Fisher & Paykel reaches out
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. - Fisher & Paykel Healthcare launched a new Web site, www.vigor8.com, last month that provides routine product and maintenance information to OSA patients. The goal: Streamline a provider's operation by empowering patients to become more competent and involved in their own care.
"We are trying to look at what we can do to answer some of the frequently asked questions that patients may have and limit the number of unnecessary follow-up calls the dealer or respiratory therapist is getting," said Christian Kiely, Fisher & Paykel's homecare product manager.
Some of those questions: I took my mask apart, how do I put it back together? I'm going to be traveling, what do I do with my CPAP? Will I need electrical adaptors in a foreign country? How do I change altitude settings?
While not everyone has the Internet savvy to take advantage of such a Web site, for quite a few people it would come in handy, said Kelley Cook, a CPAP technician at Southern Medical in Atlanta.
"We don't mind helping anyone out, but this would let us handle more important or urgent issues for the patients who are really having problems," Cook said.
That is another of the site's goals, Kiely said: Freeing up providers to spend more time with patients who have pressing needs.
Among other things, the site allows patients to download product information; offers a quarterly newsletter intended to motivate patients by recounting stories of how CPAP therapy has improved lives; and drives business to providers by sending patients e-mail reminders regarding products they may be eligible to receive (patients must subscribe to this last service). Information on the site can also be used to train employees.
"This program has been in the works for about a year," Kiely said. "We decided that with the reimbursement climate, it was an opportunity to step up our game and help providers be more efficient."