Bristol Hospice is taking advantage of Suncoast’s eLearning program. “We have integrated this program as part of our orientation process and it has proven to be very successful; everyone loves it.” Bristol first used the program to onboard its new Atlanta location. Rather than incurring the costs of sending an employee onsite to conduct the training, Bristol was able to manage the entire process online.
The company is also leveraging the eLearning program as part of its compliance program. “To ensure we remain compliant with current and new regulations, we require mandatory training for all of Bristol’s staff and leadership once a year. With Suncoast we are able to conduct the training and then track the status and results in our HR and quality systems.”
Franklin compliments Suncoast’s dedication to keeping the eLearning program current as regulations change. “When there is a significant change, like MDS 3.0, we want that training for our staff as soon as possible. Being able to stay current and having a partner in the industry that understands what we need to prioritize is crucial. I really feel we have that with Suncoast.”
In recent years, a number of compliance regulations have been established. “Without a flexible system that quickly adapts to those changes and provides any necessary tracking, companies often experience a decline in productivity and even business growth,” explains Franklin. “But we have consistently grown our company through all of the new regulations. With Suncoast, we can quickly adapt and just roll those regulations and changes right into our operation.”
Over the next few years, Franklin says they plan to automate and centralize as many processes as possible in order to drive even greater efficiency through IT. “I think this will absolutely affect our quality of care and provide us far greater business agility. We will have access to even more information and the ability to make decisions more quickly. I also believe that it’s our responsibility to streamline our operations so we can keep our costs in alignment and keep our care delivery strong.”
The flexibility of Suncoast’s underlying Progress® OpenEdge® database also affords Bristol the flexibility to easily interface and integrate with other products and systems. “That possibility affords us numerous opportunities in the future; we aren’t limited in what we can do,” says Franklin.
Growing up in a hurricane-prone area her entire life, Franklin says the repercussions of such an event are always on her mind. “When we set up our offices and our technology platform we purposely structured it so that we could leverage all of our information—across locations— anytime, anywhere. In the event of an emergency we can quickly know which patients to prioritize, we can access all contact information if we need to get in touch with family members, we can track if any patients have been relocated to neighboring hospices, and we can provide those facilities with the patient’s medical history and critical pieces of information like medication dosage, etc.”
Unfortunately, Bristol was forced to test its emergency preparedness plan in response to the recent earthquake in Japan. The subsequent tsunami that hit Hawaii knocked out various utilities, including the phone system. “Because our systems are centralized, we were able to give our Hawaii location the support it needed, even from afar. I kept in touch with the local staff via our BlackBerries to help monitor the situation remotely and receive updates for the affected families.”