The reaction of hospital leaders to the passing of the Affordable Care Act definitely varied. Some were happy to embrace it, hoping it would streamline and improve the industry and the patient care offered. Others were warty, thinking it might present administrative burdens that could negatively affect care.
But whatever their initial reaction, hospitals and hospital leaders are now gearing up for the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its effects on their patients and facilities. There is a lot of talk surrounding how hospitals should prepare for a busy 2014. Projections indicate that 2014 will be a busy year for hospitals and healthcare staffing agencies.
Here are some tips for how hospitals should prepare for a busy 2014:
Plan to see more patients who are insured.
Your facility should expect to see a decrease in ER visits and a higher volume of patients seeking preventative care. The numbers aren’t solid as we wait to see how state opt-outs affect things, but in 2014 tens of millions more Americans will be covered. Look at factors that may be specific to your local area and plan ahead for the influx of so many new insured patients.
Make your hospital more efficient at the administrative level.
Administrative waste and inefficiency can be a huge drain on your facility’s overall performance. Cut out unnecessary administrative processes and pare down on unnecessary procedures.
Improve patient care, reduce readmissions.
This relates to improving efficiency on a care level. As you cut out wasteful ways, you will improve the quality of your care. One major way to do this is to reduce readmission. Make sure your staff is fully and comprehensively addressing patient’s issues in as few visits as possible. Thinking long-term, big picture for each patient is the way to achieve this.
Welcome new technologies for healthcare administration, information exchange, and record keeping.
These kinds of IT solutions improve patient care coordination in a big way. And, in turn, this will improve not just the patient experience, but also your facility’s reputation for care and organization. What’s more, these types of systems are gaining ground in the industry and will likely be considered standard in the near future. Better for your facility to be ahead of the crowd on this one than catching up to this later on.
Stay in the know and be prepared to be flexible.
The best you can do is to stay updated on the news regarding the Affordable Care Act and its anticipated effect on hospitals in 2014. This is a work in progress and things could change along the way. The best defense to ride this wave is to remain informed of changes and other news and to plan to be flexible along the way.
Hopefully these tactics for how hospitals should prepare for a busy 2014 will help keep your facility on top and performing well. To the future we go!