Keeping Up with the Times: Integrating ePrescribe in Your Business Operations

Published in Member Communities on November 29, 2021

Orders written on paper. Fax machines. Dial-up connections. Using Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer. These are all methods of transmitting data in business that have changed over the past 30 years. The HME industry is fairly new, and providers have traditionally been slower to adopt technology. But technology impacts everything we do in our personal lives as well as in our businesses. Technological advancements happen frequently and will continue for years to come.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO in 2010, once stated: “There was 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.”

Whether or not we can truly quantify all data ever created, Schmidt raises a good point. Technology and systems to capture and analyze data are rapidly changing. Technology and software companies in the HME industry continue to make advancements to help automate and speed up otherwise manual processes that could take hours or days.

It is easier than ever to start to utilize ePrescribe platforms, but integrating a new ePrescribe platform into your already existing technologies and processes needs to be addressed first. Here are a few things to consider when researching and determining which ePrescribe platform would work best for your business’s needs.

How will it improve my efficiency?

Business operations managers in every business likely wonder how they can provide better service with less cost. ePrescribe platforms can help you do this by helping improve your business’s efficiencies. Instead of relying on your employees to manually input orders into your system, getting the doctor or prescriber approval, and checking that all documentation is complete, ePrescribe systems automate the pre-qualification process.   

One of your main goals in business is likely to increase revenue. With the current reimbursement rates, one of the ways to increase revenue is to decrease your overall operational costs by being more efficient.

According to a survey of over 200 HME providers and referral sources, on average, a provider would go back and forth with a referral source on one order three times before all required information for an SWO or CMN is collected for just one patient.

By reducing the back and forth and helping prequalify orders, delivery of orders is sped up, patients receive their equipment more quickly, which increases satisfaction with patients and referral sources, inbound calls are reduced, patient starts on service is increased, and there is a quicker order-to-cash timeframe.

According to DMEScripts, over 90% of orders received through their ePrescribe system are accepted the first time. By speeding up one part of the HME process can increase efficiencies and productivity in many areas of your business.

Will this system work with my processes or existing software? Will it work with my referral sources’ software or processes?

Before implementing a new process or software, you need to consider if it will work with your current processes and systems you have in place or if additional changes will need to be implemented. The interoperability of systems depends on your business’s software systems and the ePrescribe system. Interoperability would allow for systems to “talk” or have a bridge between them, reducing duplicate data entry and data entry errors.

Here are a few considerations to think about when researching what system is best for your business:

  • How easy are both systems to navigate? If a system is hard to navigate, your employees may have a hard time adopting the new technology. The more intuitive it is, the better.
  • Will it cause your team more work to enter information into a separate ePrescribe system and back into your main operations system? Ideally, the implementation of a new system should not cause additional work, but save them time. If the system requires dual entry, it increases the risk of errors and additional delays.
  • Do both (or all) of your systems need to communicate to automate processes?
  • How secure is the platform and does the platform ensure cybersecurity?
  • Does the platform meet HIPAA Security Rule guidelines? The HIPAA Security Rule requires Covered Entities and Business Associates to perform a comprehensive risk assessment.
  • Do your referral sources already use an ePrescribe system that they would recommend or prefer?
  • What is their onboarding process like? Will they train your employees?
  • What is the ongoing technical support like? Do you have an assigned contact or phone number for a team who can continue to assist you after onboarding?
  • Is it available for all types of medical equipment that you provide?
  • How long will it take to implement and onboard the system?

In many cases, software systems need APIs to connect to each other for data to flow from one to another. Some systems are easier to connect than others. If you are already in the process of discussing workflows and processes, you may want to have your IT team involved to discuss logistics to determine how the ePrescribe software will integrate with your system.

What Is Your Why?

Ultimately, what is your why? Why do you want to shift to ePrescribe? This may be a major shift, but think about your overall goal, whether it be to improve the healthcare quality for your patients, to submit cleaner claims, to get paid more quickly, or to free up time for your employees to have more time for more meaningful work? Whatever your why is, know that the rapid pace of technological advancement is not going to slow down. It will only speed up. It’s time to make the leap to better efficiencies.

VGM members do have access to several ePrescribe services including Brightree ePrescribe solutions, DMEScripts, and Parachute. If you have questions regarding any of these services, contact your account manager.


TAGS

  1. business development
  2. operations
  3. software

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