Surgical services teams are an important source of revenue for hospitals, health systems and ambulatory surgery centers. Yet, surgical device procurement and management tend to rely on manual, paper-based processes. This creates friction, countless inefficiencies and lack of visibility into the full procure-to-pay life cycle.
Becker's Healthcare recently spoke with three experts about these challenges and how technology solutions that incorporate retail purchasing capabilities can improve the employee experience for surgical services teams:
- John Hatchell, cofounder and CEO, TYDEi Health
- Charles Weidman, cofounder and chief product officer, TYDEi Health
- Megan West, director of global business development, Discover Financial Services
Many healthcare organizations have inadequate connectivity and an inability to effectively share data
Many surgical services teams find themselves mired in manual processes. "They may have moved to digital solutions, but those systems don't communicate well with other internal and external systems," Mr. Hatchell said. "As a result, teams rely on paper processes to supplement workflows. The fragmentation leads to delays and inefficiencies."
This is problematic for many reasons. The nonclinical burden of manual processes distracts surgical services teams from taking a patient-centered approach, especially in the ASC space. From an administrative perspective, the lack of systems integration also means buyers and suppliers have one-sided visibility into surgical device transactions. They either spend valuable time verifying information or simply assume it is correct.
"A common challenge is the lack of visibility into payment status, since the remittance and payment systems often don't talk to one another," Ms. West said. "Once a payment goes out, it's hard for payers to get real-time updates. On the flip side, suppliers are unsure whether payments have been processed. The reconciliation process to correlate data with payments can become very time consuming."
Smart contracts and shared ledgers can greatly reduce friction and improve efficiency
TYDEi Health's blockchain-enabled management platform is transforming day-to-day operations for surgical services teams. "TYDEi Health uses smart contract technology to automate transactions," Mr. Weidman said. "We automate purchase orders directly from the OR and orders based on PAR levels and create instant invoicing directly with integrated vendors."
Typically, when teams procure medical devices, patient information is shared in every transaction whether it's paper or digital. "Our system prevents oversharing of patient health data and preserves patient privacy," Mr. Weidman said. "TYDEi Health enables different parties to share information. This information can be filtered based on each party's preferences. For example, surgical services teams can share implant records with a vendor without exposing sensitive patient information."
TYDEi Health also includes shared ledger functionality which creates a central information hub for hospitals and vendor partners. Digital audit trails provide complete visibility to all parties through shared statuses for every transaction in the system. Enhanced communication between buyers and suppliers eliminates the need for unnecessary emails, calls and texts.
"By streamlining the data collection and charge capture process, surgical services teams can focus on what really matters, which is the patient," Mr. Hatchell said.
Thanks to its partnership with Discover Global Network, TYDEi Health is a true procure-to-pay solution
"There is a lot of talk about procure-to-pay solutions and singular platforms that can do it all," Mr. Weidman said. "However, there aren't many systems that can facilitate the payment part of the picture. TYDEi Health's partnership with Discover is unique. We can automate payment directly from the point of care, creating a retail experience for healthcare that's never existed before."
Discover Global Network is a comprehensive payment solution that provides two payment options for TYDEi Health facilities: electronic ACH and single-use pre-paid payments. Discover registers each payer and payee on the Discover network. Vendors who already accept Discover are pre-registered to accept single-use payments.
"Our goal is to make onboarding as seamless and easy as possible for payers and payees," Ms. West said. "Payers who use single-use prepaid payments may be eligible for a rebate on their purchase volume, which is also a great revenue opportunity in a sector with tight margins."
TYDEi Health enables hospitals and ASCs to move away from burdensome operating procedures that are creating stress for staff, increasing facility costs and potentially impacting care delivery. With TYDEi Health and Discover handling the administrative aspects of medical device orders in a secure, efficient and transparent way, surgical services teams can focus on the patient.
"Our collaboration with TYDEi Health is extremely innovative," Ms. West said. "By combining our payment capabilities with TYDEi's knowledge of how medical device inventories are procured and managed, we have created a payment and reconciliation solution that provides a fully integrated and transparent view to all parties in the ecosystem."