Managing the risks traditionally associated with healthcare has always been challenging. Recently, a rapidly evolving risk environment has added to the degree of difficulty.
A New England Journal of Medicine article explains that “the expanding role of healthcare technologies, increased cybersecurity concerns, the fast pace of medical science, and the industry’s ever-changing regulatory, legal, political, and reimbursement climate” have all contributed to the increased complexity of healthcare risk management. These elements and others require a view of risk that is more comprehensive and an approach to managing risk that is more holistic and proactive.
For healthcare risk professionals, having the right risk management software in place can help.
An overview of healthcare risk management technology
Risk management software — also referred to as a risk management information system (RMIS) — helps by streamlining risk, safety, and compliance processes, improving communication and collaboration, and breaking down the silos of data that commonly exist throughout organizations.
Once used primarily as a tool for managing policy information or consolidating and reporting on claims data, many healthcare risk management systems have evolved to include expanded functionality that includes audit tools, data collection portals, third-party integrations (with sources such as EMR systems and benchmarking data), mobile applications, workflow automation and more. In some systems, healthcare risk management software includes integrated patient safety and quality tools to provide insights that can only be surfaced when risk, claims, safety, quality, and compliance information is brought together.
There’s likely more innovation on the horizon. Analysis published in October 2020 by Grand View Research projects that factors such as initiatives to reduce hospital-acquired infections, pressure to strengthen patient outcomes, and mandates to contain healthcare costs are likely to drive an 11% growth rate in the patient safety and risk management software market between 2020 and 2027.
Selecting the right healthcare risk management software
“A healthcare RMIS should help drive process, communication and transparency across all areas and functions within an organization,” says Bill Schwacke, Healthcare Practice Lead at Origami Risk. “From risk management, to patient safety and quality, to employee health and safety, a healthcare RMIS will help to put timely information and data in front of the right people at the right time.”
But how does one ensure they are selecting the “right” healthcare risk management software for their organization? The answer will, of course, only be evident following a process of planning and budgeting, analyzing requirements, researching vendors, viewing system demos, and weighing the options.
5 essential healthcare risk management software components
There are multiple criteria to consider when vetting the right technology solution for your organization. Underlying them are 5 essential components that will impact the short- and long-term viability of the software on which you depend.
- Scalability – A defining characteristic of cloud-based SaaS technology, scalability is the attribute of a system that refers to the ability to make changes based on application and processing demands. Understanding the scalability of a risk management platform — and the associated costs — is essential to ensuring a system remains relevant as an organization grows and system usage is expanded.
- Configurability and Integration – Another hallmark of true SaaS solutions, configurability refers to options that allow for organization-specific set up without the need to change or customize a system’s underlying code. This includes the capabilities for seamlessly integrating with other systems and third-party services to provide centralized access to real-time information. The ability to tailor the system to the unique needs of your organization allows for new use cases and adds value to your risk, safety, claims, and insurance initiatives.
- Security – As should be the case, security is top of mind for any organization purchasing software. Put simply, the question is this: Can you trust a software provider and the platform to keep your employee and patient data protected? Certifications and HIPAA requirements require covered entities and their business associates to conduct a risk assessment to reveal the areas where your organization’s protected health information (PHI) could be at risk.
- Usability and Training – The successful implementation of healthcare risk management software is dependent on how readily users — both internal and external stakeholders — adopt the system you choose. A system must be easy to use in order for your team and others to quickly gain competency. Training tailored to your organization’s unique circumstances should also be an option provided by a vendor.
Service Model – When evaluating healthcare risk management technology, the importance of selecting the right technology partner is often overlooked. A vendor’s service team should have the experience to understand your specific needs and a proven track record of success in working with organizations similar to yours.
Experience matters. While it’s a given that the team implementing and supporting your healthcare risk management system will need to get up-to-speed on your processes and priorities, you don’t want to be training less experienced vendor employees at your expense.
Need help selecting the right healthcare risk management system?
Healthcare Risk Management Software: Choosing the Best Solution for Your Organization is a comprehensive guide created to help you evaluate risk, patient safety, quality, and compliance technology options. In addition to outlining potential benefits and ROI, the guide covers key factors for assessing a system’s capabilities and functionality. These include:
- Determining how easily a system can be configured — free of the need for time-consuming, expensive changes to code — to meet your organization’s specific requirements;
- Understanding what is involved in integrating a healthcare risk management system with other software systems and data sources from across the organization;
- Evaluating platform scalability to understand if the technology will be capable of keeping up with an organization’s evolving needs and requirements;
- Reviewing vendor and software certifications and security controls to ensure compliance with HIPAA requirements and other security compliance protocols, as well as ongoing protection against emerging cyber threats;
- Gauging how ease-of-use drives widespread adoption and impacts the speed with which users pick up on the tools most relevant to their areas of responsibility; and
- Assessing the quality and responsiveness of support services and training.
To obtain a free copy of “Healthcare Risk Management Software: Choosing the Best Solution for your Organization,” click here.
Learn more about Origami Risk’s integrated healthcare risk, claims, safety, quality, and compliance solutions
Origami Risk provides healthcare organizations with highly configurable, integrated solutions designed to break down silos of data, automate processes, and drive visibility into risk, claims, safety, quality, and compliance initiatives.
To begin a conversation about whether Origami Risk is the right healthcare risk management system for you, contact us.