Barrett Coakley | 08.03.18
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Editor's note: This blog is a part of a series called "How Home Healthcare Providers Can Benefit from Field Service Management Software."

This is the first in a series of blog posts for home healthcare providers that examines how field service management (FSM) software can help improve your operations as well as provide real-world examples on how FSM software has delivered specific results in these areas. In this first installment, we will look at how FSM can improve the patient experience.

FSM software might be unfamiliar to some home healthcare providers, but its functionality has helped many service based industries, such as utilities, telecommunication firms and retail operations greatly improve operational efficiencies, increase staff utilization, and enable better experiences for employees and customers. Let’s discuss how it can improve the patient experience for home healthcare providers.

Delivering high quality care is the most important role of your organization. Not only does this mean having highly trained aides to deliver care, but it also means delivering an exceptional overall patient experience. However, expectations around what constitutes an exceptional experience has undergone changes in recent years, and this has carried over into patient care as well.

With the on-demand economy where service is available at the push of a button on a mobile phone, consumers now expect and demand a level of real-time communication and visibility. These new expectations have a name: “uberization” of service. FSM software can help you deliver on these new expectations not only through mobile workforce management but also through real-time updates to patients such as the location of the caregiver and ETA on an appointment to increase patient satisfaction.

Delivering a quality patient experience has become even more important with the move towards value-based reimbursements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has itself introduced an array of value-based care models, such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model. Private payers have also adopted similar models of accountable, value-based care.

Value-based reimbursements are calculated by using numerous measures of quality and determining the overall health of populations. Providers may have to track and report on hospital readmissions, adverse events, population health, and even patient engagement. As a result, providers will need to focus on engaging patients and part of that will be the ability to provide a better overall experience and FSM software can help in this endeavor. In fact, the analyst firm Gartner reports 70 percent of organizations will cite customer satisfaction as a primary benefit from implementing field service management tools by 2020, up from approximately 50 percent today.

Read the case study below to see how the customer (or patient) experience can be reshaped with FSM software.

Case Study: How FSM Helped a Company Improve the Customer Experience

Fisher & Paykel Appliances designs, manufactures and markets a range of innovative household appliances developed with a commitment to technology, design, user friendliness, and environmental awareness. They are committed to customer service and have been investing in tools and technology to support their aspirations in having the best experience possible.

Fisher & Paykel needed a customer experience solution that would provide visibility and automate communication to their customers so they could turn a reactive inquiry into proactive engagement. With a FSM solution, Fisher & Paykel transformed the customer experience in key areas, as follows:

  • “The night before reminder” is now delivered by SMS and the company has seen a six-fold increase in response rates. Now customers can confirm their appointment or make scheduling changes directly from their phones.
  • Once a technician has reported he or she is en-route, “track my tech” functionality kicks in to map their progress. This allows customers flexibility to anticipate technician arrival accurately and not feel handcuffed to their home all day.
  • The post service survey is sent as soon as the job closes. Anything with a low rating automatically creates a case in Salesforce for follow up. Customers are delighted by the proactive response.

The benefits have been substantial as can be seen by these results:

  • 35% reduction in customers not at home and canceled service dispositions.
  • “The night before reminder” is now delivered by SMS and provides in message self-service, the company has seen a six-fold increase in response rates.
  • 50% fewer “where is my tech” calls free up call center staff.
  • Rapid ROI with the investment in new customer service capabilities paid back in cost savings in one month

As this example shows, FSM provides many benefits that are often overlooked. FSM software should be viewed as an optimization solution for your workforce as well as a way to deliver a better patient or customer experience. FSM software might be unfamiliar but the real-world examples of the benefits apply directly to home healthcare and should be considered as part of your overall effort to improve operations and the patient experience.

Please check back for the next installment in this series when we look at the benefits of scheduling through a FSM solution for home healthcare providers. If you have a particular problem you would like us to address, please comment below.