Oxygen One shows off its strengths

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

HME Excellence Awards winners receive their plaques because they are able to show how they do things well. Waukesha, Wis.-based Oxygen One, which earned first runner-up in the respiratory category in 2009, effectively conveyed to the judging panel how they demonstrate their strengths to referral sources and patients.

"This is a company that presents itself extremely well," one judge said. "They are very strong at showing their referral sources how good they are."

Started in October 1999, Oxygen One grew from a staff of three to 29 full-time and five part-time employees. President Jim Spellman characterizes the organization as "locally owned, service- and product-driven, motivated by a deep personal connection to our patients and our desire to serve them effectively."

Wanting to make a splash in the marketplace from the get-go, Spellman concentrated on establishing "a company that helped its patients rather than benefiting itself." By practicing that philosophy, it gained a reputation in the community for having high standards in patient care and services, he said.

"Oxygen One started as and continues to be a respiratory-specialty company with a disciplined focus on oxygen, CPAPs and nebulizers," Spellman said. "We have also expanded our services to more than just distributing basic equipment, including any solutions to keep patients doing what they love most--being independent and active."

Fueling Oxygen One's success is the strong referral source and patient relationships the company has cultivated over the years, Spellman said.

"Despite contractual or financial agreements that make up a majority of the industry, we still receive referrals because of our performance and execution in patient care, services and delivery," he said. "Referral sources call us because they recognize the wholesome, effective care we provide and feel comfortable putting patients in our hands."

Prudent financial management strategies have helped Oxygen One weather the economic turmoil in the industry and overall economy.

"Our approach weighs heavily on managing our expenses and assets appropriately, efficiently servicing the largest area possible, reviewing processes and making necessary changes to work smarter," Spellman said. "While many companies hold these goals, we are dedicated to executing and perfecting ourselves financially."

The Oxygen One team is comprised of "thoughtful, intuitive, ethical and creative people who have helped the company grow in size and stature" over the past decade, Spellman said.

"Inspiring the staff is not difficult at all," he said. "When they are reminded of who we are, what we do and how we do it, they become motivated to maximize their work potential. Acknowledging and communicating the results of the hard work that may otherwise go unnoticed helps remind the staff of their achievements and continuing journey of the company."

Company: Oxygen One

Headquarters: Waukesha, Wis.

Category: First runner-up, respiratory

Employees: 34

Revenues: $3.6 million

Professional affiliations: VGM, MED, AAHomecare, American Association for Respiratory Care, WAMES

Community outreach: Patient education lunches; grassroots lobbying; Oxygen Ball for the American Lung Association