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hospitals’ negotiating better purchasing contracts with suppliers and then dictating to physicians which devices they can use, but rather a process of determining how to achieve effective cost control while still offering choic- es that physicians consider clinically sound. Technology that provides spend visibil- ity combined with contract management through a single

Krista Fuller is director of product marketing for SciQuest.

For more information on SciQuest solutions:

platform can reduce the cost of physician preference items by providing visibility into the purchasing process and creat- ing a framework for collaborative spending strategies based on open dialog. Forward-thinking hospitals and healthcare organizations are establishing committees that include physicians and purchasing administrators to determine if and how cost saving can be realized through contract management with preferred suppliers via a centralized e-procurement system.

The solution To handle the volume and breadth of products needed by diverse users involves creating effi ciencies around main- taining product data, automating the search for supplies and managing contract spend. Today’s hospitals require an e-procurement partner that specializes in enterprise-wide contract compliance by supporting comprehensive, detailed contracts, large product lists and high-quality data. Solutions that enable more effi cient maintenance of product content, standardization of item requests and enhanced user-search capabilities in a single electronic repository known as a Virtual Item Master are helping healthcare organizations to dramatically reduce costs. A Virtual Item Master provides unifi ed product and pricing information for spending visibility and control. A traditional ERP item master is incomplete and requires expensive data management and scrubbing, whereas a Virtual Item Master can combine a traditional item master with GPO contracts, PPI contracts, self-managed contracts, service contracts and non-contracted goods. A Virtual Item Master also provides a simple, intuitive user experience that promotes contract compliance for every purchaser whether they are hospital buyers, clinicians or materials managers. By standardizing and simplifying the ordering process for all items, combin- ing price validation with workfl ow, and gathering robust spend data healthcare, organizations are able to uncover buried treasure.


1. Montgomery, Kathleen; Schneller, Eugene S. Hospitals Strategies for Orchestrating Selection of Physician Preference Items. W.P. Carey Healthcare Supply Chain Consortium, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.

Revolutionizing the coding and billing cycle with intelligent mobile technology

intelligent mobile enterprise platform and coding intel- ligence system – give providers the opportunity to view detailed, relevant patient information in real time at the point of care, and to capture and digitally submit charges to their billing system as they happen. Providers no lon- ger need to rely on handwritten notes or index cards to capture charges, only to try to later recall the details of an individual patient visit; or even worse, not capture a charge at all for the consult. For instance, Carrollton Surgical Associates, a provider of surgical care to residents of Georgia and Alabama, increased its revenue by 20 percent by using a mobile healthcare platform to capture billable charges and view detailed patient information at the point of care. Mobile technology has the ability to simplify the daily workfl ows of coding and billing staff, as well. This vital support group has a very challenging task in the traditional paper billing cycle. They spend much of their time sorting through physician paper notes, which are often illegible or diffi cult to reconcile because by the time they receive the charges, several weeks have passed since the patient consult occurred. Consequently, coders spend much of their time speaking with physicians try- ing to clarify and reconcile charges that were captured weeks ago.

Using mobile technology supported by coding intel- ligence not only allows charges to be submitted to cod- ing staff in real time at the point of encounter, but also allows submitted charges to be automatically reviewed for accuracy using an intelligent rules-based coding en- gine, prior to receipt by coding staff. In this advanced workfl ow, sending digital charges eliminates weeks in the queue (not to mention cash fl ow sitting in accounts receivable). The charges have already been reviewed for accuracy by an intelligent coding engine, so all that is left for the coder to do is to make a fi nal review and submit for billing.

The rapid sophistication and adoption of mobile de- vices in healthcare has created an alternative to the tra- ditional paper-based billing cycle and all of its aforemen- tioned defi ciencies. According to Manhattan Research, 81 percent of physicians will be using a smartphone by 2012. Mobile devices have evolved over the last 10 years to become robust computing platforms that offer a wealth of opportunities for healthcare providers to access and interact with all kinds of clinical and patient information at the point of care, or while on the move in any care environment.


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