- Mar 24 2015
“Many of today’s healthcare organizations face a similar problem,” says Stuart Winters, Sodexo vice president of healthcare in Asia and Australia. “There is a need to provide a wide range of distinguishing services as well as a lack of budget to invest in devices that can become rapidly obsolete.” Enter Sodexo. The company launched its Medical Device Management service as an answer to a client need in 2012. This program allows hospitals to provide patients with high-quality services using the latest cutting edge medical devices with relatively no financial risk. Once an equipment need is identified, for example to conduct a mammography or an MRI, a hospital representative simply calls the service and schedules the delivery of one of the state-of-the-art machines.
Expertly trained technicians handle every step of the process from equipment delivery to return. They receive specialized training to operate the medical devices during exams. Following the procedure, Sodexo’s comprehensive sanitation processes ensure that equipment is properly sterilized and ready for the next client. Whether a device needs a tune-up, completely breaks down or is simply out of date, technicians handle all aspects of repair and upkeep – allowing hospitals to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of training staff to operate new equipment and purchasing the devices. Providing these additional services allows hospitals to distinguish themselves in the competitive medical market while still dedicating themselves entirely to patient care, rather than non-medical logistics. “After we launched this service in Thailand, it quickly became clear that many hospitals in all corners of the world, regardless of size, encounter similar difficulties to justify the need for highly specialized equipment,” says Winters. “While the program was launched in Asia, the need for these devices exists in developed and developing countries alike.”
A second Sodexo service, launched in the US, creates a streamlined communication hub for hospital staff, patients and their families. The Service Response Center (SRC) provides access to a range of logistical hospital services through a single call center. Whether a nurse needs to track down a piece of equipment, a doctor needs to verify the dietary needs of a patient or a patient finds the cleanliness of their room not up to standard—one call to the SRC quickly provides a solution to the problem.
A key component of the SRC is linked to solving one of the largest issues in the healthcare industry today: patient readmission rates. “With healthcare reform, readmission rates are a hot topic in the United States,” says Ronni Schorr, Sodexo senior director of brand management in healthcare. “As patients are discharged from the hospital, there is so much information being thrown at them – meanwhile the only thing they care about is getting out of the hospital and back home.” SRC operators reach out to patients once they are relaxed at home and in a better state to receive and comprehend information. Operators ensure that patients have scheduled follow-up appointments, filled prescriptions and fully understand their discharge orders. “This service really extends reach of hospital, provides better care to patients and helps to reduce readmission rates,” says Schorr. This care aspect of the SRC applies to patient admissions as well. Checking into the hospital can be overwhelming and cause many patients to feel nervous in this new, unknown environment. A friendly call to ensure they have everything they need can go a long way. “Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of this service is the ability it affords to staff to hand off certain non-medical tasks to a third party,” says Schorr. “Without being weighed down by administrative or logistical tasks, medical staff can dedicate their full attention to clinical care and face time with patients."
This topic is an extract from the Quality of Life Experiences, a magazine that illustrates how Sodexo is providing value and influencing quality of life in hospitals and senior living communities around the globe.
In the fast-paced and high-stakes world of medical care, healthcare professionals often juggle a variety of tasks with little room for error. Sodexo’s innovative solutions help lighten the load of these busy workers, improve productivity and expand access to the latest services and equipment along the way.
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