Bottom Line: Cost Savings Is Why MEDITECH EHR and AP Automation Make Sense

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By Lisa Lambrecht | Mar 17, 2023

3 minute read Blog| MEDITECH| Technology

Automation in healthcare IT has taken processes and workflows in financial departments by storm and it continues to be an operational area ripe with opportunity. When I began my healthcare career as a director of accounting and then as controller, most processes were manual. Over the years I have implemented MEDITECH financial applications and worked as a liaison between IT teams, CFOs, finance and accounts payable departments. As healthcare organizations continue to search for ways to streamline processes and improve efficiency, many are turning to Accounts Payable (AP) automation systems.  

Here’s the secret sauce for revolutionizing your AP processes: integrate your MEDITECH EHR and your AP automation system. By doing so you maximize your healthcare technology investments and take advantage of all that automation has to offer by: 

  • Improving accuracy 
  • Enhancing visibility into financial data 
  • Increasing efficiency 
  • Reducing cost 

What is accounts payable automation? 
Accounts payable automation is the use of technology to automate the AP process. This process typically includes tasks such as electronic invoice routing and approvals, general ledger coding, data entry, and payment processing. With AP automation, these tasks are performed automatically, reducing the need for manual intervention which in turn helps AP departments operate more efficiently. 
4 benefits of accounts payable automation for MEDITECH EHRs 
Let’s take a closer look at how incorporating Accounts Payable automation into your MEDITECH EHR will make a difference to your healthcare operations and employee satisfaction: 

  1. Improved Accuracy
    By automating the AP process, organizations can reduce the risk of manual errors and improve accuracy. Accurate financial management is critical to success for community hospitals and large health systems alike.
  2. Enhanced Visibility 
    With Accounts Payable automation systems, organizations have more visibility into their financial data. For example, real-time access to invoice status and payment information can help organizations make informed financial decisions. CFOs and financial leaders can have greater confidence in financial data because of the improved accuracy. 
  3. Increased Efficiency
    AP automation eliminates paper invoices and printing emails — no more lost paper invoices. Automated coding handles redundant invoices and reminder emails keep approvals on track. These timesavers significantly reduce the amount of manual labor required to process invoices and in return increases team efficiency. With staffing shortages and employee satisfaction top of mind for many healthcare organizations, automating repetitive and predictable tasks not only means finance departments can be more productive, processing more invoices in a shorter amount of time, but colleagues have more time to focus on other important tasks. Plus, integration between the AP application and MEDITECH shaves off minutes because employees no longer need to switch between applications, streamlining day-to-day activities.
  4. Cost Savings
    Cost savings are a byproduct of eliminating manual entry and increasing workflow efficiency and accuracy. Since paper invoices are no longer “floating” around the facility, organizations avoid late payments and fees, and more accuracy means employees have less rework, and fewer costly errors and discrepancies to resolve.  

How integration works between Accounts Payable automation and MEDITECH EHRs 
One centralized system. Accounts Payable automation integrates with the MEDITECH EHR system, allowing organizations to manage all of their financial data in one centralized location. This means that all invoice data is accessible from within the EHR, eliminating the need to switch between multiple systems. 
Automated processing. Invoices and payments can both be automated with Accounts Payable automation so that the process is streamlined from beginning to end. Invoices are automatically matched to purchase orders, reducing the need for manual data entry and the risk of discrepancies. Non-PO invoices can be automatically sent to the approving manager and properly coded. Payments can be scheduled in advance which can help improve cash flow and avoid the risk of late payments.  

Frequently Asked Questions 
Q: Is Accounts Payable automation only for large healthcare organizations?

A: No, Accounts Payable automation can be beneficial for organizations of all sizes, whether large or small. 
Q: Can Accounts Payable Automation be customized to fit the needs of my healthcare organization?

A: Yes, Accounts Payable automation can be customized to fit the unique needs of your healthcare organization. This includes customizing the automation process to match your current AP procedures and integrating with any existing systems you may have in place. 
Q: How does Accounts Payable automation impact cash flow?

A: By automating payment processing, Accounts Payable automation can improve cash flow by reducing the risk of late payments. Organizations can schedule payments in advance, ensuring that payments are made on time and improving their cash flow. 
Q: Is Accounts Payable automation secure for my financial data?

A: Yes, Accounts Payable automation is secure for your financial data. The system is designed with security in mind, using encryption and secure data storage to protect sensitive financial information. 

Q: What is the effort to implement Accounts Payable automation?  

A: In one customer’s case, we supported this effort in a 3-month project. This included working with the customer’s chosen vendor to have a NPR report writer create the extracts that send the needed data to the vendor (POs, Vendors, Approvers, and GL codes). We worked with the vendor to create a procedure to easily import the data back into MEDITECH using the system’s existing technology. The customer asked us to complete testing in the MEDITECH system for them due to staffing issues, but this work could be done by AP personnel as well.  
Bottom line: If you're looking to streamline your AP process and improve your financial management, consider implementing Accounts Payable automation for your MEDITECH EHR. 

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About the Author:
Lisa Lambrecht

Senior Consultant

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