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Connected monitoring devices, alternative payment methods, patient data analytics along with value-based purchasing options have redefined the way in which healthcare is delivered. Although, the IT payment methodologies promise significant cost-savings and enhanced productivity, actualizing this aspect is still far from reality. Since healthcare is a labor-based industry, therefore ensuring better productivity would not lead to a reduction in costs. Until and unless this conundrum, which is also responsible for burgeoning healthcare costs over the years, is resolved, the aforementioned expectations are unreasonable. In order to actually reduce healthcare costs, the stakeholders have to think beyond reducing the number of services, limiting medical services for consumers, and implementing other waste removal initiatives. The time is ripe, as of now, to change this discourse and focus on productivity and labor to assist the healthcare ecosystem.
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A clear understanding of clinical encounter is incumbent in reducing healthcare costs for organizations. According to a study, roughly 85 percent of patient health issues stem from social determinants such as education, housing, food security, et al. Therefore, by keeping these aspects in check, physicians can cut down on minor health issues, which will significantly save costs. In fact, few organizations have even begun such initiatives by connecting patients with a program that keeps these social factors in abeyance. In addition, pairing doctors with technology that can supplement such clinical encounter will go a long way in addressing the staff shortage in the healthcare ecosystem.
Conclusively, the major focus for healthcare organizations must be to optimize labor productivity. While IT payment is crucial to reduce costs, if a strong labor-management policy does not complement it, it is going to be a frugal attempt to control cost.