Most importantly, their alignment in relation to the Health Information Services (HIS), Clinical and Finance departments. There are three (3) things to consider; standardisation which involves clear steps and requirements for staff to follow; adoption, including how staff will implement these processes in an effective way that is inclusive, strategic and does not place any further workload burdens; and governance, starting with suitable training and performance management strategies.
  2. Technology
    In our experience, a challenge the HIS department faces often is operating on an IT system that is outdated. Although IT can be a complex problem to resolve, it is integral to the funding journey operating at its best. Technology in healthcare is improving, however IT systems of the backend operations are being left behind. Investment in the uplift of these systems seeks to improve workflows, productivity and reporting requirements which creates better revenue results and improved clinical care.
  3. The profile of HIS department
    The clinical documentation process is core to the function of coding and ultimately revenue or activity reporting and budget utilisation. The greatest governors over accurate documentation is the HIS department who, too often are overshadowed by clinical and finance departments.The best and easiest way to raise the profile of HIS is to deliver the facts. Analysing hospital data means audit samples can be selected that will provide the key to facilitating and lifting the profile of HIS. This knowledge enables coders and HIMs to approach clinical staff confidently to educate and refine documentation processes that record the care of every patient that is treated.

The iMedX perspective

Each journey offers different opportunities for innovation, iMedX is focused on finding them and helping hospitals to set up their end-to-end journey to maximise revenue opportunity and improve clinical care. Our work aims to uplift and strengthen steps in the process from maintaining clinical coding throughput, auditing for accuracy and helping to promote the highest quality documentation for patient safety, whilst keeping the bigger picture in mind.