With the concerns of Covid-19 spreading through the country, the DME and pharmacy industries are some of the fields which are considered essential and will not be able to shut down. While many providers are limiting their patient contact as much as possible, it’s just not an option in many situations. In a survey we recently sent out to our clients, 66% of respondents indicated that the amount of business they are doing has remained the same, while 26% have reported heavier workloads. Not a single person indicated that they are seeing fewer patients or requests for supplies. The majority of our providers also reported that their patients are scared and/or hoarding supplies like it’s the last precious roll of Charmin.
Since shutting your doors on patients who need medications and equipment isn’t an option for providers, here are all of the existing HDMS features that will help your staff act quickly & responsibly during this stressful time.
While it's a best practice to assume every patient is an infected patient, there are tools in HDMS your staff can use to access risk or capture special patient review, history, or education.
1.Patient WorkSpace Alerts
Alerts were added to Patient WorkSpace in version 3.22, so if you’re on that version or later, you’ll have access to this tool. You can add a New Order Alert to remind your employees to check whether patients have potentially been exposed or are showing symptoms relating to Covid-19 when setting up a delivery. These alerts will be displayed when entering a Plan of Service or New Intake Order in the Pharmacy companion, which covers any time you would typically be setting up a delivery for the patient. If you’d like the alert to display in more areas, you could enter it into the General Alert tab.
If your company has the HDMS Accreditation Module installed, you can create a Supporting Document Type which will walk your employees through the questions that your company would like to ask to check the risk level. The image shown below is an example of a Supporting Document created for the county where I live, based on the known confirmed cases. Your organization has complete control over customizing any type of risk assessment or patient history in order to deploy the best delivery method like drop off, mail order, or even telehealth virtual set up.
**if you would like help to implement a new assessment via Supporting Docs quickly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
While the CDC is encouraging everyone to stay in as much as possible, there will always be situations where patients have to come into your locations. One of the ways that you can help limit the risk of spreading Covid-19 is by requiring that all patients who need to come into your stores call ahead and make an appointment to come in. This will help limit exposure risk by allowing your employees to load the patient into the system (if they’re new to you), verify insurance, obtain any missing documentation or prior authorizations and even potentially generate the work order without the patient being in the building. If you’re on a cloud-based system, much of this work could easily be accomplished by remote employees, allowing you to further limit the number of employees in your locations. Here are some tips on how to use HDMS to prep for these patient appointments and communicate between remote and on-site employees.
3.Operator Tasks and Operator Task Templates
You can create Operator Task Templates for your employees to use within Operator Tasks to communicate between remote employees and those on-site. For example:
4. HDMS Scheduler
If your company has purchased the HDMS Scheduler add-on, this is an excellent way to keep track of appointments at your locations so your employees know who is coming in and when. You can also use this to block out time for cleaning between appointments.
Deliveries are also something that can’t be avoided entirely. Patients still need items that they won’t be able to pick up in store, such as hospital beds, but you can utilize HDMS tools to make sure to limit your driver’s potential exposure.
5.Delivery Directions or Instructions
If a patient is confirmed to be at risk of Covid-19, you can use the Delivery Directions or Instructions fields to make sure your delivery technicians are aware of this and know to use additional PPE as mandated by your company, or to share patient delivery preferences (leave on porch, leave in garage, etc). Depending on the work order format that your company uses, these fields may print on the work order directly. If you are using Mobile Driver, the Delivery Instructions will appear right there in the work order, so make sure that your drivers know to check this field before entering any patient homes.
Stay safe out there, we are ready to help if you need us.
-Submitted by Jillian Miller