4 reasons to move finance and HR data to one platform


Finance and human resources, despite being treated as two separate entities of a hospital's operations, should collaborate to drive an organization's mission forward. The first step: bringing siloed data together on a single platform.

During a Sept. 26 webinar sponsored by cloud applications and platform services company Oracle and hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, Mary Kilmer, executive director of Oracle Healthcare, and Mike Andrus, vice president of human capital management transformation at Oracle, discussed the importance of CFO and chief HR officer collaboration on hospitalwide strategic decisions.

Competition for attention and resources from the CEO often creates tension between financial and HR officers. Decisions are often made without both parties in the room, creating information silos. These silos leave ample space for improved collaboration, despite the seemingly disparate priorities each executive is tasked with.

"Finance information tends to be very profit-focused," Mr. Andrus said, noting CFOs tend to be data-driven and emphasize cost control. "The HR information is typically more people-focused versus profit-focused … decisions tend to be culture-driven and focused on employee performance, results and engagement."

However, at the end of the day, finance and HR both play key roles in propelling a hospital's strategy and vision. To ensure success, leaders from both areas should collaborate as two parts of the same team. As an example, Ms. Kilmer spoke to the roles CFOs and CHROs play during an acquisition.

"The planning component isn't just, 'we should acquire another hospital,'" she said. "It's also about, 'what are the new care models to support that?' and 'what types of individuals, from a skillset perspective, need to be able to support that, as well?' And, 'does it make sense right now, in this marketplace, to be adding new people when there's a shortage of employees?'"

"It isn't about the traditional 'this is the money person,' and 'this is the people person,' Ms. Kilmer explained. "They need to be correlated together."

The first step to bringing finance and HR perspectives together in a hospital is establishing a common platform to house data on a single place, rather than keeping data siloed. By bringing data together, hospitals can draw actionable insights for both teams and assess the aggregate performance of the entire enterprise.

Here are four key benefits to using an integrated cloud data platform to centralize finance and HR data:

1. One data model. A typical organization will have its financial data in an enterprise resource planning — or ERP — system, while its HR data is housed in a human capital management system. Moving this information onto a single platform solidifies hospital leadership's commitment to having these two teams work together.

"You need to take a look at the technology that supports your mission and goals, and that supports your C-levels, like CFOs and CHROs, working together," Ms. Kilmer said. "And if that technology is siloed and is only supportive of individuals focused on their own areas, then you can't achieve [organizational] goals."

2. User experience. If a hospital deploys one integrated platform for all its data needs — from finance to HR, but also including clinical and supply chain data — staff only need to learn one system. In the short-term, this reduces training costs, and in the long-term, it enables different teams to collaborate with one another, without having to export data between disparate systems.

"There isn't this need for teams to pull data together from all these different systems and do all the data mapping, clean up, translation tables and then loading it out into another system for reporting capabilities," Mr. Andrus said. "All of that's improving the productivity and the collaboration between HR and finance functions."

3. Single provider. Working with one cloud vendor allows IT teams to focus on maintaining one platform, without having to worry about upgrading disparate systems or investing in interfacing between systems. "By consolidating with one provider it's relieving IT teams of all that duplicative maintenance," Mr. Andrus said. "It's simplifying ownership and reducing cost."

4. Universal reporting and analytics. Having consistent and standardized systemwide data streamlines a hospital's ability to report to external entities, such as when reporting data to prove regulatory compliance. Standardized data also helps to support internal hospital improvement programs. For example, with all data housed on one platform, an analytics team can derive insights by correlating comprehensive patient experience or department profitability data with a separate data type, such as employee performance.

"It's having direct, real-time access to your data," Mr. Andrus said. "You don't have to be worried about how many records are falling off your interface files [or] how many new hires didn't make it out of your recruiting system to your core HR system."

Listen to the webinar recording here. View the webinar slides here.

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