How to Choose a Healthcare ERP System

With the introduction of new technologies and changing policies across healthcare in the United States from the 1990’s to the modern era, new trends in operational management have emerged. Healthcare organizations have a continual need to outsource operations to other subcontractors to “enhance their abilities to provide quality care while avoiding unnecessary cost, risk, or inefficiencies.”

To keep up with continually changing regulations, a new trend indicates that healthcare organizations are turning to enterprise resource planning software to keep up with operational costs, staff and patient trends, and changing state and federal regulations.

Read more on eWeek: 4 Keys to a Successful SaaS Solution in Healthcare

What Is Enterprise Resource Planning?

Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is a type of software that organizes users to better manage day-to-day business activities. An ERP system combines business operations across platforms, streamlining information, mitigating data duplication, and preserving data integrity. A well-working ERP system will include accounting, finance, procurement, project management, supply chain management, and enterprise performance management.

Features of ERP Software for Healthcare

ERPs aim to streamline business practices, so users focus on more important operations — like patient care. Several considerations must be addressed when discussing ERP systems. For healthcare businesses specifically, ERP must provide the following benefits.

Eliminate Repetitive and Inaccurate Coding Data

The platform should eliminate repetitive and inaccurate coding data in areas like scheduling, patient care, pharmacy, or human resources. When the ERP is working properly, service and supplier codes have accurate authorization codes and billing codes attached to the electronic medical records (EMR). This way, staff will have correct codes that indicate proper pay is attached to the correct patient service provided within payroll software.

Supply Chain Management and Diversification

Another factor to consider is supply chain management and diversification. According to a recent CIO Insight article, “with a larger and more diverse collection of medical items to track and distribute, healthcare companies need to find ERP options that accurately and efficiently connect their supply chain workflow to vendor invoicing and the specific needs of all of their facility locations.”

Successful supply chain management under an ERP will incorporate inventory, shipping, billing, and predictive analysis to manage, order, donate, and track depletion rates.

Elasticity

Elasticity is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an ERP. In particular, it is important to consider an ERP system that can accommodate frequently changing state and federal regulations for compliance. A successful ERP platform includes robust employee and patient management alongside built-in compliance features to keep state and federal violations at a minimum.

This flexible system will account for updated state and federal regulations requiring HIPAA and security protocols to prevent data breaches, decrease human error, and provide added online security with the increasing usage of telehealth.

Read more on TechRepublic: How Healthcare Organizations and Patients Are Increasingly at Risk From Cyber Threats

Predictive Analytics

The final consideration to address is that an ERP “platform incorporates predictive analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) centered on patient quality assurance.” Predictive analysis is incredibly important, and arguably one of the most important aspects to consider when comparing ERPs. Predictive analytics seeks out and addresses factors that are a potential risk to the patients, staff, and organization.

What to Consider When Choosing ERP Software

When deciding upon an ERP, take the time to process each aspect of the system.

  • Determine what your needs and goals are for implementing an ERP system. Only you know what your organization’s needs are and how they can translate into finding a system to combine include accounting, finance, procurement, project management, supply chain management, and enterprise performance management.
  • Decide which areas within your business operations are a focus. ERP systems are elaborate and can be exceptional at identifying and predicting trends, but a narrowed focus is required to determine what aspects — like finance, supply chain management, and state and federal regulations — are a priority.
  • Compare ERP software. If your company already has ERP software, take into consideration what you feel is necessary about your current system, and what could be improved upon. When deciding on a new ERP system, compare cost, industry focus, software focus, and any particular areas within an ERP that your organization feels are important.
  • Consider the longevity of the ERP software. One important aspect of any ERP is its ability to continually update software advancements. In addition to adapting to new technologies, the ERP must be able to adapt to new and changing state and federal regulations in compliance and patient privacy.

Read next: What Are Key Features of Healthcare ERP Solutions?

Caitlin Cooley
Caitlin Cooley is up and coming healthcare writer who gained her experience working with urban clinical trials in Chicago. Her writing skillset is based in clinical asthma research, child psychology research and Neuroscience research and expands across areas of grant writing, systematic/ scoping review writing, and article writing. Cooley found a passion for writing through her work at The University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital and Health System which continued to DePaul University. Through her position at UIC she had the opportunity to lead a systematic review, diversify her medical and research writing skillset and became a published first author at age 21. At DePaul University, her alma mater, she had the opportunity to work on an open-access textbook, conduct research under a prestigious research fellowship and enhance her manuscript writing skillset. Though she is new to the writing industry she has her “foot in the door” and published in four areas of healthcare and looks forward to adding much more.

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