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What are the Benefits for EMS of an Integrated Technology Platform?

Nathan Garnto | Oct 12, 2017

From grade school to expensive motivational speakers, we are constantly reminded that there is no “I” in team. The EMS industry, like others, constantly pushes a team approach to problem solving and increased clinical, professional outcomes, but is there something that gets lost in translation? I firmly say “yes.” How does it all fit together? We have crews performing exceptionally in patient care, but how do their actions ultimately translate into recognizable, positive performance? The simple, and game-changing answer is, integration. In order to quantify your system’s performance, you must make data-driven decisions to ensure that your processes are efficient and everyone is speaking the same language. Having an integrated technology platform ensures that the following are working exactly how you envision.

1. Data is Consistently Relayed through the Patient Care Process

Having integrated dispatch, patient care reporting and billing software from a company like ZOLL ensures a continuous relay of information to your staff. Dispatchers can call relay important information to responders such as change in address, patient condition, etc., without having to wait for a clear radio frequency. An additional benefit is that crews can capture their times and mileages through a simple selection without having to rely on a dispatcher to accurately record the information. Crews can also complete their patient care reports with automatically imported demographics and patient condition from dispatch; thus decreasing the amount of manual entry required. Once the call is complete, the information is automatically sent to the receiving facility and imported for the billing staff to begin their process.

2. Metrics are Captured to Improve both Clinical & Financial Outcomes

Having the data in one central location provides an ease of access for reporting metrics. Operation managers can run a gamut of various reports to provide both clinical and financial statistics. This gives managing and frontline staff real-time data to make informed decisions. Billing and financial staff can provide data driven insight into what areas of the operation need attention and can adjust staffing/processes accordingly.

3. You’re Reimbursed both Correctly & Timely for Services Rendered

An integrated billing platform is crucial in today’s evolving healthcare market. Financial managers must ensure that every call is reimbursed appropriately and that billing staff are performing to the standards of the payor. With an increase on compliance to federal and state regulations, compliance officers and billing managers can easily conduct audits to ensure that staff and processes are adhering to standards. You must also ensure that your billing platform can accommodate any changes that may arise. With the ease of scheduling workflows and integrated clearinghouse metrics, you can rest assured that you are doing more with less.

Having an integrated clearinghouse, such as Zirmed, with your billing/practice management software is also key to having a successful revenue stream. It goes without saying, but both systems must be able to speak the same language. Integrated systems allow for both the ease of data transfer and the ability to quickly audit and make necessary adjustments to your revenue cycle. There are several impressing components to Zirmed integration but the most outstanding ones are:

  • Ease of accepting patient payments and establishing payment plans
  • Ability to accept ACH transactions from checking/saving accounts
  • Easy tracking of claims and statement submissions
  • Ability to quickly correct claims within the clearinghouse platform without resending the claim through ZOLL. This allows for a quicker turnaround time and doesn’t require a new batch of claims to be created

Finally, the biggest factor is U.S.-based customer support. Enrollment is simple and easy with the one-one attention of a dedicated representative to ensure the enrollment process runs smoothly. After the initial set-up, customer support is there to keep you up-to-date on any changes to payors and resolve any issues that may arise from time to time.

We all know that our crews can do everything right in patient care, but if the information isn’t transmitted to the receiving facility or to the payor in the correct format, all of our hard work is done in vain. Today’s top EMS performers understand that integration is paramount when driving key business decisions. As “C suite” members, managers and even front line staff, we must strive to make sure we understand vital processes and make data driven decisions to improve patient outcomes and financial stability.

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