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The Future of Healthcare: Combining Clinical (EMR) and Financial (ERP) Data Will Improve Health System Outcomes

Before joining Multiview, Justin DeNegri spent eight years working with an industry-leading Electronic Medical Record technology provider, driving business development activities across the United States. DeNegri has earned his MBA and MHA from the University of Saint Mary and continues his studies of industry trends and topics through HFMA and NRHA memberships.

Justin approaches the healthcare industry with a passion for driving change. He offers a consulting approach with health systems to progress their clinical and financial teams forward in a meaningful way.  

DeNegri sat down to discuss his experience and what is being observed in the healthcare market evolution.

What role do technology and, more specifically, ERP technology play in facilitating the consolidation of data?  

In 2009, the United States implemented the Electronic Health Records Meaningful Use program.  It was designed to digitize health care for the entire country forcing health systems to accelerate their automation. Moving from paper to digital data capture allowed for every patient encounter to be placed into data repositories. This allowed for access to data across the continuum of care improving health outcomes and reducing patient frustration with the healthcare system. 

At its core, this programs strategy was to encourage improvements to public health by engaging patients and families with the data and technologies. Meaningful Use allowed for accelerated improvements in quality, safety, and the efficiency of healthcare while also removing those hurdles to gaining access to care.

While, Meaningful Use does not align directly with an ERP, many of the needs seen on the clinical side at the inception of Meaningful Use can still be seen today on the financial side. Without the foundation from Meaningful Use, the healthcare ERP market would not be able to focus on improving quality, safety and efficiency for health systems.

How important is the security and privacy of the patient level data? Are there risks to leveraging Clinical Data in an ERP?

Multiview can leverage data in many ways from many different sources. There are very few limitations to what we can input into our solutions.

Obviously, patient data is a sensitive area and requires the upmost attention on security. We must provide a secure environment. Our focus has been centered on tools that provide a strict gated approach that aligns to HIPAA compliance.

But we can’t stop there. Our future depends on further research and development into how that can continue to grow in the security alignment.  

What about the healthcare industry do you feel is misunderstood?

The one constant is Healthcare will not stay the same. That’s why I get so passionate about it. What we are providing to our partners, an ERP that can allow for a source of truth to be from clinical data, is only the beginning.

Our ability to listen to the needs of the health system and then adapt our solutions to meet the challenges, head on, is unmatched in our industry. We must continue to align to all of sizes of healthcare providers. Regardless of their designation (Critical Access, Community, Academic, etc.) they all have the health and care of their communities as a central focus of their populations. Healthcare will be different tomorrow, next week, next year. We have to be aware and align to the needs of our partners. It all starts with being client obsessed and putting people first.  

How important is it to combine financial metrics with EHR EMR metrics tracked from the operational side? 

In a perfect world, there would be full integration within one suite of solutions from one vendor. But that Utopia doesn’t exist in the technology world.

The differences between a financial software tool and a clinical software tool are like night and day; they are in most ways opposites. Without the proper integrations between the two systems, it is as if you are looking through the wrong end of binoculars; you can see it, but it wouldn’t be a clear, crisp story.

Having access to all information, clinical and financial, in ways that provide valuable summaries is the current demand. This need will continue to press the technology vendors and health systems to ask how can we better align the data and prepare for what is next.  

How does access to accurate and timely metrics allow for better growth in Health Systems?  

Hospital Executives have to be able to trust their data. Leaders of health systems demand access to real-time information in a custom, malleable view.   

From the financial perspective, Health Systems need the ability to drill down to the most granular level of detail to build out the full financial story. Health Systems can no longer afford to only be looking at the claims processed through a patient encounter. They must now see the efficiency of the care team, the equipment used, the areas of waste, discrepancies in contractuals with payors, and the list goes on and on.

CFO’s cannot ignore timely filing windows or what the balance trend is for the DNFB. However, the strategies to allow health systems to receive the highest amount of compensation possible are changing in a much accelerated pace.

Traditionally, finance teams do not engage with the clinical data housed in the EMR. Thus, the concern of the accuracy or robust nature of the clinical data set has not been top of mind for the finance team. It only takes one encounter with tools that present data in a narrative that fits into the responsibilities of the finance leadership to see why the new normal will require much more of the clinical story.

Explain what is meant by Health outcomes and what does that mean to a Finance team?

In the United States healthcare industry, the traditional payment model is based on volume. In its simplest form, the “sicker” the population, the healthier the revenue stream for the hospital.

There’s a shift over the last couple of decades towards quality over quantity of care. In some progressive health systems, the adoption of health outcomes being tied to compensations through private payors is being viewed as the next reality. 

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) such as Caravan Health leading the direction for adoption of quality care concentrating on healthier outcomes and new payment models. Traditional healthcare had no real need to know how healthy a patient may have been after they left the health system. In a quality care model, this paradigm shifts. CFO’s will demand having access to the data tracking the internal progress of the patient as well as where the populations health could improve.

Without tools that provide real time data that can offer a granular level of detail, CFO’s will be unable to take on the risk inherent to the ACO model.  This will be part of the demand for the next wave of technologies. Our partners need an evolutionary solution in order to provide the best level of care. Whether it’s an EMR or ERP or any other new technology that may develop, all health systems will require the best in the now, and in the next.

About Multiview Financial Software

Founded in 1990, Multiview builds powerful financial and operational management applications to companies across a multitude of industries. The organization’s flagship offering, Multiview ERP, is used across client organizations where they benefit from the powerful integrated modules combined with sophisticated real-time reporting. This allows for leaders to easily analyze key financial, statistical, and operational metrics that drive their decision making. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Multiview maintains sales and support operations throughout North America.