An HME patient, Helen, receives resupply equipment every month. Her HME provider hasn’t integrated digital applications or notifications into their delivery process. Helen knows her equipment is supposed to arrive on a certain day, but she’s not sure when, and so she waits at home knowing that she’ll need to sign for it. And waits. And waits, frustrated that she isn’t sure her package is even on its way.
Finally, a delivery truck pulls up, and a driver she doesn’t recognize approaches her door. His arms are full with her packages and a pile of paperwork that she’ll need to fill out before he can get on his way. After several awkward minutes in the doorway, shuffling packages and paperwork back and forth, she thinks she’s signed everything she needs to. The driver heads back to his truck, hands holding a stack of completed paperwork that he needs to file in order to make sure Helen’s delivery is appropriately documented. Helen worries that, if a form was forgotten or a signature was missed, she’ll need to repeat this process over again on another day.
Down the street, Martin is also expecting an HME resupply delivery. Since his delivery driver’s mobile delivery route is optimized, the driver arrives when expected and brings the package along with a tablet to the door. Martin signs just once on the tablet, and his driver is on his way. Martin’s paperwork is automatically filed electronically and goes straight to his provider. If he has any questions, he can contact his provider right away and feel confident they already have all the information about his resupply on hand.
Comparing these two experiences, what do we see? Helen was left frustrated and inconvenienced by her delivery. Martin’s delivery fit seamlessly into his day, and he hardly had to think twice about it. The difference? Martin’s HME provider used a paperless workflow.
The importance of meeting modern patients’ expectations
If we had to identify the single biggest factor driving the shift to digital in today’s home healthcare marketplace, it’s this: patients want a consumer experience from their treatment provider. More and more, modern patients expect every business or organization they interact with to provide easily accessible digital tools for communication, documentation, and ordering. This means that ordering and receiving prescriptions and equipment should be as easy as buying paper towels on Amazon. If your delivery drivers are still showing up on doorsteps with a big pile of paperwork, you may be making the impression that you’re “behind the times.”
Now that interest in using online portals and mobile apps is so commonplace across demographics, switching to digitized delivery workflows is easier than ever for you and your patients. Not only does making this switch help build better patient relationships, but it can also significantly improve your bottom line. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important impacts paperless or contactless delivery can have on your HME or pharmacy business.
No more printing, filing, or organizing paper
A typical workflow for an HME delivery that does not use digital integrations may involve one team of employees creating and printing paperwork for each individual patient, then passing that off to the dispatcher, who then divides up documents among their drivers. Drivers are tasked with bringing the correct forms to the correct patients throughout the day and manually organizing all paperwork to return to the dispatcher. All these papers then travel back to another team to be assessed and filed, and the cycle continues.
With digital documentation and mobile technology, every patient’s forms are automatically attached to their delivery – eliminating the need to purchase paper and office supplies and pay for the labor of manually creating paperwork. By using a mobile tablet, drivers can simply select the delivery they’re making and follow an automated workflow to collect signatures from the patient. Usually, a patient will only need to sign once and the application will automatically apply that signature to all necessary electronic forms. Patients can even sign documents through a mobile app or portal, making contactless delivery easy to accommodate.
Fewer mistakes and ensured compliance
With automated delivery workflows, every task that needs to be completed – from the warehouse to the patient’s doorstep – is provided for your team through easy-to-use digital software and mobile apps. Dispatchers and drivers will follow a distinct workflow for each delivery and check off tasks as they go. This process means fewer mistakes, fewer delays, and less missing documentation. And an extra bonus to using fully-integrated mobile devices on the road? Drivers can take and log photos of packages on doorsteps, verifying the delivery and the condition of the packages upon arrival.
All this to say – you’ll likely see fewer Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), more on-time payments, and reduced held A/R when forms are filed automatically and on time. If an audit comes your way, your mobile delivery software has already organized and verified patient information to help ensure you remain in compliance.
Improved productivity and professionalism
Automations help your team complete deliveries by following the same efficient process, every time. By using mobile signatures, as soon as a package is in a patient’s hands, your office has the documentation it needs to process payments and claims and each delivery can flow seamlessly into the next without delays. The timely, effective communication that’s made possible by going digital is key to helping patients feel safe and informed at every step of their journey and helps your team build strong connections with your patient community.
While switching paperless delivery may seem like just a technology upgrade, its true value lies in nurturing better patient relationships that lead to positive treatment outcomes and increased retention. For more info on how you can easily integrate these solutions into your existing workflows, contact Brightree for a free consultation with a mobile delivery expert today.
Mary Boyle, Sr. Director Product Management, Brightree
Mary has more than 20 years of software industry experience, with an emphasis in product management and product marketing. She joined Brightree in December 2018 as part of the Apacheta acquisition, bringing with her a proven track record of driving successful product releases and rapid revenue growth. Before coming to Brightree, she held leadership positions with several healthcare software organizations, including Health Information Designs, Sanovia, and MEDecision.
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