Think about the last time you bought a new phone. While cost was likely a consideration, risk of failure probably wasn’t. You wanted a new phone because it was more efficient, easier to use or just more sophisticated. Cell phone companies have found a way to appeal to peoples’ desire to update to the latest technology, and make adoption of the device simple.

If health care technology companies took a page from this approach, it could move the entire industry forward and be a huge advantage to providers frustrated with technology adoption.

Technology and automation are essential to reducing costs and increasing patient quality outcomes, which benefit all health care stakeholders. Yet adoption of these systems comes at a time when practices struggle to find profitable business models. Reduced reimbursements and increased non-revenue generating activities are the new normal.

The time and money required to replace a practice management system or adopt a new electronic health record system are burden enough, further compounded by losses in productivity while staff learn to use new technology and change their workflows. So what has transpired among providers, rather than excitement about the promise of new technology, is growing skepticism about their ability to effectively operationalize new systems.

Adoption of new technology adoption has been successful when government regulations leave no option (HIPAA), or there are significant incentives (Meaningful Use). But outside of these forced or highly incentivized models, practices are skeptical about realizing a promised return on investment.

Health care business solutions companies should strive for this model.

Many might argue that the health care industry is more complex than telecommunications, and to an extent, this is true. However, we must find ways to reduce the costs of adoption and risks of taking chances on new technologies. When cost savings or quality improvements require implementing a whole new system, you can always expect that there will be limited (or slow) adoption.

New solutions can be adopted or replaced without disrupting your organization when:

  • There is no need for integration into the workflow (e.g.: Web-based solutions)
  • Integration with existing technologies and workflows can be achieved without learning new systems

Availity leverages these approaches. With our Web Portal, there is no cost and no implementation. It’s a web-based solution that is simple and intuitive. We also have a Revenue Cycle Management product that integrates with our customers’ existing practice management systems to reduce the burden of adoption. Both examples allow for new important functionality without major investments in new technology or resource and process retraining.

Availity continues to invest in adaptable, scalable technologies that allow for our customers, vendor partners and health plans to find creative ways to deliver vital information within the workflow of normal encounters and business processes without forcing wholesale systematic changes or large financial investments. These investments and solutions will continue to help our customers find creative ways to leverage technology to improve the health of their businesses.