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Healthcare shifts its focus to value-based care and the back-office system

Constellation Research is a strategic advisory and futurist analyst firm that serves leaders and organizations navigating the challenges of digital strategy, business-model disruption, and digital transformation. The Constellation ShortList™ is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share, and internal research. Unit4 is delighted to have been selected as one of the ‘6 SOLUTIONS TO KNOW’ in the healthcare sector in its Q1 2023 report.

As the healthcare sector shifts its focus to value-based care, organizations recognize the need to improve their back-office operations. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are emerging as the go-to solution for streamlining healthcare finance operations and providing increased visibility into opportunities for increased efficiency. This blog will explore how an ERP system can help healthcare organizations become more efficient and productive.

The current state of affairs

There is pressure on hospitals to better understand the true cost of delivering care. Technology is available to streamline healthcare finance operations, but back-office departments traditionally operate independently and often use disparate systems that don't communicate with one another. This siloed approach to operations results in inefficiencies, making it difficult for hospitals to control costs and deliver optimal patient care. However, an ERP system can change all that by bringing together the back-office functions onto a single platform and extending this to stakeholders across the organization.

By automating key processes such as finance, HR, inventory, and supply chain management, an ERP system can enable organizations to track real-time costs, identify waste areas, and optimize resource allocation. ERP systems also provide greater visibility into financial performance, allowing executives to make data-driven decisions that can lead to cost savings and better patient outcomes.


Constellation Research's healthcare report 2023

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How an ERP system can help

An ERP solution can help to streamline healthcare operations by centralizing and integrating various back-office functions. It provides real-time data access to valuable information to all stakeholders, enabling informed decision-making and proactive management based on fact. Robust reporting capabilities allow healthcare organizations to gain deeper insights into their operational activities and identify opportunities for improvement.

ERP systems automate routine administrative tasks, reducing the administrative burden on staff and freeing up time for more critical responsibilities. For instance, automating manual procurement processes, planning resources, and scheduling programs, creating, and sharing finance reports, simplifying forecasting process, all of which enable greater collaboration across the organization.

The system can also help healthcare organizations to comply with industry regulations, which can be complicated and challenging to navigate. By integrating regulatory data capture and reporting requirements into the ERP system, healthcare organizations can ensure compliance, mitigate the risk of fines, and reduce the likelihood of non-compliance of funding allocation.

The benefits of an ERP system in healthcare include:

1. Streamlined Operations: By centralizing data and automating processes, an ERP system can help healthcare providers operate more efficiently and effectively. This results in fewer errors, less paperwork, improved decision making and quicker response times.

2. Improved Data Management: Healthcare organizations deal with a massive amount of data daily. With an ERP system in place, data can be easily accessed, analyzed, and reported on. This enables providers to make better decisions, provide better care, and reduce the risk of errors.

3. Increased Visibility: ERP systems provide real-time visibility into all aspects of healthcare operations. This means that managers and providers can monitor performance, track key metrics, and identify areas for improvement. As a result, healthcare organizations can become more agile, responsive, and adaptable.

4. Enhanced Financial Management: An ERP system can help healthcare organizations better manage their financials by integrating accounting, invoicing, and payment processing. This can lead to more accurate billing, faster collections, and improved cash flow.

Customer stories

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

As part of its cloud-first healthcare strategy, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has migrated its existing Unit4 ERP platform to a smart Microsoft Azure cloud that has transformed efficiency, scalability, and useability. This combined Trust recognized the advantages of migrating to the cloud and is now benefitting from the freedom and flexibility to build, manage, and deploy applications anywhere, using built for purpose frameworks, and infrastructure to empower finance team collaboration and improve clinical and operational insights.

“Unit4 saves us a ridiculous amount of time; approximately 20 orders for healthcare supplies are made every day using the punch-out function. Manually, each order would take about five minutes, that two hours of time saved every day that we can channel back into healthcare provision. Financial reporting is faster too. Budget managers, heads of services, and other senior decision-makers across the trust all rely on Unit4’s timely financial insights for decision-making. Unit4 flexes to fit the users, so they are using a system designed around their needs – not vice versa. Our staff really like the intuitive interface, the workflow, and the automation.” Duncan Squires, Finance System Manager.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust wanted to put finance at the heart of strategic decision-making and free resources to focus on innovation, increasing productivity, and improving value-based patient outcomes. The Trust worked closely with Unit4 Professional Services to implement the upgrade from an on-premise Unit4 ERP to a flexible and secure Microsoft Azure cloud environment in just one weekend – all done seamlessly and transparently to the end user.

“Unit4 gives finance a seat at the table. We need a complete view of the Trust’s financial position and results to respond faster to an ever-changing healthcare environment. With Unit4, we can stay in front of change, manage the Trust’s £300 million annual budget more effectively, and improve the health of the local population. Cloud is the direction of travel for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust because it offers a compelling mix of adaptability, responsiveness, and efficiency.” Andy Large, Associate Director of Finance.

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is a newly formed integrated Trust. In 2022, this organization selected Unit4 ERP and FP&A to provide a unified, modern, and flexible finance, procurement, and planning solution. They now benefit from a joint service across their East and North sites that will boost people productivity, optimize processes and projects, and reduce costs to deliver maximum efficiency in times of budget pressure. It is an innovative solution that can adapt to rapidly changing priorities while delivering trusted, high-standard financial, procurement, and planning services.

Alignment across the newly formed Trust enables them to effectively respond to changing circumstances to leverage smarter, more flexible service delivery. Unit4’s extensive experience in the emergency services and healthcare sector and proven implementation models that deliver rapid time-to-value, plus easy self-service configuration, has increased visibility across the Trust to equip decision-makers with the real-time information they need to make the right calls at the right time.

​“Unit4’s extensive experience in working with public sector organizations, shared services, and merger environments made it an easy decision for us to partner with them. By implementing modern, connected ERP systems, we can make better-informed decisions to deliver more responsive services to the community and support our team to be more efficient and productive. Unit4 will enable us to make better use of resources by streamlining processes for employees, suppliers, and citizens.” Andy Clark, Associate Director of Operational Finance.

Click to read Helping public sector organizations enhance value with FP&A and HCM v2 (gated)

How Unit4 can help your healthcare organization

Our software solutions enable your Finance and HR teams to transform how people work – freeing up resources to focus on more of what matters most: giving the best possible care to patients. You can make better use of resources and respond to complex healthcare needs with people-centric solutions that offer a blend of industry-leading software for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A).

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