By Scott Davis
The healthcare industry is undergoing a rapid transformation. Healthcare organizations are contending with increasing costs, decreasing revenues, the effects of new regulations such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the continuing widespread adoption of mobile technologies. In response, more hospitals are consolidating in order to achieve economies of scale, leading to greater numbers of mergers and acquisitions.
All of these trends have resulted in increased pressure on healthcare organizations to reduce costs, create new revenue streams, and improve efficiency. In order to achieve these goals, telecom is often one of the first departments to be scrutinized. According to research by AOTMP, 87% of healthcare organizations indicate optimizing telecom costs is a top priority, a percentage higher in healthcare than in any other industry.
At the same time, the utilization of mobile technology is rapidly expanding. Smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps are being deployed to streamline processes such as patient registration and discharge, diagnostics, and inter-hospital communications. The combination of these trends makes it more challenging than ever for healthcare telecom departments to accomplish their goals and effectively adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Fortunately, the practice of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) can enable healthcare organizations to lower costs, improve efficiency, free up employee time, mitigate risk, make better decisions, develop policies, and improve internal satisfaction with technology services.
TEM allows organizations to reduce costs by providing complete visibility into their entire communications environment. Everything telecom is tracked in a centralized repository, while reporting tools provide accurate assessments of costs, help track billing errors, and discover opportunities for optimization. Capacity planning and call accounting capabilities help ensure network resources aren’t wasted. This goes beyond just telecom. A good TEM vendor will provide a comprehensive management strategy that includes both telecom and IT, managing the complete communications lifecycle.
TEM vendors also help cut costs by saving employees time. Healthcare organizations can automate labor-intensive manual tasks and establish efficient internal workflows. Utilizing TEM managed services further reduces strain on employees by having TEM vendor staff handle all telecom management activities. The TEM provider can process and audit all invoices and resolve every billing issue, drastically reducing internal staff time and providing significant hard dollar savings to the organization.
Healthcare organizations experiencing M&A and consolidation activity can uniquely benefit from TEM, as it centralizes and standardizes telecom and IT management regardless of any changes that occur within the organization. With telecom optimized, organized, and under control, integrations with other organizations can go more smoothly. TEM also helps manage the challenges that arise with mobile devices. Especially when integrated with Mobile Device Management (MDM) software, TEM helps organizations manage and monitor all mobile usage, including employee-owned devices in the workplace, ensuring mobile costs are low and mobile data is secure.
Calero works with many organizations in the healthcare space to solve their most complex communications challenges. We know balancing market forces with ever-changing government regulations is a daunting challenge. Many organizations try to manage telecom through labor-intensive manual processes that are often inefficient and prone to error – both internally and at the carrier level. However, utilizing TEM can yield significant savings in time, money and effort for healthcare organizations. Calero customers have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in hard dollar cost savings as well as countless human resources spent navigating and managing telecom manually.
For more information on current trends in healthcare and how TEM can help reduce costs and improve efficiency, download our whitepaper here.
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