While there is a lot of focus and attention paid to how much money hospitals are charging patients and insurance companies, there is a flip side to it and that’s how much hospitals need to spend on supplies. A survey was conducted back in 2013 that looked at this exact question and found that for each average patient that was admitted to the hospital there was a cost of $4,470 per stay.
The data which was obtained by the American Hospital Association (AHA), also found that on average hospital supply expenses total about 15% of the total expenses. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that hospitals are constantly looking for ways to cut costs, which is why technology has become such a big thing. Hospitals are now looking at cutting-edge technology as a means to save money, streamline processes, and really make the hospital more efficient overall.
Not All Technology Can be Grouped Together
While many industries have learned that technology can, in fact, save the business money, the same can’t be said for all technology in the medical industry. It’s certain types of technology that saves money, whereas other equipment obviously costs a lot. Take, for example, robotic surgery or imaging technology, these aren’t money savers but they still have an important role in the medical field. These are items that are saving lives.
For hospitals, it’s a delicate balance of trying to pick those items that will save the hospital money and make things more efficient, versus the technology that will actually save lives.
Technology That Can Save Money
A great example of technology that is saving hospitals money is the hospital pager system through Spok. They offer hospital paging transmitters, pagers, and hospital paging terminals. The idea is that the hospital uses these pieces of equipment that can seamlessly integrate with other equipment to create a streamlined means of communication between the clinical and administrative staff.
Another area that is causing a lot of buzz and interest is telepresence. Telepresence allows remote areas to receive medical care without actually having a doctor on-site. It also allows people access to specialists when they would normally have to travel at great lengths to find one.
Perhaps the most promising area for cost-savings lies in the medical informatics area of things. Electronic filing systems are completely transforming the health industry. Doctors and patients have more streamlined access to medical records, appointments, and test results than ever before. It’s also helping to cut down on the number of human errors that take place.
From a billing standpoint, the electronic filing system also helps to streamline the process in a big way. It can stay on top of accounts paid and be owing, and ensure that hospitals are in better control of billing.
An Exciting Time in the Medical Field
The merging of technology and the medical industry is really making for a very exciting time not just from a cost-savings standpoint but from a quality of care standpoint.