A specialty rehabilitation hospital in the Midwest, one of the largest in its area, wanted to update its backoffice workflows and processes. The hospital, which has a current capacity of about 80 beds and focuses on various forms of physical rehabilitation, is made up of seven constituent businesses. These range from the hospital itself to a property ownership and management arm that maintains condominiums for offsite rehab efforts.
The decision to upgrade its backoffice software coincided with a significant expansion of operational facilities. During the move to a new enterprise resource planning platform, Microsoft Dynamics GP, the hospital also added a new building that doubled its overall capacity. With so many operational considerations to be made and an increasing number of patients soon arriving, more efficiency was needed for effective management. The administrative operations of the business weren’t as effective as they could be due to an older, antiquated platform and the presence of too many manual processes. While the patient billing and clinical side of operations were improved with specialty software, the backoffice was still suffering.
After getting in touch with Microsoft Gold Partner The TM Group, the decision was made to go forward with Microsoft Dynamics GP, providing a strong, modern and optimized financial reporting solution to the many inefficiencies that staff dealt with on a daily basis. Additionally, the flexibility and versatility of the platform will allow for more improvements in the future.
What was implemented?
One of the major improvements made through the use of Dynamics GP was the modernization of the hospital’s general ledger systems and processes. With General Ledger, Payables and Receivables now active, there have been significant improvements in terms of efficiency with more expected in the future. While this was a major and positive change for the organization, it wasn’t the only new addition. Along with using General Ledger, Payables and Receivables, the TM Group helped the hospital integrate three additional major functions into Dynamics GP.
Patient billing information
The first integration involved integrating patient billing information into Dynamics GP. While another platform is handling the clinical and billing aspects for the hospital, budgeting and other activities mean that information is also needed for the backoffice staff using GP. Using eOne SmartConnect, the TM Group integrated the two systems in what will eventually be a completely automatic process. The patient billing system generates a journal entry once a day that SmartConnect picks up and imports on a regular schedule.
The second integration involved patient refunds. Due to the nature of hospital operations in general, patients periodically overpay or pay for a service or product that wasn’t used. The integration between the medical billing and payment software and Dynamics GP is already fully automated at this point. Detailed, accurate accounts payable invoices flow into GP, providing a variety of data from case numbers and descriptions to check stubs. After staff members authorize a refund check to patients, the updated data – including new information such as the check number – passes back into the medical billing software. The patient refund is then taken off the books as an outstanding credit. What was once a potentially tedious process is now fully automated, allowing staff to focus their efforts on higher level tasks.
Payroll system and fixed assets
While still in testing, the payroll system improvements for the hospital are significant. The external payroll software provides a journal entry every pay period that automatically imports into Dynamics GP. This is yet another automation of a previously manual process, again saving time for staff and creating more efficiency as they go through the workday. Of note is the fact that the hospital is made up of seven constituent businesses, which had made reconciling payroll and tracking it in the backoffice a larger challenge than at a business with a different structure.
Currently being setup, the fixed asset integration will allow the hospital to reconcile its assets with the general ledger. Along with the new building that opened during the implementation phase, the organization also purchased a number of other fixed assets that are needed to make the structure functional. The fixed asset functionality will allow the hospital to more easily reconcile purchase date and date of first use, along with accurately managing the assets owned by the seven different entities that make up the organization. In fact, the initial testing period already revealed that a major parking garage asset had been assigned to the wrong group previously.
The additional mobility, access and freedom afforded by BI360 is a major push for the hospital. BI360 will eventually have enable the organization’s field managers to become self-sufficient, generating and populating budgets quickly and individually instead of putting more stress on the accounting office. To ease staff into the major culture change this represents, the hospital is taking small steps toward reaching full usage, with a target date of the 2017 budget season. With all the capabilities in place to use BI360, the staff of the hospital learn to walk before they run, making sure they understand fully how to use each part of the system.
The big benefits
Clerical work has been drastically reduced or eliminated in many respects. This improvement in efficiency can’t be overstated, as it leads to a host of benefits. Integration with other software used by the business creates an environment where connectivity is expected. Fixed assets, payroll, patient refunds and billing are now all or will soon be automatically reconciled by Microsoft Dynamics GP for specialty hospital, reducing the potential for errors through manual entry and providing information that can easily be put to use and analyzed by staff. The hospital has truly moved into a more modern era by using the most effective software available to better manage its backoffice needs.