Across the USA, many thousands of people with long-term medical conditions rely on incontinence supplies, enteral feeding equipment, ostomy products, and nutritional supplements to support their daily activities. At US Med Express, our mission is to make it easier for patients to get durable medical equipment (DME) delivered directly to their homes on time, every time.
Achieving this is no walk in the park. As well as complying with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), we engage with a wide range of stakeholders across the healthcare value chain. These include healthcare providers, insurers such as Medicare and North Carolina Medicaid, and logistics, warehousing, and last-mile delivery partners.
Communication is key
Because so many different stakeholders are involved, effective communication is really important. Among healthcare providers, fax is by far the most common method to exchange information. Every month, we send and receive thousands of faxes with hundreds of healthcare providers across North Carolina and beyond—including sensitive information like patient medical histories, prescriptions, certificates of medical necessity, and more.
In the past, our team would manually send and receive paper-based faxes. However, as our business grew steadily, that approach began to present a number of challenges. Because we had to send records to each provider individually, there were many chances for human error to creep in.
Manual processes, human errors
For example, something as simple as pressing the wrong button when inputting a fax number would cause the transmission to fail—and in many cases, it wasn’t immediately obvious that something had gone wrong.
Every six to 12 months, we need to review and renew customer orders. The risk was that an error might mean new paperwork wasn’t sent out in time, leading to a delay or interruption to patient deliveries. And that simply wasn’t an option.
Selecting a highly automated solution
That’s when we turned to OpenText. We replaced manual faxing with OpenText™ Providerlink™—a cloud-based solution that brings all in- and outbound faxes with healthcare providers together in one place.
With Providerlink, the fax numbers for all 100 healthcare providers we work with are saved in the solution, which means there’s no risk of making the kinds of errors that happen when people type them in manually. We also get a full history of every in- and outbound document, which makes it simple to provide auditors with the information they need.
Working faster, delivering on time
Providerlink is helping us maintain an excellent rate for on-time deliveries, even as the business grows. Thanks to the OpenText solution, we get instant alerts if a fax transmission fails, which helps keep processes such as repeat-order renewals on track. In fact, automation from Providerlink allows us to process repeat orders 50% faster. We’re saving the equivalent of around 19 person-days a year, which we can devote to helping patients with complex needs.
Over the last decade, our patient numbers have grown four-fold, but our customer service levels and back-office efficiency have not reduced in the slightest. Because Providerlink is a cloud solution, we have the headroom to keep adding more patients, both in North Carolina and other states.