Chris Lanaman, Executive Director, Professional Services

Doctor, we need more IS, STAT!

Imagine, if you will, being a doctor in an operating room getting ready to perform a lifesaving surgery and everything seems to be available to you to perform the surgery. You check your computer system to review the patient’s records and pull up the surgical case when, suddenly, the computer and all the monitoring systems crash. Naturally, you would want to call the Informational Systems (IS) support team to be able to fix your vital equipment. However, when you call the help line you get a busy signal. This reality is happening in healthcare organizations across the country in this post-pandemic world.

The pandemic has caused hospitals to operate at a heightened patient acuity level which has been taxing on clinicians. However, a group of individuals often get overlooked who are also working at full compacity, the behind-the-scenes support staff. In a non-heightened period these departments are often run on a streamlined staffing budget without a back-up person to cover when one person takes time off because the skills needed to learn each role are not easily learned or grasped. People in these roles are passionate about solving problems. The learning curve on being able to analyze what the clinicians are asking and identify what software is being used is often at least a 12-to-18-month process. This drop in skillset and shortage of personnel often leaves organizations scrambling to provide top notch support or at least the same level of service before the shortage.

The adage “Work smarter, not harder!” has never been truer than any other time in healthcare support. Therefore, organizations must find and use tools that shorten the learning curve or does all the heavy research work for support workers so they can take action to solve the clinician problems in a timely manner.

Here’s what to look for: Is the tool simple or intuitive to use? It is hard enough that these staff members are trying to learn the workflow processes and procedures the clinicians are using, they do not need to be learning how to use new vernacular for a software tool that does not relate to what they are already using. Is there variability in the outcomes from the tool? The tool should have an expected outcome that can be relied upon. In other words, the data provided in the tool is actionable and easily understood. Do the tools effectively communicate information that improves the staff’s efficiency? The tools must save the staff time and effort to get their work done.

Tools like Softek’s Panther meets all these objectives for staff whose job it is to support a Cerner Millennium EMR system. Whether it is identifying performance issues in using the clinical software, capturing all the generated charges for the organization or helping the business office improve the bottom line when processing claims from payors, tools like Panther are the only way the healthcare organizations can get the work done to support clinicians in this post-pandemic industry. These tools are the “work smarter” part of the adage, so the remaining staff doesn’t have to “work harder”. It is unknown how many more IS staff are going to leave the healthcare support roles in this industry. However, finding better ways to offset the losses by finding smarter tools is what leadership of these departments must be doing STAT!

What does Softek® do?

Softek’s mission is to help hospital systems maximize their investment in Oracle Cerner Millennium®. We do this by providing innovative software solutions and consulting services that can achieve more together than either can alone.

At Softek, our team of innovators and software developers brings expertise beyond the ordinary to every client. Our experts are involved with Oracle Cerner Millennium® hospitals throughout the country, consulting clients so they can optimize system performance and revenue integrity.

Softek delivers a full suite of consulting services and software solutions to assess and optimize EMR system performance, including revenue cycle integrity and patient accounting.

Softek was awarded 2021 Best in KLAS for Revenue Cycle Optimization.

Let’s talk about how you can get the most out of your Oracle Cerner Millennium® system.