Why is telecom expense management (TEM) important in health care?

Q:

Why is telecom expense management in health care today more important than ever?

A:

Telecom expense management (TEM) is becoming a fundamental tool for healthcare administration to contain costs and efficiently manage the widespread diffusion of mobile technologies. In the healthcare industry, the telecom costs keep increasing by 10 percent every year, making this sector one of the most challenging to manage.

Smartphones, tablets and all types of mobile technology are now an integrated part of day-to-day operations in any hospital or clinical setting. From patient registration and discharge to the correct management of electronic medical records (EMRs) and just inter-hospital communications, mobile technologies now have a fundamental role in healthcare telecommunication. As data costs amount to almost 70 percent of total monthly mobile charges, it's not hard to understand why 87 percent of healthcare organizations indicated using TEM as a strategy to optimizing telecom costs as a critical priority.

Today, physicians and nurses use a lot of healthcare-related apps on their own smartphones to ease their daily duties and provide better care. In fact, many healthcare facilities have taken advantage of the BYOD trend to reduce the resistance against the widespread implementation of healthcare IT technologies shared by many doctors. Mobile device management (MDM) solutions are, on the other hand, a vital part of any TEM strategy to correctly manage any employee-owned device and ensure that data and information is secure enough.

Up to 1.43 percent of the entire American economy is spent on hospitals’ administrative costs. TEM experts can automate many time-consuming and labor-intensive administrative tasks such as processing and auditing invoices or solving many billing problems. Not only does a successful TEM strategy help to contain the administrative costs, but it saves the other employees a lot of time and effort.

IT management makes extensive use of mobile technologies in hospitals and clinics, and, more in general, the whole healthcare sector is moving toward a scenario where all technologies are merged together. TEM helps to streamline this integration process by dealing with all the challenges that arise with mobile devices.

TEM allows organizations to reduce costs by providing full visibility into any activity involving a communication device that occurs within the facility. From employees' devices to the newer healthcare technologies, everything is tracked, monitored and ultimately under control. Reporting tools can help assess costs more accurately, optimize network efficiency and usability, and improve the communication and integration with other organizations.

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Written by Claudio Buttice
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Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D., is a former clinical and hospital pharmacist who worked for several large public hospitals in Southern Italy, as well as for the humanitarian NGO Emergency.

He is an accomplished medicine and technology writer who wrote as an author in several encyclopedias, including The SAGE Encyclopedia of Cancer and Society (2015), The SAGE Encyclopedia of World Poverty (2015), and ABC-CLIO Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (in press). He’s also the author of research papers as well as other sociology and anthropology reference textbooks.

An expert freelance journalist, Dr. Butticè wrote for many online newspapers such as The Ring Of Fire, Digital Journal and Business Insider. During his career he also worked as a medical consultant and advisor for many international companies around the world, wrote and designed Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses and taught content writing techniques through webinars.

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