Considering the current situation based on the case study details, Windy Health has serious issues with the accuracy of data in the EMR system, which also causes problems with billings and mistakes when manually charging patients. A proper EMR and enforcement of using the EMR system when working on patient cases can resolve this problem. One issue is that nurses have continuously used manual billing as the main source of charging patients, despite Windy Health having an EMR system. This might be connected to the fact that the current system is outdated or is not integrated with other services, which requires the nurses to charge patients manually. This paper will recommend a course of action for Windy Health and Big Sky.
Based on the evaluation, it is recommended to speed up the process of transitioning to the new EMR system, as opposed to continuing to use Meditech. The transition toward the new system is linked to the insufficiencies and flaws that Windly Health’s audit has revealed. Hence, it will be easier for Big Sky to manage Windy Health and address the billing errors if the two institutions use the same system, as opposed to Big Sky’s management having to adjust to the old system, which would be changed after three years in any case. Therefore, the recommendation for Big Sky is to provide Windy Health with a 90-day notice and speed up the transition to the new system.
Automation and Integration Technologies in Healthcare
As part of this transition, it is important to understand the underlying elements of automation and integration as they relate to the healthcare field. From a medical standpoint, integration refers to cross-sectoral patient care that includes hospitals, specialists, family doctors, rehabilitation, and care services (Rajaia, 2021). This necessitates thorough communication among all parties. From a technological standpoint, data and process integration is necessary at all levels, from dynamic networking in the operating room to the connectivity of health professionals and the patient’s engagement in his or her care. Some of the current integration standards used in healthcare are DICOM, HL7, and IHE (Rajaia, 2021). These standards play an important part in this and can help healthcare institutions use automation in an integrated way.
Automation and integration technologies are also utilized to develop assistive systems for the personal living environment. These systems aid patients in maintaining or regaining health and independence in their living environment (Rajaia, 2021). For instance, manipulation systems are capable of detecting living objects and ignoring inorganic objects. These miniaturized, automated manipulation devices, as well as the control and automation technologies that underpin them, enable a variety of unique medical applications.
The impact of this proposal on the value of Windy Health will be predominantly positive. Firstly, the Cerner system, based on the case study details, is a more popular and advanced EMR when compared to Meditech. This means that this hospital will use a software system on par with other medical establishments. Some evidence supporting the positive impact of transitioning to Cerner includes findings by Enezian et al. (2020), who report that more secure systems are better accepted by healthcare professionals. Cenrer, as opposed to the system that Windy Health currently uses, is more secure and will allow integration with other systems of the Big Sky. Another factor that impacts the provider’s openness to use an EMR system is individual perceptions (Enezian et al., 2020). Management and employees from Big Sky, who are already familiar with this system, will be able to provide coaching and guidance for Windy Health’s personnel, which should ensure the individual’s acceptance o the new system.
In the short term, this proposal will likely have several adverse effects. Mainly, the transition to new software may be faced with resistance from the personnel, who are trained and accustomed to using Meditech. However, this resistance is a normal element of any strategic change and can be addressed through Lewin’s three-step change model (*). Hence, in the short term, productivity will be reduced as the staff adjusts to the new system. In the long-term perspective, this proposal will have a positive effect on the productivity of Windy Health. Some of the consequences include accurate billing, integration with Big Sky’s other systems, and enhanced productivity as the employees will use a better system.
The proposal outlined in this paper reflects the strategic goals and direction of Windy Health since this institution aims to provide the best patient care, which in the modern world cannot be achieved without a good EMR system. The high-level implementation considerations include the ability to integrate the existing systems and processes into the new EMR system, which can pose a challenge to the management of the hospital. Moreover, there is a need to secure additional resources to facilitate the transition to the new system. This can be achieved by partnering with Big Sky’s other institutions since this organization is already using the new EMR system. Here, the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing in healthcare must be explained, considering their impact on efficiency.
On the one hand, outsourcing is a great tool that allows healthcare facilities to transfer some of the tasks and responsibilities to a third-party provider. This is because the main expertise of Windy Health is diagnosing and treating patients, and providers may cut costs while enhancing service levels and patient outcomes by outsourcing non-core operations. The primary benefit of outsourcing is the ability to reduce costs since Windy Health will not have to invest in creating an infrastructure for the new system or in developing it from scratch. However, there are risks associated with outsourcing, and as Windy Health explores outsourcing the EMR, it is critical to understand the liabilities. Mainly, healthcare generally lagged when adopting outsourcing, unlike other industries (Powell, no date). Moreover, if outsourced, the third-party provider will have access to the patient data that Windy Health provides, and this can be a cause of a data bridge and patient privacy issues. Other potential issues with outsourcing include having no technology platform uniformity, no data standardization, and a scarcity of internal IT executives who have managed outsourced solutions.
Apart from understanding the specifics of outsourcing, Big Sky has to address some issues related to contracting work, considering the ethical and legal implications. As was mentioned when describing the liabilities of outsourcing the EMR, patient data privacy is the primary concern that has to be considered. When data is transitioned to a third-party provider, the latter must follow HIPPA’s standards. From an ethical viewpoint, the transition of this data and the potential exposure of patient information violates the latter’s right to privacy.
An RFP must be developed to address the work outlined in this paper. This can be achieved by creating a list of requirements and expectations, as well as outlining the budget for this project. Additionally, the RFP must include the timeline and qualifications that the outsources must possess to secure the contract. Negotiation skills are some of the essentials required to secure contract work. The negotiator must be assertive and employ active listening to communicate the needs of Windy Health clearly and ensure that the points made by the outsources, which is a party qualified to provide technical advice, are understood. The negotiator must be able to collaborate with the outsourcing company to ensure the best outcome for the hospital.
In summary, this paper addresses the case of Windy Heath’s noncompliance with the billing standards, as the audit has shown. Windy Health’s current EMR system does not satisfy the requirements of modern healthcare technology. This proposal recommends notifying Windy Health about the EMR change as outlined in the contract and sending RFP to outsourcing companies. Additionally, the personnel and management must be prepared to transition to the new EMR system. The major concerns are the short-term negative effect on work productivity, data security, and compliance with HIPPA standards.
Enaizan, O. et al. (2020) Effects of privacy and security on the acceptance and usage of EMR: The mediating role of trust on the basis of multiple perspectives, Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, 21, p. 100450. doi:10.1016/j.imu.2020.100450.
Rajaiah, D. (2021) How automation is key to the future of healthcare operations, Hitconsultant.
Powell, M. no date. ‘Outsourcing in healthcare the pros and cons’, Hospital & Healthcare Management.