Billing and ERP Software in Outpatient Care:
What Characterizes the Market and How Is It Changing?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are often referred to as the central nervous system of a company as they control core processes and resources such as personnel, capital, information technology, products and communication. Ideally, ERP software can even fully automate processes. Such software solutions are also taking on an increasingly important role in the healthcare sector, for example, when utilized to relieve outpatient care services of their personnel resources and to enable them to use freed-up capacities for care services.
The trend towards more outpatient treatment is progressing
Outpatient care services are one of the backbones of care in Germany. In contrast to inpatient care facilities, outpatient care services allow people in need of care to be treated in their familiar surroundings, often with help of informal caregivers. This way, a higher quality of life can usually be achieved for the person in need of care. In 2019, 3.31 million, or 80% of all people in need of care, were cared for at home, of which just under one million were cared for by outpatient care services, which corresponds to 24% of all people in need of care. These were cared for by 14,700 care services throughout Germany.
New challenges require new approaches
While the number of nursing services has increased significantly in recent years, it is growing at a slower rate than the number of nursing homes and significantly less than the number of people in need of care. This means that more patients have to be cared for per nursing service, and the trend is upward. This challenge can only be met with efficiently designed processes, in addition to greater personnel capacities. This is where ERP software tailored specifically to nursing services and billing service providers come into play, whose expertise can simplify, standardize and even automate complex tasks.
The provider market is consolidating – and will continue to change
In recent years, the market has been consolidating, with the result that there are a number of large providers – some of which are active both in the ERP sector and as billing service providers – who share the largest market share among themselves. As a result, these companies can offer a wide range of comparable services. It is therefore important for each provider to take advantage of the market developments that will affect the healthcare market in the coming years – including the electronic patient record, e-prescription, digital care applications and Big Data – in order to stand out from the competition and survive in the market