Today, there’s no shortage of point solutions that integrate with EHRs to automate manual tasks like check-in, scheduling, payments and patient engagement. When thoughtfully implemented, these technologies are a boon to efficiency, profitability, staff loyalty and patient retention. But when healthcare organizations juggle too many technology vendors at once, it can hamstring productivity, frustrate staff and damage the patient experience.
The solution? Find opportunities to consolidate vendors to minimize complexity, reduce overhead and improve operational efficiency.
By condensing your vendor base to a shortlist of trusted partners, you can achieve greater results without sacrificing precious resources. Implementing a single platform for patient intake, for example, can deliver better cross-functionality, more comprehensive reporting and higher-quality support. You’ll also avoid pitfalls common to ad-hoc technology solutions—such as software incompatibilities, excessive data entry and high training costs.
Here are six benefits your healthcare organization can reap from vendor consolidation:
1. Greater purchasing power
When healthcare organizations implement new technologies, they frequently take a piecemeal approach—and price is often a determining factor.
Imagine you work for a practice that wants to digitize patient check-in. You might opt for a cost-effective vendor for that service today, then bring in different vendors for appointment reminders, patient payments and text messaging later. But over time, keeping track of each vendor’s different pricing structures, fees and terms can make it tough to know if you’re getting a fair deal.
By selecting a single technology vendor that offers a full range of tools, you’ll help your organization be proactive, not reactive, as its needs change. And as your investment with your preferred vendor grows, you may become eligible for bundled pricing and other cost savings, which means you’ll spend less money than you would by purchasing point solutions from multiple vendors. Plus, vendor consolidation helps you benefit from simpler invoicing and fewer relationship-management costs, enabling you to reallocate those saved dollars toward improving the patient experience.
2. Significant time savings
If you work for a small practice, you may have only a handful of third-party vendors under contract. If you’re part of a larger network, you could have thousands. Certainly, there’s value in maintaining numerous vendor relationships. But between conducting risk assessments, completing due diligence and dedicating time to improving interoperability, managing multiple vendors can be incredibly labor-intensive.
Put simply, consolidating your vendors means you’ll spend less time managing those relationships, conducting due diligence and paying invoices. It also means less frustration—and lost time—dealing with systems that don’t work in tandem. When all your technology comes from one vendor, there’s less risk of incompatibility between products. Vendor consolidation also helps minimize time spent on staff training and implementation, since employees will already be familiar with your preferred vendor’s tools and user interface.
Most companies spend more time working with vendors today than in years past. But in healthcare, time is a valuable commodity. By embracing vendor consolidation, you’ll rest assured that your staff have enough time to focus on their primary day-to-day responsibilities.
3. Stronger vendor relationships
Maintaining strong relationships with your technology vendors is of utmost importance. After all, no technology is foolproof—and when problems inevitably arise, you need a way to quickly get support. But if you rely on multiple vendors, you may find yourself contacting one vendor after another when tech issues pop up, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of a problem and resolve it.
When you depend on a single vendor for many of your workflows, that’s less of a concern. You can facilitate a close-knit partnership with your preferred vendor, meaning you won’t play phone tag when issues arise. Instead, you’ll be able to make one phone call and know that you’ll receive timely, responsive assistance.
Better yet, consolidating to one technology vendor gives you a trusted partner that deeply understands your business objectives. When a vendor knows your organization’s goals, they can more effectively assist with implementation, deploy customized features that meet your specific needs and give helpful advice on the best ways to maximize the value of their products.
4. Better vendor quality
Take a moment to think about your current vendors. Do they have the knowledge and expertise you need in a partner? Do you trust them to keep your organization’s data secure? Do they offer the same level of high-quality service and support that you extend to your patients?
If not, it’s time to recalibrate.
By evaluating vendors based on your current and future needs—and trimming those that aren’t efficient or cost-effective—you can equip your organization with a shortlist of proven, reliable partners. You can also eliminate redundancies by pruning point-solution vendors in favor of companies with more robust product offerings. Creating these economies of scale through vendor consolidation can help you improve efficiency, minimize complexity and make the most of the resources you have.
5. Higher staff satisfaction
The vast majority of healthcare executives agree that it’s important to invest in digital health. But without thoughtful execution, the technology you implement could fail to drive results—or worse, hamper efficiency. Indeed, too much software in the workplace can actually drain productivity and overload your staff.
That’s why it’s crucial to select a healthcare technology vendor that offers a suite of solutions on a single platform. By choosing one trusted partner, you’ll mitigate the need for multiple apps and logins, allowing your staff to accomplish meaningful work without jumping from platform to platform. You’ll also save time on data entry by having all your analytics and reports in one place, which means you won’t have to spend time compiling information from multiple systems into complex, scrolling workbooks.
Before consolidating everything onto one platform, be sure to choose a vendor that interfaces with your EHR or PM system. When new technology can easily integrate with your existing workflows, you’ll spend less time on the phone with tech support and more time driving outcomes that matter.
6. A better experience for patients
Patients overwhelmingly want their healthcare providers to offer the same digital features that they’re accustomed to using in other industries. Nearly 9 in 10 patients are comfortable using technology to manage their care, and the ones who feel uncomfortable aren’t tech-averse—they simply want digital tools that are safe and easy to use.
By consolidating to one preferred vendor for intake, scheduling, communication and payments, you’ll simplify the patient experience. Patients will need to learn one platform, and your staff will spend less time teaching them how to use it. And when healthcare organizations offer the modern, convenient features patients expect, those patients are more likely to keep coming back.
Learn how Phreesia can support your workflows for registration, scheduling, payments, engagement, clinical support and more—all without the need for additional vendors.