Observation Deck

The 3 Ps of Rehab

Professionals, processes and partners pave the way toward complex rehab success.

Complex rehab providers are faced with a myriad of factors that must be handled with expert care and precision to deliver the best possible outcome for the patient. Many people and tasks are needed to ensure that the process remains fluid and effective. All people and processes not only directly impact how swiftly a consumer is serviced, but how effectively andefficiently this task was completed.

The reality of the industry is that working at maximum business efficiency is needed to survive, but in the world of complex rehab this is never as easy to accomplish in real life as it is on paper. The key challenge to efficiency is the amount of people and procedures involved in providing the right solution. But if you get your entire organization on the same page and thinking about the most streamlined approach to complete every task, you are well on your way to maximizing your efficiency.

Use Your No. 1 Resource

Your employees are the single greatest asset you have at your disposal to achieve maximum efficiency. The provision of complex rehab equipment involves a full team of professionals in constant communication with the patient or caregiver. Communication between your team, therapists and physicians, and the client is an area where simple changes in procedure can pay big dividends in efficiency.

Review the current communication habits of your team and work to eliminate redundancy and reduce as many phone calls as you possibly can to greatly improve productivity. Have them utilize e-mail or online messaging for quick answers to questions or to get instant updates on order or quote status. Incorporate available Web tools like online ordering and tracking systems to further add efficiency.

Work to cross-train employees on parts of the process outside of their daily responsibilities. The better all members of your staff understand the complete process the smoother it will run. Investing in your team’s training and education is critical to your organization’s success. Partner with a manufacturer that can deliver cost-effective education and product training. This will allow you to utilize your organization’s frontline customer service team to full effect. Ensure that they remain fully educated on product innovation, HCPCs coding, different insurances, and diagnoses and their progressive nature. This combined with proper customer service etiquette makes a powerful tool to move effectively through the process of delivering full service to the client.

Above all, listen to your employees. They can often provide the best insight into areas that need to be addressed to improve productivity.

Go Digital

The mountain of paperwork generated by the process of providing complex rehab equipment can be tedious to organize and navigate. While some paperwork will never be eliminated from the process there are some key areas where going digital can greatly improve efficiency.

You can increase mutual productivity by minimizing faxing and printing by moving to electronic forms and e-mail. Digital documents are easy to organize and are readily accessible with minimal effort, freeing up your staff to move on to other task quickly and easily. There is also money to be saved on office supplies and equipment that serve as a bonus to the cost savings provided by enhanced efficiency.

An investment in equipment such as Smartphones and tablets and laptops can make a big difference in the efficiency of your organizations communications. They make it easier for everyone to have real-time information from the office to the field. They also provide an invaluable link between your organization and your suppliers for online ordering and tracking services, technical service assistance and even your company’s marketing efforts.

A Manufacturer as a Collaborator

Your manufacturing partner should be a true practical and care collaborator in your efforts to serve your clients as well as help your business run at peak efficiency. It is essential to choose a partner that understands the complexities of the rehab sector.

A true collaborator will solicit your feedback and engage you and your team frequently to learn how to best align with your core values and business practices. They should provide you with a diverse product portfolio to help you save time and money with one-source hopping and have the expertise to get you exactly what you need as quickly as possible.

The support services a manufacturer provides should also be diverse. From easy online quote and order placement systems to preconfigured products that can quickly be shipped, your partner should be completely committed to ease of doing business.

Manufacturer partners should employ rehab professionals who understand patient needs as well as your business needs. When therapists and other rehab professionals are involved directly in the manufacturer’s operations, efficiency is increased because they know many of the things your staff would otherwise have to explain.

They should provide consultation on Medicare coding and updates on changes in legislation while also work in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the industry. As mentioned, your manufacturing partner should offer educational opportunities to keep your staff on the cutting edge of the industry.

Look for a collaborator that you can trust to take care of your patients and your bottom line.

With just a few adjustments in your daily operation, you can greatly increase efficiency and better serve your clients. When you combine those changes with doing business with a trusted manufacturer who truly understands your needs as a complex rehab provider, you can build on that efficiency and take your business to the next level.

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of HME Business.

About the Author

Julie Pello is the general manager of Quantum sales for Pride Mobility Products Corp., Exeter, Pa. Julie can be reached via e-mail at jpello@pridemobility.com or by calling (800) 800-8586.

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