For Darline Singh, life as the head of a growing hospice care provider in California presents the opportunity to excel in patient care and provide compassion to families in difficult situations. Within this, she is also responsible for acquiring new facilities and companies. As the enterprise grows, the necessity of streamlining operations without impacting the quality of patient care means making strategic calls for the benefit of everyone.
Service origin points
Many patients may receive hospice care at health centers and other facilities, but the ideal solution for patients and their families is to stay in their homes for as long as possible. With a network of hospice care centers or any healthcare facility, it’s important to assess service origin points and determine if there is an opportunity for consolidation. When acquiring other businesses, there may be duplication of services or facilities in certain regions, Darline advises. Operations may be best coordinated from one headquarters, particularly for patients receiving care at home and other facilities.
With the blooming of completely remote work opportunities, it’s also possible to hire care providers who are further away from a central hub and allow them to travel out most days from their location with scheduled check-ins at the central office for supplies and reviews of patient care. Measures like this increase patient access and time spent on patient care while also creating a more efficient organization.
Effective patient mapping and flexibility
For hospice providers who offer patient care services in the home, the effective management of patient volume via a routing system can help maximize care provider time and save money on mileage, fuel costs, and more. Whenever a new acquisition is made, it’s best to reassess any overlapping patient care routes to ensure the best use of resources. Darline Singh advises routes may also be evaluated based on patient care needs. For example, an area may develop excess patients with a greater care requirement, making it necessary to devote additional resources. Maintaining flexibility and having care providers who can focus on patients who require a higher level of care and who can rotate to different routes based on demand is key to staying efficient and patient-focused.
Technological improvements make everything from mapping routes to invoicing and billing easier. When acquiring new facilities and organizations, Singh advises the best investment is to get all locations on the same software platforms as soon as possible to avoid lost time migrating information from one system to another for “big picture” details. Pick primary platforms for patient management and financials as soon as possible and extend licensing to acquisitions as they are made. In addition to streaming operations, there are often cost savings based on the leasing prices for individual platforms. Adding users to one base is often more economical than maintaining several options.
Streamlining supply distribution
With multiple locations and a routing system, supply maintenance is one way to maximize efficiency and budget, Darline Singh advises. It’s important to consider the costs of shipping to individual units direct from the distributor versus purchasing to a central supply depot and distributing supplies independently. Review all costs associated with damaged, lost, expired, or missing inventory to help determine the best path forward.