It’s fair to say that the healthcare industry is one which has been impacted more than most given its frontline role within the immediate crisis and continuing role in ongoing management; we know we will be living with COVID and its various strains for the foreseeable future.
Let’s examine some of the challenges that continue to beset the healthcare industry and the things that can be done operationally and financially to help alleviate some of the challenges.
Healthcare Industry – Efficiency, Productivity and Expense Relief Needed
The health and financial challenges imposed by the crisis will clearly last for years, many of the effects showing themselves in ceaseless waves month over month and year over year. For example, it was prominently reported across the country during the heat of the crisis – and world for that matter – that elective surgeries needed to be postponed due to the more pressing and urgent need to address COVID-related medical emergencies.
It’s difficult to document the exact impact of this reality but it was widespread, and no doubt negatively impacted profitability. And now that we have moved further through the crisis and are dealing with more long-term management of its effects, it’s clear that other issues related to COVID will continue to exact a toll on the healthcare industry. Moreover, supply chains have been severely disrupted due to the havoc that COVID wreaked on the workforce and these impacts will be dealt with for months and even years to come.
It becomes so challenging that the demand for healthcare workers has gone up significantly, in many cases driving salaries for, say, nurses up 2 to 3 times above normal.
These examples are but a few of many that will continue to tax the healthcare industry. Hospital executives are now coming to the reality that a portion of the population will remain unvaccinated, and COVID may be the new normal. So instead of trying to ride the wave, executives are now faced with addressing the problems head on.
How Automation and Expense Management Can Help
From an Enterprise expense management perspective (traditionally known as Telecom Expense Management or TEM), there are certain things that can be done to help healthcare organizations. They involve streamlining network operations, implementing automation, and cutting waste to drive financial expense savings for the healthcare organization.
AP Operational Efficiency:
Partnering with a strong TEM partner will help promote Accounts Payable (AP) operational efficiency for the enterprise. For example, a strong TEM platform such as Tellennium’s MoT™ technology can help reduce AP staff having to perform recurring tasks that can be automated-away. Your staff can then be more stream-lined, right-sized, and free to focus on higher-value activities.
Specifically, one way that Accounts Payable teams are helped in terms of operational efficiency, is via Robotic Process Automation (RPA) relative to automated invoice retrieval. Our Enterprise expense management technology platform facilitates the automation of manual tasks with respect to invoice retrieval, which helps to eliminate all late-payment fees and any unwanted service disconnections.
This is a major win for enterprise AP departments given that they tend to have some of the highest turnover rates within healthcare finance organizations. The automation employed materially reduces the workload for AP teams when processing telecom and network-related expenses and other Enterprise expenses such as utilities, waste, and IT licensing. Tellennium’s clients typically see a 95% reduction in AP staff for these recurring expense management activities.
TEM activities such as invoice loading, cost allocation work, invoice filing, archiving, payment automation, and reconciliation processes are all made more exact while reducing labor costs for activities well-suited to Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
At Tellennium, we presently have 250 + RPA template processes that leverage invoice data processing bots to assist with populating pertinent vendor and carrier invoice data details within the MoT technology platform.
IT Productivity Gains:
Instead of having to try to keep up with circuits, numbers, and vendors through never accurate spreadsheets or a poorly implemented TEM system, every detail of your Enterprise telecom infrastructure is real-time accessible with Tellennium’s MoT solution. Wireline and Mobile support, moves, adds, and changes can be quickly and efficiently handled, providing dramatic productivity gains for your IT Staff.
Additionally, expenses are monitored, inventory of services are updated, and discrepancies are handled through to resolution.
With the significant turnover of IT staff nowadays, anything that can reduce the amount of time spent by IT while providing an Enterprise solution where the knowledge of the network details are easily accessible by your staff resources, are huge wins for IT.
And IT can then focus more on larger higher value projects and delivering better patient care through technology.
A solid TEM partner will also work to ensure that service is not interrupted for administrative reasons such as non-payment issues and the length of time to get service issues resolved. With so much communication these days tied to the internet and mobile phone connectivity; this is no small concern.
This is especially true for healthcare organizations where more can be at stake than wanting to make a simple phone call. A competent TEM partner will assist in ensuring that all critical services are well-monitored and supported and that all services are paid on time.
This is a common buzz-phrase within the technology sector these days but to keep abreast of transformative technologies and trends is a modern-day business survival imperative. A strong TEM partner will be at the vanguard of technological change and be cognizant of the need to constantly evolve and transform operationally.
For example, at Tellennium, we recommend that our healthcare provider customers consider technologies that can help them evolve their network communications infrastructure in a financially competitive manner.
We help them better understand exactly what they have operationally and where they can go to improve; we help them better understand the impact(s) of their agreements and how to secure the best terms for their organization. We also drive home the importance of deploying proper tracking capabilities to monitor the transition of technologies and improve overall network performance.
A competent TEM partner will help drive a positive return on investment (ROI) for a healthcare organization’s TEM program. At Tellennium, we know that our TEM solution will drive an average reduction in enterprise expenses of 28% or greater.
We do this by automating and optimizing for all key TEM workload tasks related to monitoring charge detail accuracy, contract compliance, technology optimization and deployment; we consistently drive to optimize for strong network operations and cost-effective financial sustainability for the healthcare organization over the long term.
In sum, this is not a one-time exercise. This is an ongoing process of continual network operational and financial hygiene with never-ending improvement as an ideal.
The healthcare industry – and the world for that matter – will take-away many lessons from this latest pandemic and, by extension, the fiscal crisis that then unfolded as a direct consequence of its wrath.
What healthcare organizations can do to recover is focus on core network operations and fundamental enterprise expense management best practices to maintain sound enterprise network operations at well-managed costs.
We recommend partnering with a strong TEM partner to bolster the strength of your healthcare organization’s overall TEM program. A competent TEM partner will bring strong technology to the table to drive automation and optimization efforts, while also bringing deep-domain industry expertise into the fold to strengthen the entire team’s ability to evolve the TEM program over time.
To learn more about our Tellennium’s TEM program and MoT, please contact us to schedule a brief demo of our solution.
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