What makes a successful infusion center? Clients often ask me how can we grow or develop this business to be a center of excellence for my community, and program that is financially sustainable and maybe even profitable. Obviously having a good payer mix is helpful, having patients with insurance is good and a good revenue cycle process is important. But, perhaps the most important component to a highly successful infusion center is ownership. No, I’m not talking about equity stakeholders but rather 1) Ownership of the Problems 2) The Processes and 3) most of all, ownership of the Patients.
Sometimes it is difficult to see if an organization’s staff has real ownership. If processes are moving swiftly without issue you might assume that there is ownership, but there is now guarantee. Sometimes it is easier to identify organizations that have staff that do not have good ownership. Have you ever been told “I don’t know”, or “It’s not my job”, “I’m sure somebody could tell you, just not me” Compare that to “I don’t know, but I’ll make sure I find out for you” – it really comes down to providing not just good but great customer service.
Medical practices are complex organizations, hospitals are even more complex. Just because an organization is complex does not mean that it cannot provide high quality service and high quality customer service. I work complex hospitals and practices all the time. It does not take much observation to find out if staff is taking ownership.
The Problems: Let’s face it, in complex systems there will inevitably be problems some of them very challenging. In infusion medicines problems can range from not having the correct authorization for a medication to not having the right supplies. Most of the time, there is a way around the problem that will still allow for the patient to receive the medication they need in a timely manner. The solutions often are with the nurse or medical assistant that has the “can do attitude” that makes the delivery of the drug a reality.
The Processes: The process of infusion medication often starts with a complex verification and authorization of insurance information. The process of treating the patient likely was started long before the patient arrived. Practices routinely review charts in advance of the patient, they anticipate the medication they will use and prepare the tube sets and other devices and supplies they need for their work. If the process of scheduling is not developed to specific drugs that are being infused there will be problems. Process problems are usually worked out by evaluating the work flow on paper – identifying the gaps in the program and reworking the process. Systems consulting can help you and your team with process evaluation.
The Patient: The patient as everyone knows is realistically where things can go wrong most frequently. For example, the veins are challenging, or the concerned nurse notices that an error from the pharmacy indicates that there may be a potential medication error. Quality staff is trained to know what to do, when to ask for help and when to “red flag” a process are critical. When you have staff that understands the patient and takes ownership of their problems healthcare becomes individualized.
Put yourself in the patients’ position, it will not be long before you assess your team and if they have ownership! Ultimately, that is why most of us are in healthcare?
If you or your team needs Infusion Center Expertise - call our team we can help with workflow, profitability, program development (Maybe you just need a "check-up" please call us today for a free 30 minute consult today 1 866 222 4488