Healthcare struggles for Native American groups have existed for decades. However, we are now seeing a greater push toward rectifying these issues collaboratively.
While some tribal groups have excelled at organizing their healthcare networks and maximizing efficiency of care, others are still plagued by issues within the healthcare system. These issues stem from problems with funding, preventative health education, and outdated IT systems.
As with everything we do at John Lynch & Associates, we approach tribal health from a place of service that is dear to our hearts. We are an American Indian owned company and finding ways to help advance the healthcare of other Native Americans is vitally important to us. With that in mind, here are 4 solutions to many tribal healthcare challenges.
One of the biggest problems tribal health organizations face is outdated IT systems. With so many newer and more well-rounded IT solutions available to healthcare providers, the government’s IT solution, Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS), has become an outdated system offering limited updates or resources available to tribal health groups.
Rather than trying to keep a leaky boat afloat, many tribal health groups are seeking EHR solutions that generate better provider experience and financial performance, along with providing better services for their tribal members.
Simply implementing an IT solution and calling it a day is not enough. To be successful, tribal health organizations need post go-live support and training to make the most of their EHRs and connected tools.
Our trusted consultants work with tribal health groups to make their IT solution work for them. Rather than forcing healthcare providers into a rigid box constructed by an inflexible EHR system, we give them dynamic tools that will serve their needs and their unique communities.
This is the time when we get to problem-solve day-to-day issues, produce creative solutions, strategize, and demonstrate the elasticity of modern EHR systems to help tribal health organizations operate at their best.
When the pandemic created widespread demand for virtual care, clinics turned to telehealth solutions. Telehealth offers providers and patients the opportunity to review care plans, address problems, and discuss prescriptions from the comfort of their own space. Telehealth also resolves issues such as lack of transportation, childcare needs, and other obstacles to care.
In one of our recent case studies, our tribal health client was seeking guidance and assistance with mobile health and telehealth service offerings. This included implementation of these services, as well as developing a comprehensive strategic and operational plan with an overarching policy for their program.
During the discovery process, our consultants found that each healthcare program currently functioned in a separate silo as far as systems, processes, and approach. In addition to these siloes, it was stated in several meetings that there is a significant disconnect with the Indian Health Services hospital and the tribal community members receiving services. This “gap” is where mobile and telehealth services will help better serve the tribal community. To read more about this case study and our client’s results, click here.
Inadequate funding and inaccurate billing are compounding issues within the tribal health system. There is a great deal of government money being left on the table that tribal health providers can use to serve their communities and save lives.
The trick is knowing how to use your EHR systems effectively to ensure your organization is receiving that funding.
When our consultants begin working with a new healthcare provider, they start by talking with their team about approaching healthcare services from a business perspective. We have a great deal of respect for those who work within the healthcare space for the purpose of serving and caring for others, but the business side of healthcare cannot be ignored.
By using data analytics and reporting in healthcare IT solutions like NextGen, tribal health organizations can streamline their processes for submitting grant applications, verifying regulatory compliance, and executing accurate billing.
For us, tribal health is personal. We want to see Native American tribes succeed and their healthcare systems thrive. Being able to go in and help tribal health organizations improve their IT systems, modernize their EHRs, make billing and funding acquisition more efficient, and leverage the use of their systems to serve their communities with compassion is one of the great joys of our work.
If you belong to a tribal health group and need help navigating the complex world of IT systems, please contact us at 623.980.8018 or by email at email@example.com
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