Many of the healthcare trends witnessed in the second half of 2022 show no signs of slowing. A shrinking labor pool, changing economic outlook, and growing security concerns remain top of mind for healthcare organizations and their C-suite. These factors, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will force CFO’s specifically to be creative with their budget. In 2023, CFOs will continue to be faced with difficult decisions centered around a big, overarching question, “How can we do more with less?”.

The answer to that question, we look to the concerns on every healthcare CFO’s mind. 

Mergers and Acquisitions: 

2021 was a record year in the volume of healthcare mergers and acquisitions. The pandemic and its related challenges have driven consolidation across the healthcare ecosystem, a trend persisting throughout 2022 and likely continuing into 2023. In 2022, the revenue attached to healthcare M&A has been considerable. In Q3, the total transacted revenue from healthcare M&A totaled $8.3 billion, which is up from $5.2 billion in Q3 2021. CFOs will be monitoring M&A closely to both understand changes in the market and, for many, determine whether consolidation makes sense for their organization.

During the M&A process, healthcare organizations go through the burdensome evolution of marrying the disparate data brough forth by all applicable organizations. This traditionally requires manual inputs in order to bring all data together under a useable format. These manual inputs are tedious and time consuming, requiring already scarce labor inputs to spend their time manually entering data rather than spending time on more mission critical tasks. One such example of this is the administration of personal identity and access management (PIAM) data.  

Mergers and acquisitions highlight the need for an automated PIAM solution to ensure all identities and their provided access is properly provisioned across all of the hospital locations. This is essential for security operations, as access to secured locations across a healthcare campus must be properly managed from day one of the new merger/acquisition. Furthermore, hospitals are challenged with complex HIPPA considerations, requiring a high standard care, without which could cost organizations millions. Though managing physical access control may not seem like a big deal, for CFOs and their colleagues, it is important to be concerned about the systems that have the potential to negatively impact hospital operations and employee efficiency. 

Staffing and Labor Costs:

Speaking of employee efficiency, the number of clinicians and other professions leaving the healthcare industry is nothing new to the experienced CFO. Fewer workers in the healthcare labor force translates to higher costs and lower outputs. Hospital labor costs soared by almost 40 percent between 2019 and early 2022. In the next two years, clinical labor costs alone could increase an additional 10 percent. This challenge is not going away and is something finance leaders will have to navigate throughout the year and into 2023.

Innovation and automation is key to finding the right solutions to streamline the workload from hospitals security professionals, removing the day to day manual tasks of onboarding and off boarding of employees, contractors, medical students access. With visitors allowed to be with their family and loved ones again, hospitals need to maintain tight security measures to ensure patients and medical staff are safe from violence and assaults. Per The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), strict guidelines to guarantee safety are being enforced. Budgets are tight and increasing workforce is not an option, therefore the utilization of automated identity management and visitor management solutions is highly recommended to get the job done with software as opposed to more FTE’s.

Answering the Big Question: 

Automation allows healthcare organizations to do more with less, using software instead of people to keep hospital operations running as safely and efficiently as possible. Vector Flow makes this possible by doing the following:

  • Unifying disparate systems by standardizing PIAM data so it is visible and usable from one platform. This helps executives achieve tangible ROI by automating data entry tasks that were historically done manually. In doing so, this also decreases the opportunity for human error, showing that necessary access and identity data is clean and accurate within minutes, not weeks. 
  • Improving the patient and visitor experience by automating check-in/out processes while simultaneously solving labor shortages. By simply placing self-service desks to speed this process up, Vector Flow can automate the visitor, contractor, and vendor management processes. This also reduces lines and wait times that ultimately hurt hospital efficiency and ratings.  
  • Providing a single source of truth. In the case of workplace security, administrators see the entire chain of approval, who has what type of access, who authorized this access, and why. This helps keep individuals safe without the added costs of guarding, surveillance, or other security solutions. 

As 2023 gears up to another complex fiscal year for hospitals and healthcare organizations, automation stands as one of the best tools to help you do more with less. Vector Flow’s software solutions are lightweight with a fast time-to-value and identifiable ROI. To learn more about how automation can impact your healthcare organization, visit our healthcare solutions page here. And stay tuned for our next blog in our healthcare series: “Why Security Departments Will Become a Part of 2023 Digital Transformation Strategies”