Hospice providers deliver crucial services and care for patients and their families during the last stages of life and typically offer some form of home-based care where ever that home may be, such as:
- the patient's residence
- a skilled nursing facility
- a rehabilitation center
- long term care facility
Because hospice providers operate on very limited budgets, they need to exercise prudent control over expenses. Key to controlling costs is exercising careful inventory management. Here are five top hospice care inventory management challenges.
1. Developing Protocols and Treatment Programs
Because of reimbursement challenges, great attention needs to be taken when developing care plans for patients. It's essential that hospice providers work with healthcare suppliers to establish appropriate products for best patient care outcomes while practicing the customized treatment protocols. Staff training is an important aspect, and the healthcare disposable supplier should be able to offer assistance in this regard.
2. Cost Containment
A crucial aspect of cost containment for hospice care is establishing the cost of each patient per day. One way to do this is to determine the actual cost per patient per day and to use a tracking program to monitor expenditures. It's a good idea to work with your medical disposable supplier to work out ways to meet the budgeted patient per day cost while continuing to meet your patients' requirements of care.
3. Mobile Ordering Needs
Patient requirements are not always predictable. There's a need to order additional supplies with minimal inconvenience. For fast and efficient service, ordering systems should be online and delivery systems should be such that timely delivery services are available. Additionally, it should be possible for supplies to be delivered direct to the patient's home. A mobile-based ordering system means that orders can be placed immediately with supplies and costs tracked to each individual patient.
4. Inventory Control Systems
The challenge of managing hospice care inventory can be eased through the use of inventory management tools linked to a database that tracks orders, deliveries and usage. Reporting tools should provide total usage figures, including items that are delivered direct to patient's homes. The system should manage maximum and minimum stock levels and trigger order notifications when reorder points are reached.
5. Accessing Utilization Reports
Hospice providers should have the ability to access utilization reports online. These should be customized to the needs of the hospice and available when required. Regular weekly and monthly reports should be automatically prepared. The administrator must be able to track costs per patient day, inventory costs, inventory usage and monitor overall spending by product and product category. By being compliant, you can take the sting out of unexpected variances.
Concordance Healthcare Solutions, formed by the merger of Kreisers, MMS and Seneca, offers flexible, personalized, patient-friendly service as well as a suite of software products that simplify inventory management and patient care. These include our:
- Cost Per Patient Day tracking program
- Front Step patient supply delivery program
- Mobile ordering program
- Inventory and asset management, reporting and educational programs
- BeCompliant budgeting and tracking program