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Improving operational performance with ERP technology

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

by Wayne Allen

Published on 9/21/2020

As the health care industry continues to navigate its pandemic response and recovery, providers are looking for more ways to reduce costs, optimize technology, increase efficiency and access timely and accurate insights.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions can help health organizations focus and align crucial areas such as financials, supply chain, grants, payroll and human resources. These business tools are a critical lifeline that can help providers achieve their current operational goals, ease the challenges of the pandemic and better position their organizations for the future. ERP technology combines solution expertise with industry workflow experience to streamline processes across departments and multiple software applications.

The global demand for ERP solutions is growing, with a recent report showing that the market for this technology is poised to increase by nearly $9 billion between 2020 to 2024.

Our organization, Prospect Medical Holdings, is based in Los Angeles and has 17 hospitals and more than 160 outpatient facilities and clinics in southern California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. As a result of rapid growth through acquisition, we faced an aggregation of disparate and aging systems in need of modernization and systemization. Prospect went live with Cerner’s Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning services in October 2019, first with our corporate finance functions, followed quickly by our four-hospital system in Pennsylvania. Our goal was to centralize our supply chain and back-office functions, and in less than a year, we’ve achieved these outcomes:

  • 4 hours. The time it now takes to close Prospect Medical’s books. Before the ERP software, it took four days.
  • A reduction of nearly 50%. The time saved to close the general ledger at Crozer-Keystone Health System.
  • 1 business day. The time it now takes the Crozer-Keystone Health four-hospital system to close its accounts payable. Previously, it took two weeks.
  • 8. The number of disparate charts of accounts merged into one overarching corporate structure, which aligns with industry best practices, and ultimately, will drive more standardized reporting.
  • 16. The percentage of inactive, obsolete and discontinued components that were eliminated from Crozer-Keystone Health’s item master. The outcome is a more accurate inventory record and greater transparency into the organization’s supply-related costs.
  • $10,000. The annual savings Crozer-Keystone Health achieved by implementing automated clearing house payments for accounts payable. We expect this number to continue to rise as more Prospect Medical sites go live with this functionality.

While programs across the industry were shut down or suspended as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, with the assistance of Cerner’s Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning services, we continued to push forward. Focused first on our patients and staff, and then our schedule, we lost little ground toward our goal of implementing Oracle ERP solutions to our remaining hospitals. By January 2021, approximately 65% of our hospitals will be live, with integration with the Cerner electronic health record system following closely behind.

Our enterprisewide strategy is designed to replace our disparate finance and supply chain ERP systems, across all our hospital sites, helping shape our organization’s long-term vision for peak clinical and operational performance. The financial upheaval of COVID-19 has many hospitals and health systems searching for new ways to remain viable, improve processes and do more with the technology they already have. For Prospect, the implementation of Oracle is transformational. ERP services can help organizations achieve these goals, lessen the burden of the pandemic and boldly strive into the future.

Cerner is advancing health and care to empower our clients to achieve world-class clinical, financial and quality performance. Learn more here.