How a Healthcare Company Kept Patient Care Uninterrupted Even While Shifting Their Entire Work Environment
Introducing the Intermedia Business Innovators series – where Intermedia honors business leaders who are improving customer care, employee engagement, and business operations through innovative thinking and decisive action. Here the stories from the business innovators first-hand.
When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted most of the population to shelter in place to prevent risk of transmission, the healthcare industry was faced with significant dilemmas – namely how to maintain the continuity of quality patient care while minimizing the risk of physical contact with patients and between workers.
In my interview with Brian Harrison, President of Envita Medical Centers, a center of excellence for personalized oncology and lyme disease treatment, maintaining clear communication across employees and with patients, regardless of the dynamic changes in the environment, was the key to on-going success.
For the last 20 years, Envita has been committed to providing innovative, research-based treatments to cancer patients and those dealing with infectious diseases around the world. When the pandemic struck, the biggest question for Envita was how the new shelter in place and social distancing requirements would impact their patients and internal staff. To put it more simply, how would they take care of their global patient base while also maintaining the health and well-being of their team?
Every month, Envita’s call center receives approximately 1,600 new patient calls from people looking to start treatments. This is in addition to the large number of patients already receiving care. A decline in patient care levels was never an option, and yet Envita needed to rapidly figure out a way to maintain the excellent level of care they provide all while transitioning a large portion of their front-line staff to work from home.
A stressful situation certainly, compounded by the reality that, as Mr. Harrison put it, “If we don’t keep things moving forward, patients die.” In his words, “It’s not like a product where we can’t get it out the door or shipping has an issue. It is truly that patients would not get the care they need to survive.”
The challenge, as Mr Harrison states was, “We needed to figure out a way to migrate the team that is responsible for handling all the questions from patients that are in dire needs of care … to work from home.” Intermedia’s cloud communications products, including the all-in-one business phone and collaboration solution Intermedia Unite® helped Envita quickly make the transition to a remote working environment while never missing a beat when it came to uninterrupted patient care. With Intermedia Unite, Envita’s call center professionals were immediately able to manage inbound patient calls through their personal devices using mobile and desktop apps via wifi connections.
Intermedia AnyMeeting® video/web conferencing solution was also critical for on-going communications between teams within the company, with third party vendors taking on tasks such as medication testing, and with the patients, themselves for follow-up and less essential work. The goal in all cases was to operate the business while limiting risk of exposure to staff and patients.
What will happen after sheltering in place has ended? Mr. Harrison sees a revolution occurring in the way businesses will operate. “We are looking at more of our staff working in a remote setting thanks to the system (Intermedia Unite). You don’t need a conference room, you don’t need everybody to sit here, you can do it remotely and you can probably get more work done in a better amount of time. Even though someone may not physically be here, the communication remains very good and that results in the business growing – in our case, being able to take good care of patients,” said Mr. Harrison.
Watch Envita’s full story in the video below and learn more about the communications tools that help companies connect better.