2021 HME Business Handbook: Respiratory

Optimizing Oxygen Patient Care While Maximizing Operational Efficiency

With ongoing stress on the global supply chain and logistics, it's important for HME provides to re-assess the operations and costs associated with the equipment upkeep required to care for their oxygen patients.

As COVID-19 cases continue to drop in the United States, the global urgency around obtaining oxygen equipment and a reliable oxygen supply continues to surge in certain geographies, keeping the pressure on makers of this lifesaving equipment.

With ongoing stress on the global supply chain and logistics, medical equipment providers and distributors, particularly in the country, can begin to re-assess the general operations and costs associated with the equipment upkeep required to care for your oxygen patients. This important exercise will not only give you a clear picture of where you stand today in your service but help you consider opportunities to optimize and grow your business.

Invite your oxygen therapy equipment manufacturer to join you in this process of review and planning. Don’t be shy about your operational pain points, and use this time to look at your equipment to see what needs repair and what needs to be replaced.

Ask some key questions:

  • How do you handle hospital discharges and patient setups?
  • How are you keeping in touch with your O2 patients?
  • What cash retail sales opportunities are you offering?

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH NEW O2 PATIENT SETUPS

First things first: Adoption of hospital O2 discharge or non-delivery programs has relied completely on providers being ready to make a change in how they manage their fleet assets and an overall move to shift away from a heavy reliance on oxygen cylinders.

Successful hospital O2 discharge programs rely on a transportable oxygen concentrator that is easy to move from hospital to home. Not only does a transportable provide an all-in-one type of coverage — offering both pulse and continuous flow options — but it also gives the provider significant flexibility to schedule patient setup to optimize route planning, which is often impacted by location or inclement weather.

Following hospital discharge, a nondelivery program incorporates the two elements that most oxygen users need—an at-home solution and a product to encourage mobility. Throughout the past year, providers have found that a nondelivery program offers a safe and low contact way for providers to get patients the equipment they need. As an example, CAIRE’s non-delivery program includes pairing a portable oxygen concentrator and a stationary oxygen concentrator, both of which can satisfy the most common prescription for the new oxygen patient during all phases of activity.

STREAMLINE O2 PATIENT MANAGEMENT WITH TELEHEALTH

Today’s oxygen concentrators offer advancements in telehealth connectivity and smart technologies that can improve the way you obtain data and support new oxygen patients as part of your business operations.

When reviewing your fleet’s telehealth connectivity, consider those features that offer the most flexibility and simplicity. Questions to ask yourself:

  • Will this application cover a broad portfolio of oxygen equipment—including portable, transportable and stationary devices?
  • Does it offer data overkill, or does it highlight those key points and device notifications (that ultimately impact the end user), and identify those individuals who might need some additional provider support?
  • Most importantly, is this solution safe and secure to ensure compliance, with privacy of patient healthcare information?
  • Take your time in researching the available solutions and find one that checks all the boxes.

INCREASE RETAIL CASH SALES OF POC ACCESSORIES

Oxygen equipment retail sales can be tricky with the influx of many oxygen manufacturers into direct-to-consumer operations. Many providers shy away from these efforts because of the already limited bandwidth of sales floor space, trained sales personnel and tight marketing budgets necessary to support these activities.

Consider putting energy toward boosting your sales of oxygen therapy accessories. Many consumers will pay cash for the convenience of having extra batteries and accessories that can make travel easier.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • Hospital discharge programs are more efficient with a transportable oxygen concentrator.
  • Non-Delivery solutions provide a safe and low contact way to get your oxygen users the equipment they need to continue to live without limiting activity outside the home.
  • Telehealth connectivity is essential in the ever-evolving role of smart technology featured on portable, transportable and stationary oxygen concentrators.

LEARN MORE

Read more about oxygen and respiratory topics at hme-business.com/oxygen. To learn more about conducting a business review of your oxygen fleet, contact CAIRE via phone at (800) 482-2473 or email caire.medical@caireinc.com.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of HME Business.

About the Authors

Cassandra Gordon, MBA, is Senior Product Managers with oxygen device maker CAIRE Inc. She can be reached via email at cassandra.gordon@caireinc.com.

Paul Hodge, MBA, is Senior Product Manager with oxygen device maker CAIRE Inc. He can be reached via email at paul.hodge@caireinc.com.

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