Derive Technologies’ dedicated Derive Healthcare practice and Professional Services team support the point-of-care needs of some of the most important hospital centers in the US, including world-renowned providers in the New York Metro area.
Among Derive’s unique services is the dispatch and support – dramatically cost-saving, administratively optimizing, lifecycle maintenance services – of mobile healthcare devices, including complex mobile medical workstations, and telemedicine, medical supply, medication, documentation, laptop, dual monitor, and other mobile carts.
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Among the many medical, fiscal and operational challenges felt by healthcare providers are inefficiencies in numerous parts of the technology supply chain. Some of the devices that fulfill the most essential roles in hospitals and other clinical facilities, from technology and medical workflow perspectives, are the mobile workstations, related systems, and their power sources and peripherals, which provide day-to-day support to doctors, nurses and administrative staff at the point-of-care—expensive technologies in constant use. These systems are often purchased by healthcare providers with maintenance contracts that are inexpedient to fully appraise and manage because of the multiplicity of vendors that offer the technologies. Healthcare centers across the United States (and the globe) would, in the past, frequently avoid – and quite a few continue to avoid – the pain of managing so many devices and contracts by simply replacing malfunctioning point-of-care units, rather than attempting to extend their use.
Many of the New York Metro area’s most important private and public hospitals have purchased, over the course of the past decade, fleets of established-brand, mobile point-of-care devices from the Rubbermaid Healthcare (now Capsa/Rubbermaid), Metro Healthcare, Lionville, Flo, Ergotron, Humanscale, Howard, and other legacy-and-current product lines. The challenge was, and in some cases continues to be, to contain the costs for these technologies, and make them more care-effective, by lengthening their serviceable-life. The principal objective would be, and is, to save on the total cost of their ownership, considering the perpetually escalating costs of providing healthcare services to the public. Many of these devices were, and are, uniquely configured with peripherals, monitors, scanners, medication dispensing mechanisms, etc., and for specific medical and administrative software applications and services, as well as protocols for wireless, for security, and for operating system processes such as Active Directory and more. If the majority of the functions of point-of-care systems were, or are, still in proper working order, but a specific part had to, or has to, be replaced that would, or will, render the devices ineffectual, or useless, to medical, nursing and other caregiving staff, the systems would, or are, often, made to sit idle and either decommissioned without proper protocol, or just replaced. A frequent issue with point-of-care devices had been, and continues to be, the lifecycle of their power supplies. While mobile workstations can otherwise be in full working order, batteries eventually fail to function. That issue alone can often cause a hospital, or other healthcare provider, to simply replace them. However, if clinician, nursing, and administrative staff familiarity with systems already in-use – training and usability being additional, and substantive, contributors to “soft-cost” – could be extended, it would significantly increase the financial and medical return on investment for these essential technologies.
Approximately a decade ago, several prominent New York Metro area private and public hospital networks met with the practice managers of Derive Technologies’ healthcare team (Derive Healthcare) to discuss multiple operational and clinical issues surrounding mobile point-of-care devices and related systems. Derive has been serving the healthcare industry with solutions for clinical workflow, medical grade and infection control, data center infrastructure, end-user computing, and other industry-specific needs for over 15 years, and has been, and continues to be, a formal alliance partner to the world’s preeminent, legacy, and contemporary, point-of-care technology manufacturers.
In discovery phases, the internal clinical and technology groups within a group of New York Metro hospitals, and Derive Technologies’ professional services team, evaluated all of the point-of-care systems that were then being used within their facilities. Among the touchpoints that were examined were the service contracts for the devices, power and charging requirements, parts, and external components from other vendors (such as monitors, keyboards and mice), as well as IT protocols, including software compatibility, wireless antennae and overall services, and their physical and technological (system, data, wireless) security. In collaboration with the internal teams within the various hospitals and clinical practices, Derive leveraged its manufacturer relationships to provide recommendations for update of these systems to more versatile, modular and compatible, power-efficient, ergonomically desirable and secure devices, and to further cut costs by bundling their maintenance contracts—both through the manufacturers themselves, and through partnerships with Global 500 technology distributors.
Later cited by the hospitals as one of Derive’s most innovative mobile point-of-care solutions was, and continues to be, an additional service beyond system purchasing and maintenance contract consolidation. This solution was then, and is now, the leveraging of Derive’s professional services team to provide managed, on premise, and off-site, lifecycle repair services, both for legacy and new point-of-care devices. As part of Derive’s investment in developing, and continually cultivating, the highest partnership levels with industry-leading point-of-care technology manufacturers, select members of Derive’s professional services team, and new, dedicated hires, became, and are, authorized technical support providers for these systems. In concert with the manufacturers and distributors, Derive was able to create, and fully execute, a program of comprehensive preventative maintenance, on-and-off-site repair, refurbished hardware, power system refresh, and a series of related IT staff augmentation services, which, according to all of the hospitals that utilize the programs, significantly increase return on investment for their point-of-care units.
Under these programs, approximately fifty percent of the work undertaken by Derive’s teams is on premise service for devices located within the hospitals and other care facilities. Over the course of the recent decade, Derive has sustained the maintenance of more than 3,000 mobile point-of-care devices. If the size and make-up of the hospital’s technology team requires staff augmentation, Derive provided and provides dedicated engineers, available throughout the business day and in other daily shifts, to check, certify, and, when needed, repair or provide a replacement or decommissioning path for the systems in a hospital’s different facilities, including the physical workstations (and other mobile care systems), monitors, wireless antennae, power supplies (batteries) and charging units, drawers, keyboards and keyboard shelves, mice, wires, and all other components and peripherals. The other approximately 50% of Derive’s point-of-care technology service clients have leveraged, and continue to leverage, augmented staff from Derive in part-time, on-site, programs (only one, or several days a week), or through remote dispatch, with professional services team members coming to the hospital’s or clinic’s site only when needed. In either of the latter scenarios, Derive’s team is typically required to attend weekly technology rounds at specified times to ensure and certify performance of the devices, and perform quarterly maintenance. For dispatched support, the typical service level agreement (SLA) calls for next-business-day service. These innovative, client-tailored solutions are executed through a service manager within Derive’s team, who reports to Derive’s director of professional services. The Derive service manager leverages a customized instance of the BMC Remedy, a “mobile-first digital service management platform built for boosting workforce productivity” to support ticket assignment and performance/task completion tracking for all on-site, and remote, mobile point-of-care service professionals. Derive’s dedicated Call Center, either reconfirms ticket assignments for onsite engineers, or dispatches a professional to perform reviews or repairs, and, collaborating with the service manager, provides updates to the clients on issue resolution.
Derive’s experience in IT infrastructure and end-user computing is also leveraged in these point-of-care service contracts with the hospitals. Computer and monitor imaging services – used on the mobile medical workstations and in other parts of a hospital or external clinical care units – are performed under bundled, further cost-reducing, maintenance agreements at Derive’s unique Configuration and Staging Center, located on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, NYC. For some clients, Derive can help to procure and/or provide support contracts for, virtually any computer from any major manufacturer – including HP, Inc. and Lenovo (Derive is a HP, Inc. Platinum Partner and a Lenovo Alliance Partner with the prestigious Topseller status), as well as Dell, Toshiba, and others – complete, secure, customized business images and ship them complete with a mobile cart, or other point-of-care device, or separately, with a mapped, current, branded secure image.
Each of Derive’s support programs have resulted in continual, uninterrupted service for long periods from mobile point-of-care workstations and other essential devices for major healthcare institutions. In one of these New York Metro area hospitals, nearly the entire fleet of point-of-care systems has been in-place for a decade, and the hospital’s team has stated that, because of the economical repair and upgrade services delivered by Derive, the systems continue to be in optimal working condition and, with ongoing upgrades rather than being replaced, they remain state-of-the art for care provision. This work by Derive’s regular, on-site service staff, or by dispatched, part-time, or by-incident teams, has been performed with limited, to no, interruption of care. Medical, nursing, and administrative familiarity with these existing systems – through the extension by Derive of their useful “life” – has increased the capacity of the various hospitals to provide better, safer, and more consistent patient care.
Derive’s unique lifecycle point-of-care support services have brought dramatic hard-and-soft cost savings to the hospitals, and more effective use of their technologies. A number of these premiere healthcare providers have cited the innovations and economies of scale found in Derive’s support offerings as among the many reasons that they have engaged, and continue to invite, Derive to perform not just these services, but also other industry-specific, consulting, and complex information technology implementation, testing, maintenance, device selection (and maintenance) solutions.