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Should your hospital be considering an updated RCM system?

An effective RCM system for your hospital is critical on many levels. Your department heads and medical staff need it to run efficiently, and your acco...

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|May 30|magazine10 min read

An effective RCM system for your hospital is critical on many levels.

Your department heads and medical staff need it to run efficiently, and your accounting and BOD relies on it to maintain best business practices and revenue accountability.

But when should you consider updating your RCM system versus staying with the one you already have?

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Here are some considerations to put on the discussion table when an updated RCM system on your hospital's horizon.

Cost

For a large hospital, a state-of-the-art RCM system can cost up to $100,000. That's a lot of money to find in the budget, especially if you weren't necessarily shopping for one ahead of time.

The cost of a new RCM system can be aggregated over time, but the expense will still show on the shareholder balance sheets for a long time.

On the other hand, if your old RCM system is out of date, not able to integrate with newer complementary software, your hospital may be leaking money in more ways than you care to think about.

With out of date systems, your hospital is susceptible to everything from computer hacking to embezzlement.

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The bottom line is you have to weigh the cost of a new RCM system against the money your hospital might currently be losing by sticking with a dinosaur system that no longer serves your needs.

Need

As the article “Should your hospital invest in an updated RCM system - even if money is tight?” asks, if you need it, then the answer is an easy yes.

Need should be determined by consulting with your head staff as well as the middle management who use the old system on a day to day basis.

If they're struggling with finding ways to make the old RCM system work, and it's costing them-and you-job efficiency and more, then it's probably worth it to look into replacing the old RCM system.

If, however, your budget is flush and you're just looking for things to spend money on, your RCM system might not be the wisest thing to update.

If it's still working fine, even if it's not the latest and greatest, there are real benefits to sticking with a software system that everyone is familiar with.

Training needs can’t be overlooked

Remember that every time your hospital makes big changes, the staff has to undergo training - an added expense - and work through a big learning curve.

Basically, if it's not broken, don't fix it. If it is broken, you should already be tasking someone with comparing different RCM systems.

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An outdated and clunky RCM system will negatively impact your hospital across departments, from the chief of staff all the way down to the patient experience.

If you need a new one, you need to find a way to finance it, whether or not money is tight.

If you don't need one right now, and the current system seems to be working, don't be too quick to jump on the latest technology just because it's new.

About the author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

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