the system effectively for more-profitable growth. During
the course of the initial implementation, the project team
focused primarily on our traditional rental surfaces business;
however, we soon realized that we had not fully accommodated all of the needs of our post acute care business, which
is quite different from our traditional rental business.”
Hill-Rom’s interactions with third-party payers required
unique and creative solutions that incorporated industry best
practices into the software that would be used for their post
acute care business. Fortunately, the JD Edwards software
that Hill-Rom uses had the flexibility to allow for the creation of custom bolt-on modules. At a time when the post
acute care business was poised to take off, it was critical that
the software it ran on provided the same competitive advantages that the rest of the company enjoyed.
INVESTING IN NEW OPPORTUNITIES
It’s not an unfamiliar problem for any successful business in
any industry. Over time, most organizations need to balance
the needs of their existing lines of business against the
requirements and investments for addressing new opportunities. While it’s easy to ride along on current business, truly
successful organizations thrive by finding, funding, and capitalizing on new opportunities. Pursuing new business opportunities requires industry best practices coupled with agile IT
capabilities and support.
For Hill-Rom, a customized JD Edwards implementation
along with an in-depth analysis of its business processes and
new training techniques now allows management to pursue
new business opportunities efficiently and effectively.
One of Hill-Rom’s greatest business challenges is coping
with a rapidly changing healthcare marketplace, with
ongoing regulatory changes as well as dynamic business
requirements. To be successful, Hill-Rom needs to continue
to deliver the top-quality products and services that made it
a leader in its industry, but the company also needs to adapt
to an ever-changing healthcare market.
For example, in the old healthcare world sick people were
usually cared for in a hospital. Once they were well, they
went home. However, today (and into the foreseeable future)
a patient will more likely stay in an acute care setting for a
much shorter period of time, potentially followed by a stay
in a long-term care facility in order to do additional rehabilitation. Then the patient may go home. If there are issues,
the patient may return to a nursing home or to the hospital.
In short, healthcare and medical companies need to be able
to dynamically provide services across the continuum if they
want to remain competitive.
“Our patients are receiving care in a multitude of settings,” explains Hill-Rom’s Dennis. “As a corporation, we
need to be able to provide our product in any care setting.
The challenge is that each of these care settings requires
interaction with a different ‘customer’—each of those customers has different product requirements, different ordering
requirements, and different reporting requirements. It can be
According to Hill-Rom’s David Ostrowski, the most challenging part of
the project was the change management aspect, because it impacted
between 350 and 400 people at Hill-Rom—so it was key for the project
leadership to ensure that the user community stayed well informed.
For example, suppose a doctor writes a prescription for
a patient for a special bed, respiratory device, or therapy
surface for use at home, and the patient orders one from
Hill-Rom. Unlike a hospital, which would purchase the
bed, the patient will rent the equipment and have his or her
health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid pay for it. That’s
where Hill-Rom’s post acute care business comes in. Hill-Rom needs to not only deliver and install the device but also
train the caregiver on the product and acquire and maintain
appropriate documentation to bill the appropriate third-party
payer (such as a patient’s private insurance or Medicare).
“With third-party payers, there are multiple factors that
come into play. The payers need to know what type of equipment a patient is receiving, what the options are, the patient’s
diagnosis, and more. The faster a medical equipment
company can respond to the payer, the more likely that manufacturer is going to be recommended and used again and
again,” says Mychelle Mowry, vice president of Global Health
Industries for Oracle. “If a company is slow to respond, it
may end up losing market share to competive companies
that are more responsive.”
GETTING TO THE CORE
For Hill-Rom, JD Edwards is the core platform that’s helping
the company to reach out to new markets. By implementing JD Edwards across its lines of business and customizing
processes for its specific needs, Hill-Rom has found a way to
power its existing business while capitalizing on its burgeon-