When a physician refers a patient to your facility for a service like an MRI, two separate administrative clocks start ticking. One’s at your facility. The other is at the referring physician’s office. Admin time for hospital order management is expensive, so the more time your people spend handling the order, the less profitable it will be. On the referring side, time spent following up on the order is similarly a profit killer.

Conversely, by clearly and efficiently communicating all the correct information for insurance, preauthorization, patient prep and so forth, the facility avoids issues with the order request not being serviced or running into difficulties with reimbursement. Streamlining the order request process, as well as the follow up, helps make the service more profitable for your organization while also lessening the workload of the referrer—making him or her more likely to refer more patients in the future.

The Cost of Inefficient, Manual Hospital Order Management

How much does a minute of administrative time cost your facility? If you track your costs carefully, you’ll know your fully-allocated cost of labor. It’s not the hourly wage. It’s far higher, taking into account thing like benefits, facilities costs, liability and more. The fully allocated cost of labor might be double the employee’s actual salary.

Manual order processes are heavy on fully-allocated time. Every minute spent handling a service order costs your facility money: the fully allocated hourly cost divided by 60. It adds up. A phone call here, a fax or fax there and all of a sudden, you may be looking at significant administrative costs for each service order. The same is true for the referring medical practice.

Costly inefficiencies in manual order processes include things like scheduling and follow up for service results. Even if everything goes smoothly (and, as we all know, they sometimes don’t), people on both the hospital and referring practice sides must spend time chasing down details. How many times has the phone rung with a physician’s office asking, “Did my patient show up?”, “What is the status of the service?” or “When will we get the results?”

There’s also an important intangible cost to such inefficient, manual processes. These could involve reputation damage to the hospital, e.g. that place is so slow and unreliable! After enough time-wasting experiences, referring practices might send their patients elsewhere. 

How Order Management Systems Streamline the Order Process

Implementing a hospital ambulatory order management system streamlines the order request process as well as the various follow up workflows. Good ambulatory order management—orders done right—not only enhances efficiencies and gives transparency to referring physicians, it also drives the entire revenue cycle because everything needed is correctly accounted for on the front end.

No one considers how simply getting everything scheduled appropriately with preauthorization, patient instructions, etc. makes the whole revenue cycle more efficient. With an ambulatory order management system, the referring physician can place the service order directly and eliminate wait times to schedule an order request. This gets rid of the cumbersome and costly process of manually re-entering the order details into the HIS.

The system provides transparency and far more efficient communication between hospital scheduling and the referring doctor. Admins on both ends of the service request can see order status instantly online instead of picking up the phone or sending an email. The system will tell them whether the patient showed up or when to expect the status of the study without incurring so much costly admin time.

iPro Healthcare offers a hospital ambulatory order management that streamlines the order request and follow up processes. iPro Order customers consistently show how the use of the system reduces admin overhead for managing service orders. In addition to boosting facility profits, the system contributes to more positive, profitable relationships with referring physicians. To learn about iPro Order solution, visit http://iprohealthcare.com/