Epic Community Connect: 3 Cost Considerations
Community outreach programs such as Epic Community Connect require organizations to make financial and workforce investments. However, through this program you will soon see further ROI from your Epic EHR.
With over 20 years of experience in HIT, HCIs VP of Community Outreach Services Scott Jacobs shares three ways in which community outreach projects are effective in increasing organizational revenue.
1) Fostering Community Relationships
Conducting business with organizations who have implemented Epic Community Connect is mutually beneficial. All data is shared electronically, so healthcare organizations that have questions about certain things, such as a prior diagnosis or prescription, won’t have to call or fax their nurses. This leads to saved time, and saved time will lead to increased revenue.
Think of your community outreach program like a billboard. By putting up the billboard, your healthcare facility does not directly make any money. However, the point of this billboard isn’t to make money by itself, it is to showcase to the community what your healthcare facility has to offer. Epic Community Connect is your billboard. By deploying technology to other specific healthcare organizations, you have made doing business with your own healthcare organization much easier. The ability to instantly and easily share patient data will cause more healthcare facilities to want to work with your business.
2) Prevention of Patient Leakage
A major benefit that comes with community outreach is that patients within your network will most likely stay within your network. Say a patient goes to a family doctor, who tells them that they have a health issue which is going to require a follow up from a specialist. If that doctor is part of a health system using Epic Community Connect, it is very easy to refer that patient to a specialist within Epic. With the single push of a button, that specialist will have all of that patient’s information ready and available. This helps to prevent a classic problem within health facilities known as patient leakage.
In the days before EMRs were prevalent, a patient who saw one of your organizations primary care doctors might “leak out” of the network, because they would have been referred to an out-of-network specialist. Through Epic Community Connect, there is less leakage because your organization has made doing business easier, and doctors are much less likely to refer a patient out of the technology network. Not only does Epic Community Connect increase revenue through patient retention, it also helps to bring in new patients to your health system. Other organizations who are also on Epic Community Connect will be much more likely to send them to you due to the ease of doing so, and more patients means more revenue.
3) Lowering Soft Costs
Another major benefit of Epic Community Connect comes through its lowering of your organizations soft cost expense. Say that 80% of the patients that show up in the ER have data in your EMR, but the remaining 20% do not. For the remaining 20% of patients that are not in the system, your nurses will have to spend more time trying to gather various different forms of information – such as social, medical, and allergy history. What if you could lower the number of people who came in to the ER without any data in your EMR?
Through community outreach programs, that percentage can drop significantly. Because the data is shared community-wide – and due to the fact that there are much more people in the database – organizational expenses will be much lower. Having patients in the system to begin with means less time wasted having to discover and input their information.
An important thing to keep in mind when it comes to community outreach programs such as Epic Community Connect is that it is a significant investment on your organizations behalf. However, by properly utilizing the system, your organization has the chance to greatly increase its revenue. Make sure to check out our Epic Community Connect webpage for more information.