Why electronic lab document delivery is the low hanging fruit of digital transformation

The Healthcare sector has been slow to embrace digital transformation but it is now catching up with other industries. Research shows that Healthcare systems came behind only High Tech and Retail when it came to digital penetration over the past three years. As healthcare companies look to digitally transform their business to improve operating efficiencies and patient experience, there is one area where they can achieve a quick win. A cloud-based lab document delivery system like OpenText™ MedNX provides cost, speed and security benefits that are easy to achieve.

There is a hype cycle that surrounds digital transformation. Regardless of industry, the same pattern repeats itself. Senior management begins to understand the importance of transforming their organization, but initial progress is slow. Organizations then realize some of the benefits of transformation and adoption accelerates.

This is exactly what is currently happening within the healthcare sector. Research from Oxford Economics and SAP® found that 61 percent of healthcare executives thought digital transformation was important or critical for their business – a figure that rose to 86 percent in just five years. Of the respondents, 60 percent thought it was a core business goal. Yet, only 2 percent felt that digital transformation was mature across their organization.

Healthcare companies need to identify area where digital transformation initiatives will quickly deliver value. The electronic delivery of lab and other protected health information (PHI) documents is one of those areas.

Where does Healthcare IT deliver value?

Recently, McKinsey conducted a large-scale analysis of the HIMSS Value Suite database to discern where investments in Healthcare IT brought the greatest value for Healthcare systems worldwide. The company was able to identify three key areas where value is generated, each of which apply to the digital transmission of lab documents, such as patient information and clinical results.

  • Patient treatment: The highest value was created around patient treatment. Here, healthcare IT helps ensure the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. In a previous blog, I discussed how, in the vast majority of countries worldwide, producing the right result but not delivering it to the right place on time caused twice as much reported harm as an incorrect result. A cloud-based medical document distribution platform – like OpenText MedNX – ensures the secure delivery of key documents to the right people quickly.
  • Electronic secure data: The second most important area for value was what McKinsey termed ‘electronic secure data’. These systems helped with fast and secure data reporting and sharing. In some cases, clinical labs are still returning their results by courier or even mail. This is clearly slow and inefficient but it has wider issues. As Healthcare institutions become increasingly digital, they are deploying a range of offline and online channels. Healthcare professionals want to be communicated with in a way that best meets their needs. When delivering lab documents, you need to be able to deliver the information in a format and to the device that the recipient requires.
  • Cost savings It’s interesting to note that cost savings was only the third most important area of value for Healthcare IT. McKinsey found that savings were realized through IT infrastructure that led to operational and workflow efficiencies. In fact, improved workflow efficiencies were the second most mentioned category of value on the HIMSS database, revolving around the better handling of documentation. Again, a secure cloud-based document delivery solution that provides a single platform for Healthcare information exchange helps streamline important workflows between the labs and their customers. Advanced platforms such as OpenText MedNX allow integration with Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other enterprise systems to improve the performance of day-to-day information exchange.

Cloud-based lab document deliver. Digital transformation made easy

Clinical labs are in a difficult position. The number of clinical lab tests is rising at the same time as reimbursement for those tests is being cut. The focus for these organizations must be on operations that are fast, efficient and lean. If a lab is printing off its results and mailing them to the Healthcare practitioner, we know there are cost and efficiency improvements that can be made.

As the volume and variety of clinical tests increases – as well as the need to exchange other form of PHI – the traditional approach of using manual, paper-based systems will struggle to cope. Laboratories require a digital clinical report distribution service that’s fast, secure and compliant. In addition, the cost pressures on labs mitigate against the investment in internal IT infrastructure when cloud-based services like OpenText MedNX provides the scalability, performance, security and future-proofing benefits that in-house systems will lack.

Using a cloud-based service is a fast and cost-effective way to digitally transform your lab document delivery processes. Key benefits include:

  • Cost efficiency: You remove the need to invest in and maintain internal infrastructure. Document delivery can become a simple monthly fee. In addition, you eliminate the dedicated outbound and remote telecommunication costs associated an on-premise report distribution infrastructure.
  • Speed of delivery: Document deliver becomes fast and automatic. The document to the physical – printer or fax machine – or electronic – EMR system or mobile device – location of choice. The cloud-based document delivery platform can handle a wide variety of file types and provide dynamic file conversion to the file type needed at the receiving end. In addition, should the primary delivery channel fail, the document is automatically re-sent using other delivery channels.
  • Flexibility: Most cloud-based services support flexible delivery options, including
remote printing, fax, and electronic file delivery to EMRs. You can send the document to the receiver’s preferred channel. In addition, the service can accommodate virtually file size and scales easily to meet peeks in workload.
  • Security and auditability: A lab document delivery platform should include the highest levels of Internet security to ensure that all sensitive data is fully secure in transit and at rest. It should have comprehensive audit features to ensure reliable delivery, including confirmation of delivery, real-time tracking, and detailed status feedback.
  • Ease of use: Using a cloud-based service, you don’t need to know the technical capabilities of the receiving site. The file is sent and received in a way that the receiver can easily use. Some of the more advanced platforms have self-service capabilities so you and your customers can choose how and where you receive and access the documentation.

Digital transformation within the Healthcare Sector is accelerating. Becker Hospital Review suggests that healthcare organizations have moved rapidly from ‘digital laggard’ to ‘digital evaluator’. The need for fast, efficient and secure information exchange is core to delivering improvements in operational efficiency and patient experience. Implementing a cloud-based lab document delivery system is an attractive step as organizations move to the adoption of digital transformation.

To find out more about OpenText MedNX and how a cloud-based lab report distribution service can help your business, please contact us.

Erik Enderson

Erik Enderson is a Senior Manager, Product Marketing for the OpenText Business Network division. He has more than 18 years of experience in the B2B technology sector and 10 years of experience with OpenText fax solutions.

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