– submitted by Valerie Mason-Cunningham, vice president,
Healthcare Industy, Xerox Corporation

Every week is a big week in healthcare these days. But last week was really big – the health care bill narrowly cleared its first hurdle in the House. Oh, and Xerox hosted two customer events on how we can help with the challenges healthcare organizations face with impending reform. That’s big for me because I get to spend time talking to customers about what’s keeping them up at night – and brainstorming how we can best help them.

As I said to the room full of customers and prospects at our Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation, most people don’t typically associate Xerox with healthcare, but we’ve spent decades helping providers and insurers control costs, stay compliant, improve quality of care and communicate more effectively with patients – all through better document management. Here’s an example from Methodist Healthcare (listen to the podcast).

As new regulations loom, document management has a front seat when it comes to helping customers prepare. Gaining control of the number of records, forms and files flowing through the organization and the costs associated with printing, sharing, storing, securing and updating them, will put healthcare organizations in far better shape to meet security and compliance requirements, prove meaningful use and integrate existing processes with new technology for electronic health records (EHR).

The one thing the came through loud and clear when we brainstormed “Topics from the Trenches” with customers is that they want help navigating these changes, and it’s more than selling them technology. They want a partner with healthcare expertise to co-develop a plan that achieves the right formula for existing employee work habits and technology, stimulus opportunities, information management, organizational readiness for new technology and of course, uninterrupted, quality patient care.

Here’s a glimpse of what we heard during our “Topics from the Trenches” brainstorm:

Cultural change: Helping staff adapt to new technology and work processes, and at the same time communicating   that non compliance will cost money.

Getting arms around interoperability: Getting disparate systems to speak to one another and simplifying the process for patients and staff

Meaningful use: Acceptance and understanding of meaningful use of technology so we’re incompliance of what’s being asked

How do we make money?: Bringing business practices into the healthcare fabric

Managing information: With more patients and less staff, how do you get the right information to the right person at the right time?

We can all admit that there is not yet one easy solution or way to navigate the changes our health care system is under going in a very short time frame. What are your concerns? Solutions you are considering? Let’s keep the discussion going…

Valerie Mason-Cunningham
Vice President, Healthcare Industry, Xerox Corporation