Five Software Mistakes
It seems that everyone is concerned about what the future might hold for healthcare and in response, money is being spent very conservatively. Software is a significant expense for agencies but regardless of what software you use and how much you pay for it, there is a very good chance that you are wasting agency resources. Below are five common mistakes that I see with clients concerning software.
- Investing in software but not in staff. The staff must be knowledgeable about not only what the software does but the uses for these functions in an agency. There is a huge difference between a data entry clerk who enters claims and true billing staff who knows how to run reports to follow up on billing, ensure accuracy and preempt problems. In other words, why would someone run a delayed EOE report if they didn’t know what to do with it once it was printed.
- You’ve invested in a hotshot billing person who understands the software perfectly and then she goes out of town and billing is a wreck. Why? Mistake number two is hiring people who do not communicate and teach well. Every high level biller should be able to communicate with nurses, office staff and senior management. It is a very frequent occurrence that ‘nursing’ and ‘billing’ are at odds with each other. For all new hires, I recommend that new employees spend a day in the field with a nurse and a day in the billing office regardless of their position.
- Have you ever noticed how regardless of what a person feels about Microsoft, there is usually a copy of MS Office on their computer? There are other programs that will do what office does but we still spend big bucks on Microsoft products for a couple of reasons. First of all, everyone knows how to use them. Secondly, they are reliable. I resent having to pay for software. It is like buying gas for my car. Part of me feels as though I have already paid for the car – what more do they want from me??? But I buy gas to make sure my car runs and I pay for software so I can use my computer.
- Hardware today is basically cheap. Honestly. Five hundred bucks will buy a brand new, fast machine. So why, when I walk into offices do I see machines that could easily be in a museum somewhere? It is unreasonable to expect that your software will run efficiently on a machine that was top of the line in 1972.
- Finally, networked computers should be protected at all times. Nobody means to download viruses or other damaging programming to their machines. Furthermore, I personally don’t have a problem is someone sits at their desks during lunch and plays solitaire while they eat. However, unlimited internet access can lead to near fatal or fatal mistakes. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and neglect the insurance, would you?
Please feel free to add to the list. It could go on and on but before embarking on any software adventure, the priorities of the agency must be determined. If your agency is big enough that software can make or break you, go for the best – whatever that might be for you.