15 Sep 2021

Lessons Learned from a Fully Remote Services Model

By Peter Bjornholm, Rebecca Dalton and Edith Gillet

Prior to COVID-19, Technical and Clinical consultants at Capsule were on the road at client sites weekly, deploying our solutions, conducting trainings, and delivering other services. Although travel came to a halt in early 2020, healthcare moved forward into uncharted territories, and we were there, though virtually in most cases, providing support and managing implementations.

In the year-and-a-half since this shift in operations began, the health and safety risks of traveling and meeting in person have decreased for clients and their patients. Yet as the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads, hospitals that scheduled in-person implementation projects are reconsidering those plans.

Prior to the pandemic, many Capsule services could already be performed remotely. In going fully remote, the service teams further honed their skills and picked up a few new ones. Now with the returning sense of normalcy in many aspects of life, some clients have requested a return to in-person engagements. Yet others, even those initially concerned about receiving remote implementation guidance and support, have chosen to switch to fully remote engagements, perhaps permanently. For example, a large health system with facilities in multiple states had scheduled several implementations to be in-person before COVID-19 but chose to conduct its first project remotely once the pandemic struck. After the seamless implementation in that first facility, the health system requested remote engagements for subsequent projects due to the positive experience, despite a downturn in cases and hospitalizations at their facilities.

The following are a few ways Capsule has optimized remote service delivery since the restrictions caused by the pandemic:

Shorter, More Frequent Sessions

Be it multistakeholder project planning or training, sessions conducted through videoconferencing platforms should be broken down into several shorter meetings instead of the all-day events typical for in-person engagements. By making sessions shorter and on video, we have found active engagement levels. For staff members that need extra support, separate one-on-one, remote sessions can be scheduled where Capsule walks a clinician or other team member through live, hands-on training using our solution.

Take Advantage of Online Accessibility

As many as 78% of hospitals and health systems with remote personnel will continue to work in that format for the foreseeable future. With more team members working remotely from home offices, they seem to be more accessible through email, Slack or other online communications platforms than they were when they were on-site. However, just because a team may be more accessible does not mean they have more time to review the information. That is why our project managers now send shorter, more frequent emails or messages with more bulleted/listed information for skimming.

Visibility

During the pandemic, all our projects required greater management visibility and collaboration to achieve greater productivity. Companies have had to learn to become flexible, agile, pivot quickly, stay on project timelines, and execute to be competitive, which will continue in a post-pandemic world.

Shifting Project Management Perspective

Before COVID-19, 75% of the work was conducted remotely. Now, when planning a project, the Capsule team discusses each phase of the project and describes to the client how each can be delivered remotely or through an on-site team. Typically, all phases of an implementation project can be managed remotely, if that is what the client chooses.

Individual Decisions

Although the Delta variant has caused new outbreaks across most of the U.S., since cases started to subside in the spring, many clients have asked for more in-person support while others are embracing remote service delivery. This decision is highly dependent on the nature of the project, the local case counts, and the hospital or health system’s policies. Rest assured, if it is in-person service delivery, the Capsule team will make every effort to minimize the risk to staff and patients. Our team members have been vaccinated and equipped with PPE for on-site visits.

Capsule solutions, such as our Medical Device Information Platform, can also be implemented remotely to on-premise servers and the cloud, or in a hybrid approach. Whatever method your hospital chooses, you can expect the same level of dedicated attention and service, so your team’s adoption and integration of Capsule solutions are seamless and result in improved patient care delivery and outcomes.

Even when we’re not with you in person, Capsule Professional Services teams are with you all the way – from planning and deployment to implementation and day-to-day use of our solutions.


About the author

Peter Bjornholm is staff technical consultant; Rebecca Dalton, senior project manager; and Edith Gillet, senior director of operations at Capsule, a Philips company.

Capsule MDIP anticipates and manages the complexities of medical device integration.

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