“Our ultimate goal is to provide better service to the caregivers so they can continue to care for patients,” says Richard Bailey, senior vice president of IT at PruittHealth, which offers skilled nursing, home healthcare, senior living communities, and hospice and palliative care in Georgia, Florida, and North and South Carolina.
It’s hard to miss the benefits of today’s digital workflow platforms: faster service time, lower total cost of ownership and an accelerated return on investment by automating internal services.
“That’s one part of it,” says Laura DiDio, principal analyst with research firm ITIC. “The other part is customer service and retention. When you upgrade to a digital workflow platform, workers can accomplish a lot more in a lot less time with fewer errors, which translates into a much better experience for patients.”
Many workflow platforms also have business intelligence and analytics built into them, so they can use that data to help streamline and improve operations in departments across the organization.
“They digitize everything from human resources and payment processes to patient care,” DiDio adds.
Implementing ServiceNow in Healthcare One Step at a Time
One advantage of ServiceNow is that it provides room to grow. For instance, PruittHealth currently uses the platform only for IT, but plans to add modules to provide other departments with similar portals. The organization is also considering ServiceNow’s IT business management platform and its Safe Workplace suite as workers return to the office.
VITAS Healthcare, a Miami-based hospice care provider, has expanded its ServiceNow footprint over time after turning to the platform several years ago for one purpose: to manage the mobile devices it provides to its staff in 14 states.
The move was so successful, saving $70,000 on one month’s phone costs alone, that VITAS began using ServiceNow to enable staff to onboard new patients using Apple iPhones.
Transforming admissions to an iPhone-based process meant nurses no longer had to tote around laptops and thick binders with protocols from the facilities they regularly visit.
“We told them, ‘You don't need that enormous binder anymore. That's all on your mobile device.’ Literally, they had tears in their eyes,” says VITAS CIO Patrick Hale. “You don’t get many tears of joy in IT.”
Before implementing ServiceNow, VITAS couldn’t justify the cost of distributing mobile phones to employees. Unlimited data plans at the time were cost prohibitive, and managing minutes for thousands of devices was tedious and expensive. With ServiceNow as a management hub, however, they’re able to equip every VITAS clinician with an iPhone.
“We know where it is, we know how it’s configured. There’s a security component,” Hale adds. “But more important, we actually save a lot of money every month just ensuring proper billing.”
The system is also a source of intelligence for VITAS. For example, if a nurse doesn’t use much data, it could signal the need for training. If another routinely exceeds minutes, the system can flag the need for an unlimited plan.
“It’s not a sexy topic, dealing with your phone bill,” Hale says. “But it actually is a pretty big barrier to innovation in the space. When you have to go to someone’s home, that mobile technology becomes everything. And when you don’t have direct on-the-ground access, you’re limited on the quality and the variety of care that you can provide to your patients.”