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Rehabilitating healthcare processes: Start with your information 

by ​Edward Gower-Isaac
 
Increasing the efficiency of fundamental information processes is imperative for many organizations. Improving the flow of information in customer service, accounts payable, patient records, insurance claims, loan origination, and in the mail room can bring advantages in cost reduction, productivity and customer satisfaction. And increasingly, the expectation of users, both employees and customers, is for better, faster access to accurate and consistent information.

 
Healthcare infographic

According to a recent McKinsey study1 of healthcare systems in three very different geographies over the last year, more than 75 percent of patients used digital communication services such as websites or email.

 

The study goes on to say that what patients want is not necessarily innovative applications and advanced features, but the “surprisingly mundane: efficiency, better access to information, integration with other channels, and the availability of a real person if the digital service doesn’t give them what they need.” For example, simply having help finding and scheduling appointments was cited most often by respondents from all three regions.

Making the rounds

Another example is a Fortune 500 global healthcare insurer2 that recently outsourced its claims data processing activities to the tune of 2 million claims a year. This means that paper-based claims and the more than 100,000 claims received by e-mail and fax are captured and automatically validated before being passed to the adjudication process. The validation is done in accordance with a fully auditable process. Digital copies are securely encrypted and uploaded to a cloud-based processing system, where metadata is automatically extracted from the document and validated against the insurer’s policy database excerpts.

Validating paper-based claims used to be an inefficient, time-consuming process which tied up valuable resources. Now the insurer’s claims adjudication teams can access fully validated claims within hours of receipt. These business process services have improved response times, reduced local administration and minimized physical document management costs, saving time and money. It also makes for happier customers.

The company is also now better positioned to take the next step towards re-engineering their claims processes, introducing technologies to migrate customers to a web-based system which will significantly accelerate claim payment turnaround times and further reduce operational costs.

 

​It can be difficult for organizations caught up in the day-to-day delivery of services to step back and gain the perspective required to transform fundamental business processes.

 

Prognosis

It can be difficult for organizations caught up in the day-to-day delivery of services to step back and gain the perspective required to transform fundamental business processes. Both the healthcare provider and the global insurer took advantage of Ricoh’s managed services experience to help them fundamentally change their operational activities. Working in partnership with Ricoh, they have been able to optimize their business processes to reduce operational costs, better meet patient needs, and lay the groundwork for further innovation and growth. 

Interested in improving your healthcare processes? 

Improving the flow of information brings advantages in cost reduction, productivity and customer satisfaction. 
 
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Edward Gower-Isaac joined Ricoh in November 2014 as Vice President and General Manager, Business Process Services (BPS). He is responsible for further developing Ricoh’s customer-centric BPS solutions to support paper to digital migration and optimize document-intensive business processes. Gower-Isaac brings extensive experience and leadership skills to drive the organization. 
 
 
1 Beisdorf, Stefan and Niedermann, Florian. "Healthcare's Digital Future." McKinsey & Company. July 2014. <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/healthcares-digital-future">http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/healthcares-digital-future</a>
2 Ricoh Europe. "Business Critical Document Process Outsourced to Ricoh." 2014