We strive to provide quality business and technical expertise to Healthcare organizations.
Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!
Welcome to our FAQ’s page where you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions.
- What is Health Information Technology (HIT)?
Widespread use of health IT within the health care industry will improve the quality of health care, prevent medical errors, reduce health care costs, increase administrative efficiencies, decrease paperwork, and expand access to affordable health care. It is imperative that the privacy and security of electronic health information be ensured as this information is maintained and transmitted electronically. Understanding the current health IT landscape will ultimately help you better navigate your individual health IT choices. Below is a comprehensive list of current health IT applications available:
• Practice management systems (PMSs)
• Electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs)
• Picture archiving and communications software (PACS)
• Electronic prescribing (ePrescribing or eRx)
• Personal health records (PHR)
• Patient registries
• Patient portals
- Why do I need to consider HIT for my practice?
The goal of any health information technology (IT) product, system or service is to help the physician practice manage patient data effectively. That data may include patient records, prescriptions, billing and insurance information or even photos and other images. Your practice’s individual needs and priorities will largely determine what type of health IT you choose. Below is a brief list outlining the benefits:
• reducing paperwork by eliminating the need for handwritten medical records
• reducing medical errors by transmitting accurate information electronically
• eliminating mistakes due to misreading of your doctor’s handwriting
• eliminating storage space and staff time to maintain medical records
• reducing health care costs by decreasing the need for repeat medical tests by different doctors
• improving quality of care by decreasing medical errors and assuring the integrity of PHI
- How Do I get started implementing HIT solutions?
Once the decision has been made to implement health IT in your practice, the next step can often be daunting. The choices and options can be overwhelming. At no charge to your practice, HITEC can consult* with you to make this implementation process easier and more seamless, work with you to adopt an electronic health record, redesign care systems, improve outcomes, and/or meet national program requirements.
BEGIN YOUR ASSESSMENT
*initial consultation free to first time customers only.
- How do I know if I need a consultant?
There are no hard and fast rules for deciding to bring in a management consultant. Common situations suggesting that a consultant may provide help include:
• Management believes that performance could be better but is not sure what to do to gain improvements.
• Management does not have the specific knowledge and skills necessary to solve the problems it has identified.
• Management has the necessary knowledge and skills but not the time or personnel to solve problems.
• Management’s efforts have not produced the desired long-term improvements.
• Management requires an independent, third party opinion, either to confirm a decision or to provide alternatives.
• Often a situation will require that a consultant be retained until in-house capabilities are enhanced by a permanent staff addition
- How much will it cost?
Our consultation fees will be influenced by a number of factors, including the client’s need for special knowledge and experience; how much competition for clients there is; the consultant’s reputation; and, if known, the benefit to the client of a successful outcome.
In a typical engagement we may charge a portion of the total fee when the project begins and throughout the project (including any adjustment) until acceptance of the final report.
When our consultants serve in a purely advisory or coaching capacity, it is traditional to charge a flat fee for each advisory session, board of directors meeting, or private session.
Sometimes the consulting arrangement will involve a not-to-exceed figure or a figure that when reached triggers a joint evaluation of results-to-date and an estimate of the time needed to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
You may be able to reduce a high fee by narrowing the scope of the assignment, providing more leeway in scheduling the work, or having your own people assume some of the tasks in the project. Turning the assignment into phases of activity can also spread the payments.
- How Do I Assure Confidentiality and Avoid Conflict of Interest?
We consider the detailed knowledge we gain of a client’s operations and personnel to be confidential. Such information is not to be discussed with, or disclosed to, a third party without the client’s expressed permission. Further, we will not work with two competing firms without the permission of both. These are requirements of the codes of ethics to which all reputable consultants subscribe.
- How Do I Evaluate the Project’s Success?
The success of a consulting project can be measured in many ways. Frequently, the change that results from an engagement is obvious; for example, measurable savings realized, new business generated, or delays eliminated.
Some projects, however, may have payoffs that are only realized gradually. In such situations you should be able to see progress in achieving the project’s goals.
To gain a subjective appraisal, ask the question, “On balance, and considering everything, would I hire the same consultant again?” If the answer is “Yes,” the project can generally be considered a success.
- How Do I Assure the Successful Completion of the Project?
You can assure the successful completion of a consulting engagement by doing the following:
• Make certain that everyone in the organization will provide what the consultant needs in order to gather information and make recommendations.
• Inform all concerned, either through a general meeting or personal memos, that a consultant has been engaged, and explain the nature or purpose of the engagement.
• Allay any anxiety that may result when people learn that a consultant has been engaged.
• Be available to the consultant to review progress, clarify information, or help in resolving temporary difficulties. Candidly voice concerns to the consultant.
• Avoid pressuring the consultant to discuss findings or recommendations until she has thoroughly researched the situation and is ready to do so.