The ROI of healthcare system transformation is both quantitative and qualitative, achieved not only through greater efficiency and productivity but also through visionary improvements to care delivery
"In its classic definition, ROI is defined as a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.
"However, this traditional definition does not fit the scope of benefits that healthcare organizations can derive from effective implementation of IT systems. Indeed, a true measure of ROI must include the full spectrum of benefits that can result from a successful IT implementation: improved customer relationships, streamlined internal processes, innovation, patient safety and other qualitative factors. Such components may have a huge impact on a healthcare organization—all without the benefit of being quantified financially. Using the classic formula, an ROI calculation for a particular investment might be negative; however, benefits such as customer satisfaction and easy access to information may uncover ample justification." (HIMSS Analytics, 2011, ROI Research in Healthcare: The Value Factor in Returns on Health IT Investments)
When organizations seek efficiency they most frequently identify ways to ensure that people, processes and technologies are aligned to achieve organizational effectiveness. A key technological component of this is automating workflows that enable process improvements that make people more efficient.
Efficient IT Systems Yield Greater Productivity
Productivity improvements are the most quantifiable measure in creating an ROI-based business case for IT system investment. As an example, an IT system investment that is expected to enable care managers to increase their patient load from 90 to 120 would yield a direct productivity improvement of 33%. (In addition to the quantifiable ROI benefit, there may be less quantifiable but no less important benefits such as in care coordination efficiency and patient satisfaction levels.)
Creating baseline metrics from which to measure actual productivity improvements is critical
Once the productivity metrics are determined, equating their value to actual dollars is relatively simple. In our example, a 33% improvement would relate to the overall cost of care managers. This improvement could be realized either as increased efficiency (by reducing staff assigned as care managers) or a productivity gain (added capacity for the same staff).
Visionary Solutions Can Yield Exponential Improvements
Efficiency and productivity improvements form the core of any ROI-based business case, but the true value of technology improvements can often lie in innovative, even visionary benefits of the technology. These benefits may be hard to quantify and perhaps not even considered at decision time. Insuring that you select a scalable technology, and one that is flexible enough to adapt to new use cases, is critical and potentially game-changing.
HIMSS recommends that providers should also consider these factors in calculating ROI for proposed technology:
- Improved outcomes of care compared to pre-health IT implementation.
- Additional revenue generated as the result of an IT implementation.
- Non-financial gains such as, but not limited to, increased patient satisfaction with care encounters, decreased provider time at work, and higher levels of employee satisfaction.
- Increased knowledge of providers about the patient population they serve.
EcoSoft Health software is designed to enhance productivity and facilitate a wide variety workflows and use cases. Integrated with your EMR/EHR system, our proprietary Digital Care Pathways™ bring efficiency and productivity to your organization allowing you to accomplish more work with fewer staff. You can begin with a few Digital Care Pathways™ and add more as you identify other workflows to automate.