July 1, 2015 – Imagine this: it’s a patient’s first visit to your hospital or clinic. They’re greeted by name at the front desk, and the nurse shows them to an exam room within five minutes of their arrival. The nurse walks in the room, is instantly presented with the all relevant health data on her tablet, smiles warmly as she looks up and starts asking a few questions. There aren’t any errant beeps, noises or clicks to navigate to a health record. Right on cue, the doctor comes into the room with her device and the scenario is the same: she is focused on the patient, and spends just a few seconds to access the patient’s record. No repetitive processes, delays, or evident frustration. The patient feels cared for and connected.
Does this ideal experience describe your clinicians and patients?
If not, then chances are, your IT systems are making the above scenario complicated or impossible. And this can cause a cascading effect on both your patient care and your revenue. Here are the real costs, for you and your patients, of inefficient IT infrastructure. Fix these, and you’ll be more profitable and productive.
COST #1: FEWER PATIENTS MEANS LESS REVENUE
Delays in long application connect times, slow desktop log-ins and repetitive processes – all of these increase the amount of time that your clinicians spend per patient and decrease the number of patients seen in a given day. Which has a direct impact on your revenue. It’s as simple as it gets: Fewer patients = less revenue.
COST #2: LOST PATIENTS, LOST REVENUE
Let’s say our patient above has the opposite experience: he sits in the waiting room for 30 minutes, waits another 20 in the exam room for the nurse to show up, and waits even longer while she clicks through the EMR to find information that has already been asked and answered. The patient is frustrated and he hasn’t even seen the doctor yet. So on the way home, he looks up another doctor with the hope that someone else will be faster and more efficient and won’t make him late for work. Instead of visiting your doctor twice a year for the next ten years, he is going somewhere else. You lose that patient, and the revenue, forever. You’ve also lost his good reference, and hopefully haven’t gained a bad one. Poor community perception can cause you to lose patients you’ve never even seen.
COST #3: TECH SUPPORT COSTS
The last place you want your clinicians to spend their time is on the phone with tech support. This probably seems inevitable if you are supporting physical Windows endpoints because they require an actual person to intervene when there is an issue. That’s a lot of time spent on the phone or waiting for help when your clinicians could and should be seeing patients. And if you have an in-house Helpdesk, you’re paying twice for a poor end user experience: in the human costs to staff the support desk, and the lost patient revenue when clinicians are delayed in providing care.
COST #4: HARDWARE SERVICE COSTS
If you don’t have the staff to provide in-house field services or support, you’re paying service providers for the maintenance of your hardware. At $35-$40 per month per device, this adds up fast. But shifting to a different device option like Zero-Clients, significantly reduces monthly maintenance costs by as much as 50 – 70 %. . We’ve worked with several clients who, just by making this change, have made a huge impact on their bottom line. They’ve found that it’s really a no-brainer.
So beyond the obvious clinician and patient frustration, inefficient IT workflows and systems hit your bottom line in a very serious way. Can you afford to have all of these costs add up? The alternative is so much better. By addressing these costly issues, you will see more patients daily, have more repeat patients, and minimize your tech support and hardware service costs. Whether it’s a cloud strategy or a move to a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, you can avoid paying these costs now and in the future. Remember that patient we described at the beginning? He’s yours.