How do you help healthcare organizations?
Henry Hummel, CEO: We are a clinical asset management company built on a strong foundation of clinical engineering, with more than 20 years of healthcare experience. Our solutions have evolved to include clinical engineering, clinical asset management informatics, and cybersecurity protection for medical devices. In all our solutions, we look for ways to provide financial savings for healthcare organizations — both operational savings and decreased capital spending on clinical assets — while reducing risk and improving provider and patient satisfaction.
David Klumpe, president, clinical asset management: We reduce costs, manage risks and increase clinician satisfaction. When you consider the cost of buying medical equipment, there is the capital cost, but there is also the cost of ongoing maintenance and support. TRIMEDX works with healthcare organizations to manage the lifecycle costs of their assets including both capital spending and ongoing operating expenses.
What are some of the biggest challenges you see healthcare organizations face during the pandemic?
LeAnne Hester, chief marketing officer: There is a national shortage of clinical engineers who have been properly trained in the unique challenges that cyberthreats present to connected medical devices and how that connects back to health IT. As part of our commitment to the industry and our associates, we created the TRIMEDX CYBER Academy. We’ve partnered with CyberVista to develop a proprietary curriculum — that is specific to technicians — on the unique challenges that cyberthreats pose to medical devices.
COVID-19 has vastly accelerated the industry challenges that were already manifesting before the pandemic. One hard truth that every health system executive recognizes is that providers will need to innovate and may need to adopt new models of care in the future. As a result, the systems and partners they rely on to run their business efficiently and effectively must be just as innovative, more sophisticated, and more proactive.
When you consider that 68% of medical devices will be connected to a network by 2025, it’s clear that properly integrating cyber risk into the health system’s overall medical device strategy must be a priority going forward, if only to ensure that a cyber event does not occur in the middle of a health crisis. The acceleration of telehealth and remote monitoring will continue to evolve, adding an additional layer of complexity to clinical asset management, as more medical devices are physically located outside the traditional hospital environment.
Klumpe: There are also the extreme pressures healthcare organizations face to reduce their overall capital spending, including spending on medical equipment. We have customers reporting that their capital budgets are being reduced by 50%, 70% and even 90% over the next two years. That’s a huge hit.
Another challenge healthcare leaders face is that they don’t have a strong grasp of the inventory of equipment they own and how their equipment is being utilized. As hospitals set up COVID-19 command centers and planned for a surge in volumes, leaders often found themselves asking, “How many ventilators do we own? What percentage of ventilators are we using?” In our experience, most healthcare organizations are only utilizing 35% to 50% of the medical equipment they own, even during peak periods. When healthcare organizations don’t have a solid understanding of their medical device inventory and associated utilization data, they struggle to fully leverage these devices to improve quality of care and health outcomes.
How do your products and solutions help meet those needs?
Klumpe: One way that we help healthcare organizations reduce spending on capital is by extending the useful life of the equipment they already own. The manufacturer typically has a point of view around the useful life of any given piece of equipment, such as a CT machine. At TRIMEDX, we’ve been in this business for more than 20 years, and we’ve supported several thousand customers and more than 4 million devices. Based on the data we’ve captured, we have a unique view of the useful life of any given piece of medical equipment, whether it’s an MRI machine, an IV pump or a ventilator. We provide our clients with the insight as well as the clinical engineering expertise to safely extend the life of their organization’s medical equipment by as much as 30%. Beyond getting the most value from your medical equipment, it’s a great way to stretch your capital budget dollars.
Hester: Our Clinical Asset Management (CAM) and CYBER solutions are both anchored on our proprietary informatics platform, populated by the information and insights we gather from the more than 4.2 million devices in our database.
One aspect of our Clinical Asset Management solution is the TRIMEDX RUDR ScoreSM. RUDR stands for replace, upgrade, disposition and reallocate. This score, available for each medical device in a client’s inventory and viewable through the Clinical Asset Informatics platform, provides a simple way for our clients to rapidly make objective, data-driven decisions regarding their medical equipment and their capital planning initiatives. We do this by leveraging our insights on key aspects of each medical device, such as parts availability, device utilization, repair events and more, against our larger, national database to help providers optimize their clinical assets. The ultimate goal is to ensure the appropriate number of medical devices are correctly positioned to meet patient demand by being in the right care setting at the right time. This will become even more important as care may change to settings outside of the acute care hospital.
What are some key considerations for healthcare leaders when choosing this type of service?
Hummel: It’s important to consider the level of support and training that will be provided to your organization’s clinical engineering services department. Our onsite clinical engineering support team is backed by experts in supply chain, human resources, quality and regulatory, training, process improvement and health information technology. These experts are highly specialized resources that provide support to technicians to augment their core competencies. An example of this support comes from our product management and development teams, which have the ability to continuously monitor the status of certain medical equipment and more important leverage our machine learning to predict potential issues. When a potential issue is identified, a proactive smart work order is issued, notifying the hospital’s clinical engineer that repair or maintenance is needed. This smart work order provides technicians with guidance on what is needed for the repair, including the parts required. This results in reducing unplanned downtime for the hospital, increased efficiency for the technician and cost savings for the organization.
What advice would you offer to healthcare leaders when choosing among vendors?
Hummel: There are a few things we would encourage leaders to consider. First is the diversity of a potential vendor’s client base and the length of time the vendor has serviced the clients. At TRIMEDX, we serve over 3,700 healthcare locations, ranging from small community hospitals to large academic medical centers. Next is the vendor’s commitment to excellence and transparency regarding performance. At TRIMEDX, every service request is monitored, and we have a built-in automatic escalation process that rises all the way to the CEO. We pride ourselves on the fact that it is extremely rare that a service request escalates to my attention. This process exemplifies our commitment to ensuring providers have total peace of mind that their equipment is being managed to the highest possible standard so they can focus on patient care. Through our TRIMEDXperience program, we utilize a third-party vendor to survey our clients and measure our performance on an ongoing basis. These satisfaction scores are reported quarterly to clients.
How can healthcare organizations learn more about your company?
To learn more about TRIMEDX, visit www.trimedx.com or reach out to us at [email protected]. There is also a whitepaper on our website that could be of strong interest during the COVID-19 pandemic, Revenue Recovery: A Proactive Approach to Tackling Medical Equipment Management with Greater Efficiency, along with podcasts and blogs on pressing challenges for healthcare leaders. Visit www.trimedx.com/blog/ to learn more.
TRIMEDX is defining total clinical asset performance for the healthcare industry. As the largest independent technology-enabled clinical asset management company in the United States, TRIMEDX provides strategic planning and management of clinical assets to drive operational cost savings, free up capital for new strategic initiatives and deliver improved risk management and cyber protection. TRIMEDX was built by providers, for providers, and leverages a history of expert clinical engineering to manage over $30 billion in clinical assets across thousands of locations.