Category: Cross-Cutting; Quality Improvement and Implementation Science; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
To quantify administrative support staff time processing durable medical equipment.
A quality improvement, administrative case report.
Urban freestanding rehabilitation center.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Support staff involved in durable medical equipment procurement.
Equipment orders for non-complex durable medical equipment (hospital bed, hydraulic lift, commodes, rental wheelchairs, tub bench, transfer boards) and complex wheelchairs (custom power and manual wheelchairs) are processed by support staff once a therapist identifies what is required for mobility or discharge. This case report tracked the follow up process that includes but not limited to locate the documentation (physician mobility device note, face to face, therapist evaluation), ensure it has required components, and provide to external equipment supplier. Additional paperwork that is created at outside suppliers is processed related to each order (detailed product description, detailed written order, 7 element form, and prescription) Support staff reviews, prepares and obtains physician signature and returns to supplier
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Tracking took place over four months for all documents touched between the hospital and outside equipment supplier and time spent completing this by support staff.
Over a four-month period of time, there were 1,744 complex wheelchair and 1,073 durable medical equipment orders processed. A total of 72 minutes of support staff time was spent on each complex wheelchair order and an additional 1,033 documents were processed once the original letter of medical necessity was sent. For each durable medical equipment order took 63 minutes to process and an additional 436 documents.
Additional time and paperwork are required to process equipment orders for patients to ensure they receive the appropriate durable medical equipment to improve their function and mobility.
Sally Taylor– Therapy Manager, Wheelchair & Seating Center, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, Illinois