This article is sponsored by Trella Health. In this Voices Interview, Hospice News sits down with Pierre Menard, Chief Technology Officer, Trella Health, to talk about the keys to harnessing technology to drive smarter growth and better outcomes in post-acute care. He provides an overview of how technology and future innovation will transform the post-acute care landscape, and he discusses the challenges and considerations in adopting technology innovations in the post-acute care setting. He also outlines the potential implementation challenges and offers strategies that providers can use to overcome them.
Hospice News: What career experiences do you most draw from in your role today?
Pierre Menard: I primarily draw from the dynamics of human interactions and the significance of treating everyone, whether they are employees, customers or patients, with genuine respect and empathy. This approach is deeply ingrained in the hospice industry and holds a special place in my perspective. I believe in extending this ethos to all phases of life, rather than solely at life’s end. This approach has consistently shown its ability to yield more positive outcomes.
What are some of the future technology trends or innovations that you believe will have the greatest impact on post-acute care teams?
The concept that “software is eating the world” holds true for the post-acute sector, just as it does for other industries. The progression typically follows a pattern. Initially, manual paper-based processes are in place, which are functional but not highly efficient. Then, the transition occurs, moving these manual processes onto digital platforms, often mirroring the inefficiencies of paper-based methods on screens. However, the real value emerges in the third phase, where the digital transformation allows for substantial improvements in speed, cost, and quality that weren’t possible with manual processes.
The post-acute care field might be somewhat behind in this continuum, but the direction is clear. At Trella Health, our focus lies in creating software that empowers post-acute sales teams. We emphasize the role of the clinically-connected sales representative, leveraging relevant clinical data from EHRs to strengthen relationships with referral sources. While this is just a small step, there’s ample room for efficiency enhancements tailored to post-acute sales teams. I’m excited to see Trella Health invest in more features in this area through our CRM
Another significant trend is the utilization of big data for informed decision-making. Payers led the way in digitization, granting us access to vast amounts of claims data. Trella Health distills this data deluge into actionable market intelligence, providing valuable support to post-acute sales teams in their business growth endeavors. As the industry explores alternative payment models, our customers express a strong desire for additional data types in our products, particularly quality and outcomes data. This ongoing evolution remains central to meeting the ever-changing demands of the post-acute landscape.
How have you seen technology innovation improve patient care and team efficiency in the post-acute care setting?
I see a vast expanse of untapped potential ahead, particularly within the clinical realm. The integration of internet-connected monitoring devices could substantially enhance the assessment of when hospice patients require care. The prospect of cost-effective medical devices linked to smartphones holds the promise of replacing pricier equipment while maintaining similar capabilities.
In regions with limited health care resources, there might be room for an empathetic AI nurse to complement human nurses. Additionally, the imminent availability of affordable, real-time language translation will open new doors. The possibilities seem boundless, although some of these ideas may not pan out as anticipated. However, those that prove advantageous to patients and hospices, or ideally, both, are likely to gain broader traction.
Again, the impetus behind technology investment, particularly in software, often hinges on efficiency gains. This holds true whether we’re discussing the clinical aspects of post-acute care or the administrative functions behind the scenes.
With so much on the horizon there, how do you ensure that your organization stays up to date with the latest advancements in technology and innovation relevant to the post-acute care space?
I hold a firm belief in the power of relevance through attentive listening to the pressing issues in post-acute care. There’s wisdom in the adage that we have two ears and only one mouth, implying that we should listen twice as much as we speak. Thus, engaging in conversations with our customers becomes an essential stepping stone.
At Trella Health, we extend our offerings beyond software solutions to encompass consulting services. This approach proves invaluable in comprehending and effectively addressing the challenges prevalent in the industry. Our development of the Referral Growth Methodology stands as a testament to this commitment. By aggregating industry best practices tailored to post-acute sales teams, we’ve garnered substantial recognition and interest in its application.
Many organizations may be hesitant to invest in technology due to concerns about upfront costs, uncertain return on investment, or fear of employee resistance to change. What is your advice for them?
The prospect of refraining from technology investment strikes me as far more unsettling than the challenges associated with effectively implementing technological changes. Alongside the investment in technology, there’s an imperative to allocate resources to change management, ensuring the seamless integration of new tools into novel work routines.
Employee hesitance towards change is a recurring theme. Hospice leaders ought to find common ground by transparently conveying the necessity for change, attentively addressing individual concerns, and involving employees in the transformative process. Simultaneously, employees must embrace change and evaluate it from an objective standpoint.
How is Trella able to work with PAC providers, from small businesses to enterprises, in facilitating the adoption of technology solutions? Can you address any challenges specific to their scale?
Post-acute providers aren’t a uniform entity. They span a spectrum from large enterprises to smaller operations, each with distinct requirements. For the larger players, there’s a pronounced demand for feature-rich products that integrate seamlessly with their systems, offer comprehensive reporting and align with compliance necessities. Conversely, smaller businesses, often lean on staff roles, and prioritize streamlined functionality and time efficiency over extensive feature offerings. Historically, Trella’s approach has centered around universal solutions. However, acknowledging the diverse facets of the market and their individual motivations, we’re gearing up to introduce new packaging strategies to cater more precisely to these distinct market segments.
In a couple of words, finish this sentence: “In 2023, the hospice industry has been defined by…”
…balancing quality care and profit.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Trella Health is a leading provider of market intelligence and integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solutions in the post-acute care industry. To schedule a time to review our solution, visit https://www.trellahealth.com/demo.
The Voices Series is a sponsored content program featuring leading executives discussing trends, topics and more shaping their industry in a question-and-answer format. For more information on Voices, please contact [email protected].