Less than a decade ago, technology promised to form the future. In today's rapidly changing, collaborative setting, the future dictates today's technology.
Technology of the present must be built to anticipate and accommodate changes of the future. Regardless of how the version of standards regulating the electronic handling of health care transactions change, systems must possess the characteristics, foundation, and structural underpinning necessary to allow for tweaks in a day-to-day environment as well as leaps for future requirements.
This means the technology company's organizational infrastructure has to be in lockstep with the practice plans, while both are anticipating and overall industry future trends. Your technology vendors should be able to articulate where they see the industry going and how their research and development (R&D) investment is ensuring they will be leaders in the game not only next year, but five and ten years from now. For example, a decade ago we focused on the cost and complexity of interfaces and each time a new hospital was added to the billing system, it could involve a fairly substantial amount of time and money. Groups would often interface only to the largest hospital served and work smaller entities from paper. As time went on and interfaces became standardized (and cheaper), it became practical to add even relatively small sites via electronic interface. So what did we focus on instead? Further automating traditionally manual billing process—from charge reconciliation to claims submission to coding to claims follow-up. Obviously this means your partners in technology should be a vital part of practice initiatives to maximize employee productivity and reduce costs.