Passage of the Health Care for America Plan (aka, Obamacare) gave a big boost to electronic medical records (EMR). According to Healthcare IT News, EMR system sales rose 14% to $18bn in 2011, double the size of the market in 2007. The path to widespread adoption of EMR, however, must cross the Document-Data Gap. The patient file consists of forms, handwritten notes, reports and images from many sources. “The EMR record is not structured like the paper or scanned documents," said IPS CEO Greg Bartels. “There may be six separate screens to be filled in for each patient. In practice, that inconsistency leads to a lot of cutting and pasting of information from previous visits into today’s visit. There is a lot of digital ‘paper-shuffling’ with the patient in the room, which does not produce better quality of care.”
Paying Faster, Paying Less
Healthcare is a high-tech field. But when it comes to accounts payable, paper still rules. Hospital, clinic and practice financial departments still receive an average of two-third of vendor invoices on paper, whether they arrive by mail, email or Web download. Disbursements and financial reporting may be highly automated, but the process of approving invoices still involves paper moving from desk to desk and financial staff chasing approvals. The good news is that there is a better way. Best of all, it can be implemented with technology you already have: email and a Web browser.