The world according to Weeks
Jim Clark, president of Clark Respiratory & Medical Supply, knows there's no "rocket science" to the technology improvements he plans to make this year. Regardless, industry consultant Wallace Weeks applauds him. Why? Even more straightforward technologies haven't fully penetrated the HME industry, he says. If you're like Clark and you're looking to use technology to spur savings, here are four moves you might want to consider, according to Weeks, president of The Weeks Group in Melbourne, Fla.:
Scrap your DOS-based systems
"If a provider's still running a DOS-based system--and there are a lot out there who are--the first thing he needs to do is scrap it and move on to more modern platforms like UNIX or Windows," Weeks said. "Their ability to integrate other technologies is hindered by their use of DOS."
Embrace document imaging, desktop faxing
"There's a common theme among the technologies providers should implement: those that provide automation and productivity improvements," Weeks said. "You want to embrace technologies that allow people to process more referrals and claims in less time."
Beef up your billing system
Providers need to have a billing system that has good reporting capabilities, so they can "extract information and make quick decisions," Weeks said. "If your billing system doesn't have reporting capabilities built into it, there are ways to create or acquire interfaces that will."
Speed up warehousing
"Providers should implement technologies that help them move goods through their warehouses more efficiently," Weeks said. "They want to make sure the goods are in the right place at the right time. For starters, they want a good conveyor system."