In order to meet their goals and objectives, hospice providers rely heavily on their team of dedicated clinicians. These professionals keep the wheels turning on a day-to-day basis with support from medical specialists and the administration team. Furthermore, to carry out their work efficiently, clinicians need the constant provision of medical supplies in order to provide quality patient care. Business solutions for hospice need to focus on both maintaining and increasing the productivity of clinicians, as well as ensuring the supply chain operates efficiently.Key Business Priorities
Key business priorities of any hospice include:
- Productivity: The ability of clinicians to maximize the amount of time they spend caring for their patients. This excludes time spent on other activities such as travel, administration and gathering supplies.
- Managing supplies: A constant supply of products, such as incontinence, wound care, patient hygiene and medication is needed. The manner in which clinicians are provided with supplies directly affects their productivity.
- Inventory management: Medical supplies represent a high cost item, therefore inventory management is a priority.
- Measurement and reporting: To be effective, performance should be monitored, costs controlled and efficiency measured.
Hospice clinicians must be able to make appropriate decisions, maintain the appropriate medical supplies for their patients and update patient records. To minimize the time spent on unproductive tasks, clinicians have three main concerns:
- Patient management: Clinicians should be able to update patients' records using mobile devices linked through the internet, and in this way, update central records.
- Ordering supplies: Clinicians need to order supplies directly using their mobile devices. If orders need authorization, these should be automatically routed for approval before being sent to the supplier.
- Direct shipment: To minimize unproductive time, it is essential that orders are shipped directly to patients' homes or to the supply room tagged for each specific patient and ready for pick up.
To monitor performance and gauge efficiency, hospice administrators need access to various reporting tools:
- PPD: The cost per patient per day is widely recognized as a key indicator of hospice financial performance.
- Formulary control: Because each patient's primary needs can be readily identified, formulary control offers a simple way of managing what may be ordered without requiring separate managerial approval. In addition, providing the same products to each patient agency wide provides consistency of care.
- Inventory: It should be possible to monitor total inventory as well as remote inventories held by nurses and clinicians.
- Costs: Administrators need to be able to monitor overall and departmental costs and to identify trends and exceptions.
Web-based or cloud inventory management and control solutions offer several important advantages over traditional on-premise solutions. Most importantly, they can be accessed from anywhere. This means that clinicians don't need to waste time submitting paperwork and can concentrate on their primary function, that of caring for their patients. At the same time, administrators have immediate access to information and can keep their fingers on the organization's pulse. Concordance's uCommand® supply chain management software offers all of the above and more.