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Rethinking Dialysis Technical Operations

Rethinking Dialysis Technical Operations

US dialysis providers have always cared for the country’s kidney care patients under challenging conditions. Now the pace and degree of change are off the charts, and providers are being called upon to innovate in unprecedented ways.

To optimize productivity and elevate patient care in a crisis, the dialysis industry needs to evolve at the speed of change while deflecting safety, logistical, and financial hits at every turn. With each new tsunami of change—technological, economic, pandemic—our industry-wide reluctance to innovate makes dialysis providers increasingly vulnerable. In an increasingly competitive environment, companies that can flow with the latest technology will win.

Now is the time to clarify patient care and business goals, and to reconsider the role of every policy, procedure, and practice that’s in place. Do your operations support your goals? Do they make your organization efficient, compliant, and cost-effective? Or are they holding you back?

Pre-pandemic, we strove to modernize technical operations in order to help our clients optimize productivity, cost control, and patient care. Now there are new, pandemic-specific problems in the mix. Workforce and supply chain disruptions and social distancing challenges exacerbate complexity and highlight volatility. Solutions that simplify, streamline and digitize are no longer voluntary optimization measures. They are essential to managing risk, providing uninterrupted care, and staying in business.

Why Focus on Dialysis Technical Operations?

A dialysis machine is an extension of the body, so providing patient-centered care demands that we prioritize “Biomedical Care.” Biomedical Care is the term we coined to describe our modern 360-degree approach that leverages the interconnectedness of tech, clinical, and administrative teams where they’ve been traditionally siloed.

Biomedical Care is the future of kidney care

Biomedical Care is our company purpose, but it’s bigger than that. Biomedical Care is how we’re transforming the way the industry approaches Dialysis Technical Operations from the ground up. This is a movement defined by holistic, collaborative, patient-centered practices.

To ensure the highest standard of machine care, our Biomedical Care approach keeps Biomeds 100% focused on specialized technical and compliance tasks, completely eliminating duties that aren’t directly related to Technical Operations.

Handled independently by outside experts, and supported by modern digitization and professional Biomeds, every type of kidney care operation benefits from fresh perspectives, up-to-date experience, and unprecedented accountability, transparency, and advocacy.

When we break down existing silos and integrate Biomeds into the patient care team, we create a working environment where Biomed, patient, provider, and clinician experience soars. And with Biomeds empowered to excel at what they do best, we’re seeing transformative improvements in compliance, machine readiness, and productivity.

We started this movement to unite and elevate all aspects of kidney care as one connected whole. We believe this is the future of all Dialysis Technical Operations, and we’re seeing the undeniable benefits across every provider we serve. We have created a game-changing solution to optimizing Dialysis Technical Operations, but the first step is recognizing that there’s a problem and defining what it is.

Dialysis Technical Operations Have a Productivity Problem

With a US market size of $26bn (Ibis Research), the dialysis industry is a major economic player—so why does our industry resist digitization as if we’re running mom and pop operations? It’s no secret that electronic management makes data vastly more accurate and accessible.

Another standout issue that’s holding us back in terms of productivity is the way Biomeds are employed. Centers overwhelmingly hire Biomeds the same way they did at the dawn of the industry—in-house, full-time, and often, at a pay rate that’s not optimized for employee motivation and retention.

Dialysis technical operations remain reliant on old ways for a number of reasons. In our industry, modern best practices are often put off to avoid distracting from the core mission, or threatening the bottom line. The opposite is actually true. Because thoughtful investments in modernization and digitization help providers to allocate funds more strategically and improve patient outcomes, providers have more to lose on non-investment than they do on modernization.

Unlocking the Power of Cultural Innovation

Almost everyone we meet and collaborate with, from The C suite to the nurses’ station, seems to agree on two things: strategic opportunities for innovation abound, and we could all be more agile in our responses to changing patient needs and business dynamics. Risk-averse and siloed mindsets have always hindered agility and collaboration. But there comes a time when holding onto cultural biases against risk becomes the biggest risk of all.

Because innovative upgrades like digitization tend to save money and boost productivity, we’re led to believe that the biggest barriers to modernizing Dialysis Technical Operations are cultural, behavioral, and emotional. In this time of rapid change, we need to break through old patterns because solutions like ours that optimize efficiency, staffing, safety, and compliance are more than just positive progress. They’re rapidly becoming a matter of survival in this increasingly competitive field.

Elevate the Biomed and Elevate the Industry

Biomeds drive Technical Operations. Technical Operations are the lifeblood of dialysis. We’re founded by Biomeds, and our company culture is exceptionally supportive of Biomeds, because we believe that nurturing Biomeds is the biggest overlooked opportunity in the industry.

When Biomeds work within a culture that’s purpose-built to nurture them, they feel valued and respected for their talents and expertise. In such an environment, perennial problems like technician turnover become non-issues, and providers can rest assured that their patients, equipment, staff, and reputations are all well taken care of and operating at 100%.

We talk to Biomeds all over the US, and when we tell them about how we innovate on culture, they’re excited to join our team. Our fast-growing waiting list indicates that Biomeds are just waiting for a role with us to open up. Why are technicians so eager to join us? Our culture has a strong appeal to Biomeds because we’re Biomed-led—we’ve walked in their shoes, we speak their language, and we see the value of supporting their career development in ways that are unprecedented.

To create an environment where top Biomedical talent can thrive, we recruit, onboard, and manage Biomeds differently. And we’re serious about screening for soft skills that matter like compassion, dedication, and professionalism. Putting serious thought into Biomed specialization, and by extension, Technical Operations has resulted in strategies that ensure world-class patient and provider experiences. Patients and providers alike see our Biomeds as a breath of fresh air.

Of course, our focus on uplifting Biomeds and their roles extends to more than just who and how we hire. To create a culture of excellence in Dialysis Technical Operations we nurture top Biomedical talent with competitive benefits and compensation. A big part of making that work economically is rethinking how Biomeds spend their time on the job.

100% Focus Yields Diverse, Specialized Skills That Matter

Our transformative solution to Technical Operations entails having our Biomeds 100% focused on high-value tasks. This is essential to keep their hard and soft skills well-honed, well-rounded,  and up to date. It takes one to know one, so we place only advanced, experienced Biomeds in roles that manage our field service Biomeds. This way, we can evaluate technological KPIs according to nuanced insider insights that someone with a management-specific professional background is unlikely to have acquired.

For example, a manager with a strong technical background can recognize meaningful patterns when they review a facility’s equipment breakdown data. To elevate patient care and do it economically, we should be actively, methodically taking these steps to break down silos and leverage our varied skills and perspectives to boost performance overall. This is the core value in our Biomedical Care approach.

We understand how big a shift this is from the way things have always been done, but we also know that to roll with seismic shifts in the world, our industry needs to make some strategic pivots now. Since the dawn of dialysis, facilities have hired full time Biomeds in order to have someone on call for life threatening emergencies.

Because there typically isn’t enough biomedical work for a full time employee, these in-center and facility-employed Biomeds report that they’re filling their time with busywork like hanging pictures and plunging toilets. We do believe everyone on a team should pitch in and help deal with any crises that arise. But we’re firm in our stance that excellence in Dialysis Technical Operations depends on Biomeds whose expertise and experience are varied enough to be panoramic, but focused enough to gain and retain technical mastery in the face of change.

100% Compliance demands Biomeds that are 100% focused

Being serviced by Field Biomeds who spend all their time on water systems, machine care, and compliance work elevates dialysis programs and facilities in a number of ways. First, a Field Biomed has seen a lot more than someone who has only seen the inside of one dialysis center. Servicing diverse machines, and collaborating with diverse teams in diverse environments ensures that a Biomed’s expertise is always diverse and up to date. It helps talented technicians to increase their rate of learning. It also optimizes the relationships between Biomeds and clinical staff. There are countless stories from dialysis clinicians who have worked with low paid, entry level technicians, and we made it our mission to validate their problems and concerns and to pioneer positive changes in Technical Operations.

Overwhelmingly, clinicians report feeling more secure when their facilities and programs are supported by experienced, versatile Biomeds who benefit from the 360 degree perspective gained from working with different brands, teams, and patients in different environments. When the clinical staff trusts they’re in good hands, this grows interdisciplinary trust and respect exponentially. Clinicians appreciate the role of the Biomed and trust their expertise more and more, leading to an upward cycle of teamwork, satisfaction and effectiveness.

With our specialized-yet-diversified approach to nurturing field service Biomeds, our team is exceptionally well-rounded. We know how to navigate in any space, whether it’s solving the unique needs of home programs, nursing homes, or hospitals, or outpatient dialysis clinics. This means we understand the equipment and technical needs of each kind of facility, but just as importantly, we understand the culture and the work.

We put In-home dialysis patients at ease, and even advocate for them as needed, to provide patient experiences that build trust in your organization. We understand how to support acute care teams without getting in the way. We know what compliance looks like in every different model, and we have expert insights and tried and true strategies for getting there efficiently.

For Dialysis Providers to benefit from these insights and strategies, it’s necessary to tap into talent markets outside their organizations. The advantages of this strategy are varied and abundant, but the leaders we work with point to our ability to reallocate labor resources quickly whenever the inevitable shifts occur, whether the catalysts for change originate  internally or globally.

A Roadmap for Reinvention in Team-Building

While we’ve already talked a lot about the kind of culture that can stand up to pressure with resilience and agility, and what that means on the Biomed side, there’s still more to the story. While understanding the overarching factors that influence the industry is key, it’s equally essential to do some deep learning about each specific dialysis provider, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The first step in the process is to define your needs precisely. This entails setting aside every assumption ever made about what and who it takes to ensure compliance, uninterrupted care, and economic viability. To develop a targeted service strategy tailored to your needs, we define all the relevant factors according to a list of metrics that include facility size, equipment brands and types, and budget constraints, to name a few.

With a tightly-focused view into everything that shapes conditions within the boundaries of Dialysis Providers’ individual organizations, we can tailor a team-building approach that complements the existing company culture, optimizes efficiency, and helps to control costs. And in addition to the direct benefits we can offer, our breakthrough model for transforming Technical Operations also sets off a positive chain reaction in organizations. When organizations experience the enhanced productivity and optimization that permeates every other facet of the dialysis ecosystem, they develop a taste for dismantling outmoded silos everywhere they exist.

Technological Innovations for Business Breakthroughs

We specialize in Dialysis Technical Operations and we see ourselves as digital trailblazers in our field. The pandemic-driven rapid migration to digital technologies across all areas of healthcare is a topic we’re following with great interest. Organizations that charted digital strategy in years now do it in days and weeks. It’s unnerving for many, but for us, it’s exhilarating. We’ve long seen barriers to digital adoption as impediments to excellence in Dialysis Technical Operations.

Now that digital methods have become central to practically every interaction in every segment, our goal is to convince our industry to let go of what has always felt like “playing it safe” and to do it now.

The Dialysis Industry supports people’s lives in an intimate and essential way, so an overall reluctance to improvise and experiment is more than understandable. A lack of prudence can put patients, organizations, and people’s careers in peril. We believe that sticking with tradition has been understandable, but there comes a time when it is the worst option.

Now is the time to adopt modern digitization and to do it boldly.

The App That’s Raising the Bar for Dialysis Technical Operations

We’ve spent the past two years developing a HIPAA and  CFR 21 Part 11 compliant, cloud-based app to bring Dialysis Technical Operations into the digital age. The first app of its kind, we’re using it to transform the sector with paperless record-keeping and clinical documentation. The app’s Analytics Dashboard even holds our Biomeds accountable for service performance.

Even before the pandemic made touchless document and data management a must-have, we were reallocating our resources to create our own virtual replacement for physical record-keeping. Why did we, a Technical Operations Service Provider, feel the need to make a major investment in app development, a space where we had no prior experience? We knew that without it, Dialysis Providers would continue allocating Biomed hours toward time-consuming, resource-intensive, and ultimately-risky paper recordkeeping. And we knew that’s not the way to elevate equipment performance, patient-centered care and provider success.

Our digital app has been carefully crafted to help troubleshoot and streamline Technical Operations, while avoiding the setbacks and complexity that have plagued the movement to implement universal electronic health records. In direct contrast to the disconnected patchwork of EHRs that few users actually appreciate, we strive to centralize data within a platform that prioritizes security, scalability, and world-class user experiences.

The industry-wide conversation around EHRs indicates strongly that clinicians resent any time-draining and stress-inducing digital UX that distracts them from focusing on patient care. Due to Covid-19, additional precautions and PPE are taking up precious time in an already-hectic environment. We’re well aware of the hidden cost of technology that fails to substantially improve safety, patient experience, and cost-effectiveness. On the bright side, we’re also inspired and energized by the fact that we can leverage our Technical Operations expertise to bring the focus back to the patient, at a time when they’re most in need of compassionate care and undivided attention.

The core principle of bioethics that everyone in healthcare learns is “first, do no harm.” And while we favor bold solutions and implementation, we’re a patient-first company and we reject any initiative with the potential to cause negative outcomes or disrupt patient care. We consciously approach digitization with regard for patients and providers at every step, so that every digital best practice we implement is built to advance our shared goal of providing world-class patient care.

Some of the digital best practices our application is built on are

  •       Providing paperless record-keeping and clinical documentation.
  •       Automating communications, reporting, and QAPI meeting minutes.
  •       Recording accurate data for compliance surveys and informed decision-making.
  •       Tracking labor, inventory, equipment maintenance and malfunctions, and service calls.
  •       Holding our Biomeds accountable for service performance via Analytics Dashboard.
  •       Submitting work orders for manager review to ensure next-level Quality Assurance.

What’s on the Horizon for Dialysis Technical Operations

In March 2019, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced that Medicare’s payment system is being overhauled to move the bulk of dialysis treatments from clinics to the home. “Today, 88% of Americans with end-stage renal disease start treatment with center-based dialysis,” Azar told a National Kidney Foundation audience. “Just 12% start treatment at home with hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. This is the complete opposite of the situation in some of our peer nations, including Hong Kong, where more than 80% of patients benefit from some form of in-home dialysis.”

While notable mergers and new legislation are laying the groundwork for these industry-transforming moves, the KidneyX initiative has also launched. This partnership between HHS and the American Society of Nephrology seeks to drive development of wearable or implantable artificial kidneys.

Manage Transitions with Biomedix Service

Biomedix functions as an extension of your business, so your goals are our goals. We’re a managing partner, taking operations off providers’ hands to elevate the patient and provider experience, and optimize productivity and agility.

While our cutting-edge solution promises greater access to talent, it takes the right team to manage transitions like a widespread movement toward Dialysis Home Care or wearable technology.

Because we’re well versed in every clinical setting, we have the flexibility to help in-center providers manage a move into Home Care strategically, supported by Biomeds who are already successful in mitigating risks, overcoming problems, and ensuring patient confidence at home.

We’re also here to help providers who must prepare to be more efficient with lower budgets for any reason. With a world-class alternative to hiring full-time Biomeds and decades of experience across all dialysis care modalities, we’re adept at making transitions seamless—for providers, clinicians, and patients. With this built-in versatility and agility, we help organizations quickly align with new regulations and requirements whenever and however they arise.  And as part of a bigger movement, we can help providers fast-track initiatives such as launching their In-Home Dialysis Programs.

In some ways, the patients we serve on an In-Home basis understand our Biomedical Care-giving purpose better than any other stakeholders. They see us a lot, and they see us as part of their care team. They know that in order to perform its life-supporting role, their dialysis equipment needs to perform safely and without interruptions. So they want to see high-level experts on the job who treat them, and their equipment, with the utmost respect, and a well-practiced critical eye.

Sometimes we advocate for certain outcomes, based on telltale patterns that only advanced Biomedical Technicians can spot. If we see something, like a component swap that really needs to be a machine swap, we go the extra mile to communicate with decision-makers and advocate for the patient. As a result, we raise the profile of the companies we serve–your patients look forward to seeing us and we’re deeply committed to ensuring their safety and earning their trust on your behalf.

Innovating in Dialysis Home Care

In Home Care, our groundbreaking Technical Operations solution helps dialysis providers to fast-track their programs and deliver world-class patient experiences. From Microbiology to Home Assessments to System Swaps, we’re advocates for patients’ health and safety, and they welcome us into their homes.

Home is not just another job site. To elevate the standard of patient-centered dialysis care nationwide, Biomedix Technicians are meticulous about cleanliness and preventing trip hazards and other risks to patient safety. When installing in-home devices, our compassion and professionalism put patients at ease, and we always leave things better than we found them.

Innovating in Acute Care Settings

We understand the unique needs of hospitals. Our next-generation approach defines best practices for safety, regulatory compliance, documentation, technology repair and maintenance. And our solutions reduce complexity and help hospitals operate at 100%.

Dialysis in acute settings demands being prepared at all times with up-to-date equipment maintenance. But managing needs for technicians on-demand presents a complex challenge. To ensure that no patient’s treatment is ever missed or delayed, our flexible, sustainable approach helps hospitals manage dialysis technical operations with 100% preparedness. 

Innovating in Dialysis Centers and SNFs

Elevate your patient care with worry-free technical operations for outpatient clinics and skilled nursing facilities. Streamlined, cost-effective access to our trusted dialysis biomedical technicians and cutting-edge solutions helps your clinicians focus on patient-centered care.

We eliminate personnel gaps so you can meet your commitment to patients. We also assist with state audit preparation and representation, facility maintenance management, staff coverage, and more.

SUMMARY

Reinforcing your technical operations reinforces your business in every way.

Time and time again, our own fieldwork has proven that a modern, advanced approach to Dialysis Technical Operations improves clinical efficiency, patient experience, and regulatory compliance. Well-rounded rockstar Biomeds, a culture that supports technical expertise, and digitization done responsibly are the core tenets of our approach. The only viable path is forward, and we’re here to help dialysis providers find their way and stay the course no matter what the next normal looks like.

Accelerate your ability to address risks, boost business value, and elevate patient care.
Take action now.

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