Clinical systems management has become increasingly important to ensure that healthcare organizations run smoothly in a technology-driven era. When you specialize in clinical systems management, you have the opportunity to oversee the strategic planning and implementation of a range of treatments and technologies.
If you’re considering earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online, you may be interested to know that, through research and application, strong clinical management systems can make a healthcare system run more efficiently. What’s more, clinical systems management is often credited with improving patient outcomes and facility operations.
Learn the essential components of clinical systems management — from information technology and patient care to staff assessment and cost management.
What are clinical technology systems?
If you’ve worked in the healthcare industry for an extended period of time, you’ve likely observed the adoption of information technology (IT) in almost every facet of your work.
As doctors of nursing practice continue to take on more prominent administrative roles in many healthcare facilities, they’ve also had to become more technologically proficient to keep up with the rapid pace of IT integration that now characterizes the management of clinical systems.
In fact, as a healthcare professional working with clinical systems, you may find yourself serving as a liaison between an IT team and a nursing department in your healthcare facility. In this type of role it may be common for you to oversee system updates, version testing, and quality assurance tracking. You may also work closely with software vendors to develop program enhancements that help a clinical team perform better.
In many cases, having IT-related management experience can help you focus on electronic health record (EHR) applications. As some of the most crucial tools for capturing data about patients, treatments, and resources, EHRs are essential to almost every healthcare practice. As a clinical systems manager, you may be tasked with ensuring that the proper teams are correctly using EHRs and that effective procedures are used to store and track data efficiently.
Since many healthcare facilities rely on supplementary programs for tasks such as inventory and patient management, clinical systems management also touches on these key components.
As an advanced practice nurse who’s ready to take on an administrative role, be prepared to oversee customer relationship management (CRM) software and supply or inventory management applications, too.
What does this mean for patient care and treatment?
Advanced practice nurses often have extensive experience working one-on-one with patients to diagnose medical conditions, offer education and support, and plan treatments.
While working as a DNP managing clinical systems, however, you would often do much more than handle patients individually. For example, you may focus on tracking the types and number of diagnoses, outcome rates from various treatments, and the time and resources spent with patients.
As a clinical systems manager, you would keep track of most patient information through electronic medical records (EMRs), which collect comprehensive patient histories — containing basic data and EHRs.
Adopting an EHR system and training staff to use it can require a big investment, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. According to a report from the PwC Health Research Institute that detailed the adoption of health technologies across the globe, “using the appropriate technological interventions to improve efficiency in the short term, and change healthcare delivery to improve patient outcomes in the longer term, could deliver net benefits between 8 billion and 13 billion pounds by 2020/2021.”
The above stat referred specifically to the United Kingdom but large benefits were also reported by practices in other countries that adopted new electronic systems for delivering healthcare.
In many cases, EHRs can integrate with a facility’s CRM, allowing healthcare 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 facilities use them correctly.
How does clinical systems management affect staff assignment and assessment?
Many advanced practice nurses pursue a DNP because this terminal degree offers the potential to qualify for administrative positions. Staff management and assessment are key components of healthcare administration and essential to managing clinical technology systems.
In many cases, EHRs allow healthcare 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 allow multiple healthcare providers to treat patients for specialized issues without having to make excessive efforts to coordinate. In addition, EHRs allow for streamlined communication between healthcare providers and public health officials, which can save time and communication steps.
Clinical systems managers typically have experience beyond mere tech oversight since most of them spend years working in clinical settings. That means your deep understanding about the types of treatments, interactions, and education methods that work best for patients will be put to good use in this role.
Apply your clinical knowledge to make informed decisions regarding staff management, promotions, and hiring to build the best possible teams for your facility.
How do clinical systems managers approach budgeting and cost management?
For clinical systems managers, one of the most important elements of the healthcare system relates to cost management. When doctors of nursing practice take on this type of role, they may serve as clinical experts but also as financial managers who assess an institution’s fiscal health.
That means it’s important for you to have ample business experience prior to entering the clinical systems manager role so that you’re ready to handle budgets, assess an organization’s costs, and search for ways to reduce expenditures.
Your business knowledge may also come in handy for risk management and strategic planning, which are crucial skills in a clinical systems management position. Taking on an administrative role may require you to oversee a long list of components, like IT and patient care to staff assessment. And you’ll be responsible for integrating them into a comprehensive healthcare system.
To do this job well, you’ll need to have solid clinical experience along with a high-level background in business. You’ll also need a strong sense of collaboration to inspire change and direct healthcare systems appropriately.
Prepare for a career in clinical systems management.
Advanced practice nurses who oversee clinical systems can create and improve processes that benefit their patients, nursing teams, and organizations.
As a professional ready to take on this challenge, you must learn how to manage complex systems and integrate them seamlessly into your organizations’ overall operations. Through strong strategic planning, you can move healthcare facilities in a positive direction.
Maryville University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice program is designed to prepare aspiring healthcare professionals like you to take on this essential administrative role. Check it out, and see how you can prepare to effect positive change in your healthcare organization using the principles of clinical systems management.