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What You Need to Know About Clinical Systems Management

Clinical systems management is becoming increasingly important to ensuring that health care organizations run smoothly in a technology-driven era. Those who specialize in clinical systems management oversee strategic planning and implementation of a range of treatments and technologies.

If you are considering Maryville University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online program, you may be interested in learning, through research and application, how strong clinical systems management can make a health care system run efficiently. Additionally, it’s important to understand how well-run clinical systems management can often be credited with improving patient outcomes and facility operations.
A nurse using EHR technology

From information technology and patient care to staff assessment and cost management, learn the essential components of strong clinical systems management:

Information Technology Management

If you’ve worked in the health care industry for an extended time, you’ve likely observed the adoption of information technology (IT) in almost every facet of your work. As DNP professionals have taken on more prominent administrative roles in many health care facilities, they have also had to become more technologically proficient to keep up with the rapid pace at which IT has become an essential part of clinical systems management.

In fact, health care professionals may find themselves serving as liaisons between an IT team and a nursing department within their health care facilities. In this type of role, these individuals may oversee system updates, and they may also manage version testing and quality assurance tracking. Some health care professionals may also work closely with software vendors to develop program enhancements that help a clinical team perform at its best.

In many cases, those with IT-related management experience focus on Electronic Health Records (EHRs) applications. As some of the most crucial tools for capturing data about patients, treatments, and resources, EHRs are essential to almost every health care practice. A clinical systems manager may often be tasked with making sure EHRS get used correctly by the proper teams and that effective procedures store and track data efficiently.

Since many health care facilities rely on supplementary programs for tasks such as inventory and patient management, clinical systems management also touches on these key components. Advanced practice nurses who take on administrative roles may often oversee customer relationship management (CRM) software and supply or inventory management applications, too.

Patient Care and Treatment

As advanced practice nurses, DNP professionals often have extensive experience working one-on-one with patients to diagnose medical conditions, offer education and support, and plan treatments. In a clinical systems management context, however, DNPs can often do much more than handle patients individually. They may also focus on tracking the types and quantities of diagnoses, outcome rates from various treatments, and time and resources spent with patients.

Clinical systems managers can keep track of most of this information on patients through Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), which contain basic data, and EHRs, which collect comprehensive patient histories. As Health IT explains, adopting an EHR system and training staff to use it can involve a big investment, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. According to this source, comprehensive EHRs have prevented $4.64 billion in harmful drug interactions, and they help health care providers quickly and easily determine the best treatment for a particular condition.

In many cases, EHRs can integrate with a facility’s CRM, which enables health care providers to identify and contact patients who may need preventive screenings or follow-up visits. Clinical systems managers often take responsibility for selecting these systems, supervising staff training, and ensuring that the facility uses them correctly.

Staff Assignment and Assessment

Many advanced practice nurses pursue DNP degrees because these terminal degrees offer the potential for administrative positions. Staff management and assessment are key components of health care administration and essential to clinical systems management.

In many cases, EHRs enable health care professionals to track staff assignments and offer administrators a better understanding of how physicians, nurses, and physician assistants spend their time and resources. Since EHRs offer comprehensive summaries of patients’ health, these electronic documents enable multiple health care providers to treat patients for specialized issues without having to undergo excessive efforts to coordinate. In addition, EHRs allow for streamlined communication between health care providers and public health officials, which can save time and added communication steps.

As clinical systems managers, the experience of most health care professionals goes beyond mere tech oversight. Since most of them spend years working in clinical settings, they also have a deep understanding of the types of treatments, interactions, and education methods that work best for patients. This knowledge enables these individuals to make informed choices about managing staff members, determining promotions, and making hiring decisions so that they can build the best possible staff for their facility.

Budgeting and Cost Management

For clinical systems managers, one of the most important elements of the health care system relates to cost management. When DNP professionals take on this type of role, they may serve not only as clinical experts but also as financial managers who assess an institution’s fiscal health. Many clinical systems managers enter this role with ample business experience or education, which primes them to handle budgets, assess an organization’s costs, and search for ways to lower expenditures.

Some may also excel at both risk management and strategic planning, which are both crucial skills in a clinical systems management context. After all, the individuals who take on administrative roles may oversee a long list of components, from IT and patient care to staff assessment, and they’re responsible for integrating them into a comprehensive health care system. To do this job well, these individuals must have solid experience on the clinical side and a high-level background on the business side. They typically need a strong sense of collaboration to bring about change and direct health care systems appropriately.

Those who can handle the most complex aspects of clinical systems management can develop systems that work for patients, professionals, and organizations. With strong strategic planning, these individuals can successfully move health care facilities in a positive direction. Indeed, with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, you may find that you are well suited for an administrative role handling clinical systems management.

More than the sum of its parts, clinical systems management incorporates a range of essential components within a health care system. As an advanced practice nurse, you’ll likely need to understand how to manage each part independently and direct the best practices for integrating them seamlessly.

Sources:

http://online.maryville.edu/online-doctor-of-nursing-practice/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813545/

http://www.himss.org/right-balance-technology-and-patient-care

http://www.theamericannurse.org/2012/10/05/behind-the-technology/

https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/why-adopt-ehrs