Blog   Tagged ‘commercial bank’

EHRs: The Facts, Future and Financials

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To comply with Meaningful Use initiatives, more than 95 percent of hospitals have implemented some form of electronic health record (EHR) system since 2011. Some have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to simply comply and put a system in place, while others have spent millions – even billions – to tailor a program unique to their needs.

The truth is EHRs are expensive to plan for, implement, train and maintain. And today, only a few years after installing new systems, nearly 38 percent of CIOs are already investing in optimization projects to improve or upgrade their current EHR programs, making this the biggest area of spending in healthcare IT.

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While EHR provides many answers and solutions, it presents many questions, as well.

  • What is the ROI for this massive technology upgrade?
  • How will EHRs really improve healthcare for doctors and patients?
  • What does the future of EHRs look like?

These questions and others are being considered and tested at hospitals around the country. Here are some of the more innovative practices and uses for EHRs that may help hospitals and executives plan for the road ahead and get the most out of their EHR investment.

Big Data

Gathering big data from a patient population is one thing. Deciphering and applying that data to solve real-world health issues is another. Hospitals that are successfully doing this are finding it is a game-changer for helping patients, the community and their care outcomes.

Examples:

  • Identifying at-risk or high-risk patients to help reduce readmission rates: This data analysis looks at EHR information, zip codes and socioeconomic data to assign patients a risk score. This can also include monitoring patients with numerous chronic diseases (diabetes, heart failure, cholesterol, cancer, etc.) in real-time to help reduce hospitalizations and drive down the cost of care.
  • Clinical trial enrollment: Using big data could help patients enroll in clinical trials that will help improve quality of care and enhance outcomes. For patients, this helps match them to clinical trials and have access to safety monitoring during the treatment. For healthcare providers/researchers, this means having the data they need to find patients for trials and evaluate therapies.

Telemedicine

A technology that has been talked about and hypothesized for decades is now at its tipping point and gaining the attention of healthcare executives across the industry. More than 83 percent of telemedicine executives who were surveyed in 2017 by the American Telemedicine Association said they are likely to invest in telehealth this year. And more importantly, they see patient-centered healthcare and EHR interoperability as top advancements they are most excited about.

Using EHR systems to treat patients with telehealth can reduce the cost of the care for both patients and providers. This technology allows doctors to stay more organized, save time, log into the patient’s record from anywhere, and prescribe medication in real time.

Examples:

  • Remote patient monitoring for issues such as weight gain in at-risk heart patients. One of the biggest readmission rates for heart attack patients occurs when they start to gain weight. By using monitoring devices, doctors can receive weight readings every day allowing them to track patients’ health and have an idea of risk for readmission.
  • Doctors, hospitals and nurses are using telemedicine to treat children at school. This type of visit includes a nurse at school using a telehealth cart with video capabilities and high-tech ear, nose and throat scopes to communicate with a pediatric doctor or hospital staff for a remote patient visit. Parents can video in on the visit from work, allowing children to stay in school, parents to stay at work and nurses/doctors to best assess the child. It also allows children who do not have access to health care to see a doctor without going to the ER, further reducing overall healthcare costs for hospitals and patients.
  • Treating at-risk patients with numerous chronic conditions remotely with telehealth. Hospitals can track at-risk patients through their physiological data remotely with biometric sensors. This data can track everything from weight and heart rate to blood pressure and oxygen saturation. This information allows the team to provide remote support and communicate with patients at important times. The pilot program at Banner Health reduced hospitalizations by 45 percent ‡ and drove down the overall cost of care by 27 percent.

Patient Engagement

Enabling patients to access their own EHRs has shown great promise in helping them take control and engage in their overall wellbeing as well as helping providers prioritize patients’ concerns. The practice of allowing patients to collaborate on EHR notes and help set the agenda for their appointment has shown to improve communication between the patient and the provider, increase patient satisfaction, decrease visit times for doctors and optimize the appointment.

Examples

  • A University of Washington pilot study of patients setting agendas for their appointments found that most patients and clinicians felt it enhanced their relationships, and most said they would like to continue the practice. Also, patients who created their own agenda for the visit gave the doctor a more collaborative feeling and increased patient engagement – a key component of accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes under the Affordable Care Act.
  • An OpenNotes study found that by reviewing their medical records and clinician notes, patients could spot safety concerns (usually pertaining to medication errors or misreported pre-existing health conditions), and many of the flagged reports were turned into medical record revisions. The findings suggest that patients can help identify mistakes and are eager to have accurate medical records on file.

These are only a few examples of how EHRs are being implemented and used by providers and patients. The truth is that this technology is constantly morphing and evolving to help improve healthcare treatments and outcomes across the board. Clearly, there is an inherent need for healthcare executives, doctors and patients to find more valuable uses for EHRs to enhance patient care, improve outcomes and save costs.

Furthermore, what’s most critical to the evolving world of EHRs is that you have the right partners at the table to help educate, train and effectively adapt this technology to your unique needs. This includes your vendors, IT department, doctors, nurses and users.

Finally, the financial burden of improving and updating your EHR system will be a consistent line item for the foreseeable future. Knowing how to budget and prepare for those costs is vital to the financial success of your organization. And working with a banking partner who understands the complex world of healthcare finance is just as important.

Richard Ziegner is director of healthcare banking at UMB Bank where he is responsible for leading the bank’s efforts in the healthcare sector and providing capital and financial solutions to healthcare providers. He can be reached at Richard.Ziegner@umb.com.

 


Richard Ziegner is executive vice president and director of healthcare banking at UMB Bank where he is responsible for leading the bank’s efforts in the healthcare sector and providing capital and financial solutions to healthcare providers. He graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.



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Do niche markets need niche banking? (The answer may surprise you.)

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UMB Industry Insights
What do manufacturing, wholesale distribution, pipeline energy, coal mining, energy services, architecture and engineering firms, law firms, telecommunications and infrastructure construction companies have in common? They are all niche markets that require specialized support from the companies servicing them. They are also industries that have entire dedicated departments within large banks and financial services companies.

UMB Bank niche markets

As a leader at an energy services company, you might see value at first in a banking partner with a whole department dedicated to your specific industry. But what keeps you going back? Is it the number of people assigned to your account or is it the relationship you have with your bank?

I hope it’s the relationship. This is true for all industries; not just banking. If you develop business partnerships based on your relationship with the people at the company, you’ll find that the business part comes naturally. You’re creating additional value for your customers beyond the products and services.

Connecting, not just banking

In our case, we serve all of the industries described above with the same group of commercial bankers. Our bankers know how to lend to all different types of companies. Not only do we know the different industries, but we know how they all fit together.

For example, we’ve found that with our various niche market commercial clients, we can provide unique networking opportunities between them. It gives our customers a chance to develop business relationships outside of the financial industry. We can connect an architecture firm with a technology company that may have otherwise not had the chance to interact. We’re able to provide referrals between our clients; not only within their state but across our eight-state footprint.

When working with your commercial bank, you should see them as more than just a “banker.” They should be a problem-solver, an advisor, and most importantly, a partner. Working outside of your traditional expectations and putting your company’s best interest ahead of everything else should be the top priority.

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Mr. Anderson is President of Commercial Banking for UMB Bank. He is responsible for commercial banking, treasury management, and business banking. He joined UMB in 1986 and has 33 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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UMB expands into Dallas

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As we continue to grow our business, we have an exciting announcement. We are opening our first official office in Dallas, Texas! Zach Fee, UMB president of the Texas region sat down for a quick Q&A to talk about our plans.

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Why is UMB expanding to Dallas?

UMB has had clients in Texas for more than 30 years. Based on the opportunity for new growth, we felt like now was the right time to establish a permanent home and chose Dallas as our first site. Dallas is a great fit for UMB, because not only is it a top five commercial market that has strong economic activity, but its diverse business environment matches our own diverse offerings. Our new space in the Hall Arts building will put us in the center of the city’s activity and we are excited to be a part of this innovative community.

How long have you been on the ground?

I officially moved to Dallas from Kansas City with my family at the end of last year. We have six full-time associates right now and have plans to add a couple of new team members before the end of the year. We’ve been extremely humbled by the warm welcome we’ve received. The business community has welcomed us with open arms and we look forward to working closely with them.

What are the short- and long-term goals for the Dallas market?

First and foremost our focus is on building our team with local Dallas talent. The market is home to so many talented financial experts, we’ll have no trouble finding outstanding people that fit with our UMB culture. From a business perspective, we are focused on building our middle market commercial base and making an impact in the community through civic and philanthropic engagement.

We have been humbled by the Big Texas welcome we’ve received. Check out what folks are saying.

“Hall Arts lands UMB Bank’s first Texas lease” ‡ (Dallas Business Journal – July 18, 2013)

“UMB Bank Starts Texas Expansion” ‡ (Dallas Business Journal – July 12, 2013)

“UMB Financial Chase of Commercial Business Leads it to Big D” ‡ (SNL Financial – July 11, 2013)

“New Banks Continue to Enter Competitive Dallas-Fort Worth Market” ‡ (Dallas Morning News – July 9, 2013)

“Kansas City Icon Expanding in Dallas” ‡ (D CEO Magazine – July 9, 2013)

“UMB in Missouri Plans Texas Push: Report”  (American Banker – July 9, 2013)

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Fee serves as president of UMB’s Texas region and is responsible for designing and executing a strategy to establish UMB Bank in the Texas market, initially by way of Dallas. He joined UMB in 2002 and has also served as the community bank president of the UMB South Kansas City region. Fee earned Bachelor of Science with a major in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.



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