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There’s No Time Like the Present: Shifting to a Core Vendor Before ICD-10 Implementation
By Brad Boyd
Is your organization thinking about transitioning your patient access, EHR and/or revenue applications to a single core vendor? If you are, you are not alone. This has been a strong industry trend over the past three years, and many IT vendors have made this a development priority.
With healthcare reform ushering in initiatives like Meaningful Use, accountable care organizations, and value-based reimbursement models, technology systems that smoothly integrate clinical and business data are essential. In most cases, a core vendor that provides tight integration across these applications is better positioned to meet a healthcare organization’s business intelligence requirements.
I recommend that organizations evaluate the benefits of a core vendor from feature, functionality, total cost of ownership, and reporting perspectives. Truly integrated systems provide a variety of benefits which often include decreased operating expenses, reduced lost charges, improved reporting, and a rich functionality which can enhance the overall patient experience. However, with the benefits of a core vendor often come trade-offs from a best-of-breed perspective, particularly gaps in workflow capabilities.
Given the delay in ICD-10 implementation, now is an opportune time to engage in a focused assessment on long-term vendor strategy. While a system conversion is not an insignificant undertaking, there are efficiencies and cost advantages to make this switch in tandem with other changes required by ICD-10.
While switching to one core vendor may not be appropriate for your organization — or resource availability may not permit tackling both ICD-10 and a system conversion concurrently — examining the benefits, cost impact, and operational readiness is a valuable exercise. The delay in ICD-10 provides you with an opportunity for this analysis.
Brad Boyd is vice president of sales and marketing for Culbert Healthcare Solutions.