Microsoft Dynamics CRM based healthcare management system can save costs
6:34pm - 04/14/2014
Healthcare Management today is under tremendous strain in just about every country in the world. 

National health costs are very high and rising (reportedly, spiralling out of control). Yet the quality of care has to continuously improve. Healthcare management systems are required to keep track of cost while at the same time be used to efficiently manage patient care from initial consultation, through discharge to aftercare. However, keeping costs down continues to be a challenge. 

Cost Saving Strategies
Modern healthcare management systems need to have efficient cost savings capabilities embedded in their day-to-day functionality for the duration of the patient journey. Nations struggle to provide cheap or free healthcare for their citizens yet medical tourism is a new high cost that challenges providers today, through fraudulent healthcare service provision that accept fake national identities, or unscrupulous practitioners overlooking identity cross checking. Expensive drugs being dispensed without charge in those cases where charging is a requirement. Effective monitoring and tackling of counterfeit and outdated of drugs. The practice of dispensing costly treatment in place of cheap alternatives is another loophole. These issues ought to be mitigated through verifiable identification checks. Costly prescriptions and or treatments can be resolved through healthcare systems presenting clinicians at point of care with next best alternative and cheaper treatment.

Clinical Staffing
More advanced economies report of shortages of staffing levels, yet they sponsor expensive recruitment campaigns for qualified staff from developing economies where the disparity of clinician to patient ratio is acutely wide and flies in the face of achieving the UN sponsored Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets. Suffice to say these challenges ought to be solved by both advanced and advancing economies, and healthcare systems can avail staffing requriment levels via an integrated Human Resource module within the system. The system can also be extended to provide staff goals metrics, (not statistics for statistics), healthcare projects and campaigns worked on to provide clarity on healthcare service reach and delivery. Such measures help identify staffing shortages, based on skills so as to target increased funding for related training. The discussion of retention of skilled personnel trained in developing nations seeking more pay in advanced economies is a topic beyond the scope of this article.

Discharge Management
Discharge and aftercare is a central point of focus in the health sector around the world due to ever increasing levels of easily avoidable re-admissions leading to ever increasing healthcare costs, and effective after-care following discharge. Other associated cost drivers include clinical misdiagnosis, avoidable patient relapse, ineffective side effect management and the acquiring of new diseases by patients in hospitals. Another indirect cost driver is due to bed-blocking in those cases where a patient cannot be found a care or nursing home, or would be rendered homeless for example.

Proactive Healthcare
Healthcare service providers' systems used in healthcare monitoring and vaccination or disease outbreak campaigns help improve health outcomes, in turn reducing national health costs. Pre-emptive healthcare measures, patient education and constantly raising awareness managed through the healthcare system as projects with related work items avail budget holders and providers with timely data of the state of health from the various regions of a country. 
It is important healthcare providers and governments are aware of literacy levels of their citizens, to avoid instances like HIV posters being littered with holes caused by target shooting of one type or another, like chewing gum, stones from catapults because of illiteracy levels, implying the healthcare message is not being effectively delivered, rendering a costly campaign inefective. Effective healthcare practice should deliver effective monitorable immunisation campaigns with deep and broad outreach and effectiveness. Clinicians ought to have manageable workload levels that are also correctly recorded. 

Control Measures
In those cases where discrepancies are identified during healthcare service delivery, appropriate reporting channels should be used in real time. Mechanisms for capturing and or reporting information relating to counterfeit drugs, fake/defective equipment should be used and managed securely. Such control measures help ensure a reduction (or near erradication) of shrinkage (drug/equipment/materials theft) and associated costs.
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