'Don't even call it an ROI'
"You can look at ROI in many different ways," he says. "You can look at ROI from a financial perspective. You can look at ROI from mitigating compliance risk. There are a lot of different ways you can look at it. Don't even call it an ROI, but look at the value-proposition associated with it."
Richmond says one way MetroHealth is finding value in its current revenue cycle IT installation is to use it as an opportunity to review workflows and processes to create efficiencies and pull cost out of the system.
"What we decided to do is take a look at our current practice and our current workflows and see how we could optimize them during the system install. I refer to it as a revenue cycle transformation and at the conclusion of our implementation, which is now set for Feb. 1, 2014, we would be in a position to realize the true value and benefits from our system implementation," Richmond says.
Although the CFOs at the roundtable discussion were in agreement that the true ROI of an IT upgrade or installation cannot be counted in pure dollars and cents, they also concurred with Richmond that it is essential to rethink processes before moving forward with a new system in order to achieve the best possible financial outcomes.
"In my opinion, I think it is important to get the process optimized before you automate it," says Jerry Arndt, senior vice president, business services at Gundersen Lutheran in La Cross, WI. "Don't automate chaos."