New Siemens Technology Addresses Pain Points of Healthcare Budgeting Process
Malvern, Pa., Oct 5, 2006 - To help healthcare organizations conquer escalating financial pressures with greater ease, Siemens Medical Solutions (www.usa.siemens.com/medical ) today announced the general availability of a new Web-based Decision Support Solutions® (DSS) distributed budgeting tool. This innovative information technology (IT) solution unifies and streamlines time-consuming, manual budget submission processes by leveraging the flexibility and familiarity of Microsoft® Excel® and model templates that are easily customized.
Because budget management is front and center in every healthcare organization’s effort to safeguard its financial health, Siemens’ new DSS release was designed to help healthcare providers improve budgeting workflow and drive more efficient operations. In fact, since becoming a beta site for the new tool, St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) in Huntington, West Virginia, has used the distributed budgeting application to automate its non-wage operating expense budget process, making it more efficient.
“Since implementing the Siemens solution, we are able to follow an individual budget from creation of the preliminary budget through all levels of the approval process,” said Jane Jackson, director, Decision Support, SMMC. “Additionally, the model budget templates provided with the application are easy to use and modify. The comments from our management staff have been very positive.”
Hospitals that employ distributed budgeting without the aid of dedicated applications such as the Siemens DSS tool typically utilize spreadsheets and email to move information through the budgeting approval process. With this process, spreadsheets must be individually prepared for each department head making the final consolidation of extensive reports challenging and error-prone.
Importantly, the new DSS budgeting tool from Siemens meets the standardization needs of today’s healthcare finance and budgeting executives. Designed to support team-based decision-making, distributed budgeting’s role-based modules provide executives and their staffs timely views of healthcare budgets with supporting metrics. In fact, Nebraska Heart Hospital (NHH) in Lincoln, Nebraska, has already cut its budget cycle time in half, a notable benefit greatly enhancing ease of use for managers and approvers.
“The implementation of Siemens distributed budgeting tool has been a significant success for our finance department,” said Mark Smith, chief finance officer, NHH. “Our budget director is especially pleased with the ability to automatically merge data back to one table instead of using a manual cut-and-paste process. We anticipate continued productivity gains in the years to come, as the templates and approval tree developed are easy to maintain and can be used in subsequent years. We would highly recommend Siemens DSS distributed budgeting to any organization interested in enhancing the speed and efficiency of their budgeting process.”
Users can access financial reports and interactive analyses to help manage costs, increase productivity and improve quality of care. Budget creation is simplified with access to a single, cohesive model template that supports the negotiation and approval process. Automatic email notification of the budget status and computerization of the complex process of obtaining budgets and revisions from department heads is key to saving time and resources.
“Solutions that effectively streamline financial processes and workflow are vital to the healthcare industry, especially given the ever-increasing scrutiny of healthcare costs,” said Janet Dillione, president, Healthcare IT Division, Siemens Medical Solutions. “The positive feedback from our customers speaks volumes about this new DSS tool’s ability to help our customers optimize their budget cycles and gain important process efficiencies.”
About Siemens Medical Solutions
Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) with headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and Erlangen, Germany, is one of the largest suppliers to the healthcare industry in the world. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. Employing approximately 33,000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.6 billion EUR, orders of 8.6 billion EUR and group profit of 976 million EUR for fiscal 2005. More information can be obtained by visiting www.usa.siemens.com/medical-pressroom.
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