What is finance's role in the current push to deliver efficiencies? And what systems are needed to support this work? A recent HFMA roundtable, supported by finance and enterprise resource planning software supplier Unit4, set out to explore these questions.
There was an initial discussion about understanding the data behind the measures of NHS productivity. The way services are delivered has changed, with some clinicians using their sessions to deliver guidance to GPs or triaging referrals to prevent unnecessary outpatient appointments. But while this can save patient and clinician time, it is not necessarily captured when assessing changes in productivity.
The roundtable, however did agree that there were opportunities for finance teams to support efficiency improvement, mostly based on analysing data and supporting clinicians and operational teams to revise working practices and pathways.
Automated data processing can help to free up finance staff time to support improvement work, which needs to involve looking at finance data alongside workforce and activity data. IT systems are key to this data analysis, and the participants discussed how this could be achieved, either using a single system or using reporting packages drawing data from existing systems.
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