5 Alarming Administrative Problems in Healthcare and How to Solve Them

Discover 5 healthcare industry challenges in 2024. From managing crises to enhancing data security, learn how experts are tackling these critical issues.
5 Alarming Administrative Problems in Healthcare and How to Solve Them
Discover 5 healthcare industry challenges in 2024. From managing crises to enhancing data security, learn how experts are tackling these critical issues.

As we emerge from the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry stands at a crucial crossroads. The past years have not only tested our resilience but have also brought to light a spectrum of administrative challenges that continue to shape our healthcare system today. From the intense pressures once faced by frontline workers to systemic issues that have long simmered beneath the surface, the pandemic has left an indelible mark, reshaping our approach to healthcare management.

Now, in this post-pandemic era, we seize the opportunity to transform challenges into catalysts for change. We reached out to leading experts in the healthcare field to answer a critical question: What are some of the top problems related to healthcare and hospital management? (Because management performance is our domain.)

What you're about to read is a compilation of their responses, along with some insights we’ve gained after partnering with healthcare organizations over the years to improve their operations. In no way is this intended to be an article on how to solve healthcare problems, but rather a way to contribute more voices to the conversation to make things better.

1. Lack Of Real-time Situation Management

In an era where healthcare crises have evolved from rare occurrences to frequent challenges, the ability to manage situations in real-time has become indispensable. The past years, marked by public health emergencies like COVID-19, have underscored this reality more than ever. Terry Zysk, CEO of LiveProcess, highlights a crucial aspect of modern healthcare management: using real-time data analysis to understand how an event is unfolding, and reacting to it accordingly. This approach is critical in understanding and responding to unfolding events, ensuring that vital healthcare resources reach where they are needed most, precisely when they are needed.

The crux of the issue lies in the limitations of current healthcare management systems. Many hospitals cannot provide real-time metrics essential for swift and effective decision-making. Imagine the impact of knowing the availability of beds in a facility at any given moment or pinpointing the exact location of critical supplies during emergencies.

To bridge this gap, several software products have been built to help gather real-time metrics, including situation management-specific platforms like LiveProcess.

‍ClearPoint is another option that takes a more holistic view of situation management from a strategy perspective. This software has been used by many organizations to automatically track and report on healthcare metrics, including number of cases, response rates, quantity of resources, etc. You can use that data to respond appropriately to crises and make sure those decisions continue to support your overall strategy.

Wondering what metrics other healthcare organizations are tracking to improve performance? Download this free list of 108 healthcare KPIs to help get your facility on the right track.

2. Ineffective Internal Communication

Communication among and within healthcare institutions—and even with other external stakeholders—continues to be a challenge. The stakes are high: studies reveal that hospitals lose a staggering $12 billion annually due to poor communication, often due to aging technologies, silos between departments, and other issues. Poor internal communication has even been linked with the quality of patient care, highlighting an urgent need for a robust communication framework.

For hospitals, there is a need to communicate with both internal and external audiences about things like safety precautions, test availability, PPE supplies, etc. However, the challenge of internal communication transcends beyond crises. In the day-to-day rhythm of healthcare operations, the ability to seamlessly share information and data across departments is fundamental. It empowers teams, fosters collaboration, and propels strategic initiatives forward.

ClearPoint makes communication and knowledge-sharing simpler and more organized. It provides transparency around your organization’s direction and mission and encourages all employees to take ownership of projects, increasing employee engagement. It can also help you communicate with outside stakeholders using external dashboards that convey crucial information, similar to the one for a municipality shown below.

3. Lack Of System Interoperability

Another major challenge identified by several healthcare providers is the lack of interoperability across health technology systems. Susan G. Bornstein, MD, MPH points out that, without a national healthcare database in place, “medical providers in one office or healthcare system are precluded from seeing a patient's information in another system to the detriment of the patient. For example, a patient may forget some of their medication allergies, what tests they had performed, exactly what surgery was done when, who they saw for what—all of which is critical information for rendering the current episode of care.”

Echoing this sentiment, Kristy Dalechek of Haven Healthcare Advocates agrees that interoperability issues make it harder to identify patients’ medical problems and their solutions. “Electronic health records were supposed to be the answer, but our healthcare system is even more fragmented now. Even if all of your doctors and specialists are in the same network and use the same EHR, they may not have your entire health record and history.”

This lack of system interoperability is a barrier to elevating healthcare quality and efficiency. It's a puzzle that, if solved, could streamline care delivery and reduce costs significantly. Forward-thinking solutions are on the horizon, with emerging technologies like machine learning and blockchain offering glimmers of hope, though their practical applications have yet to be determined.

The journey to achieving true interoperability in healthcare is complex, but the vision is clear: a future where every piece of medical information is just a click away, ensuring that every patient receives the most informed and holistic care possible.

4. Information Overload

Picture this: hospital workers, administrators, and clinicians drowning in an ocean of test results, patient records, and administrative data. The scenario is all too common – sifting through hundreds of pages, analyzing tens of thousands of data points, all in the quest for that crucial piece of information. This is the reality of information overload in healthcare, a challenge as critical as any medical condition.

Whether that information is generated by medical devices or lab tests, or used for patient care or administrative purposes, data overload is undeniably a problem across all types of healthcare organizations. The key to unlocking the power of this data lies in technology – smart, intuitive, and efficient.

Healthcare organizations should look for advanced solutions that support:

  • Easy Information Gathering—Look for software that automatically imports data from multiple sources and departments and brings it together in one place. The fewer tools you need to interact with, the better.
  • Real-Time Data Updates—When someone in another department or division updates a data point, all users should be able to see the change happen in real time. That way, everyone’s working with the same information.
  • Clear Data Visualization—Visualizing data makes it easier to consume, so look for a tool that has a variety of chart and graph options.
  • Simple Reporting—The days of manual, time-consuming reporting are over. The future belongs to software solutions that automate report generation and distribution, saving precious time and resources.

If you’re looking for a solution that makes sense of your organization’s data about performance improvement, check out ClearPoint. If you need a tech solution to address other data challenges—like managing patient information, for example—you might be better off searching for software that addresses those technology issues in healthcare more specifically.

5. Data Security

Another challenge mentioned by multiple respondents was data security. A startling statistic brings this into sharp focus: from 2009 to 2020, an astonishing 70% of the U.S. population was impacted by healthcare data breaches—a trend that isn’t likely to go away.

Compared to other industries, the healthcare industry is relatively unprepared for cyber attacks. Raymond Dacillo, Director of Operations at C-Care Health Services, paints a concerning picture: “due to limited funding and budgetary constraints, many healthcare providers have become increasingly easy targets for attackers, who exploit their vulnerabilities.”

The rapid adoption of digital health initiatives, such as telehealth services, has inadvertently widened the attack surface, making data breaches more frequent and severe. As more healthcare functions continue to move online, it’s essential to ensure these processes are protected.

Dacillo believes the healthcare industry needs government funding to strengthen its IT resources. However, there's also an immediate need for healthcare organizations to take proactive steps. Key measures include:

  • Educating Healthcare Staff: Empowering healthcare professionals with knowledge and best practices in data security is the first line of defense against breaches.
  • Restricting Data Access: Implementing stringent access controls ensures that sensitive data is only available to authorized personnel.
  • Implementing Data Usage Controls: Monitoring and regulating how data is used within the organization can significantly reduce the risk of internal breaches.

These practices are essential strategies in safeguarding the lifeblood of healthcare – patient data. You can read about some essential data security practices here.

How Strategy Management Software Can Help Revolutionize Hospital Operations

From real-time situation management to data security, the hurdles faced by healthcare organizations are multifaceted. However, the solution may lie in a powerful ally: strategy management software. Among the leaders in this technology is ClearPoint Strategy, a tool designed to empower healthcare organizations to navigate and thrive amidst these complexities.

ClearPoint Strategy also enhances hospital performance in several key areas:

  1. Hospital Star Ratings: ClearPoint Strategy helps improve ratings by aligning hospital operations with key performance areas like patient care and satisfaction.
  2. Revenue Cycle Management: The software streamlines billing and administrative processes, enhancing financial health through efficient revenue management.
  3. Value-Based Pricing: It aids in implementing value-based pricing by analyzing patient outcomes and aligning pricing strategies with care quality.
  4. Quality Improvement: ClearPoint Strategy supports systematic quality improvement by facilitating data-driven decision-making and tracking performance improvements.
  5. HEDIS Measures: The tool assists in tracking and improving healthcare quality and effectiveness, aligning hospital performance with HEDIS standards.

Read our blog on 5 Strategy Management Software Use Cases in Healthcare for a comprehensive exploration of how healthcare project management software, particularly ClearPoint Strategy, can revolutionize hospital operations and patient care.

Optimize Your Healthcare Operations in 2024: Book a ClearPoint Demo Now!

Certainly, the healthcare landscape is riddled with more challenges than we've explored today. But every problem presents an opportunity for a solution. If your organization is grappling with issues in strategic planning, reporting, or project management, we're here to assist. Book a demo and connect with us for a tailored approach that not only addresses your specific healthcare challenges but also propels you toward achieving and surpassing your goals.

Let's collaborate to turn these challenges into milestones of success for your organization!

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5 Alarming Administrative Problems in Healthcare and How to Solve Them

Ted Jackson

Co-Founder & Alabama Native

Ted is a Founder and Managing Partner of ClearPoint Strategy and leads the sales and marketing teams.

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