300 healthcare providers delivering primary care to patients of all ages
Chen Medical has been providing primary care medical services to residents of southern Florida for more than 25 years. The company has eight offices, more than 30 board certified physicians, and a team of more than 300 health care providers working with patients of all ages.
The company also uses the latest technologies to provide the highest standards of care. From E Med Rec – its proprietary digital medical records system – to a range of the latest tablets, smartphones, and laptops, Chen Medical has embraced technology to improve service and clinical outcomes.
Getting patients where they need to be
As part of its commitment to its patients, Chen Medical operates 12 vehicles that transport more than 300 patients a day to various appointments. In addition to managing the general logistics involved in picking up and dropping off patients on-time, the transportation team at Chen Medical must also balance ever-changing schedules as well as emergency transports that may arise in the course of the day. Focusing on the patient experience, and maximizing the efficiency of the medical team drive the transportation team’s focus on superior service. Ivan Garneff, transportation manager for Chen Medical, and his team have tapped the latest technologies to manage the complicated logistics of getting patients where they need to be, and coordinating these schedules with clinical care staff. Implementing TomTom Business Solutions has helped save time on the road and improve the health care delivery process for Chen Medical’s patients.
It’s not an impossible task to move 300 patients a day with 12 vehicles that each hold up to 11 patients – but we knew that we would need to choose the right technology to make us extremely efficient. Routing and time savings were the real motivation for this project, said Garneff.
Our scheduling is built around the ability to provide on-time transportation so that medical staff can anticipate a patient’s arrival and departure times. Garneff also wanted to reduce wait times for his customers.
We need to get patients to their appointments in time so they get first priority – and get back home quickly. We needed to be able to better plan and anticipate our daily pick-up schedules.
Cost savings and more efficient travel
Planning for a typical day begins 48 hours in advance, when Garneff and his team begin to route patient pick-ups, assigning each driver more than 20 patient transports. The day before the actual pick-up, Garneff takes the schedules for each of the 12 trucks, and uses the TomTom PRO 7150 to calculate the fastest routes to help drivers save time spent on the road. The PRO 7150 features traffic updates that help drivers avoid traffic delays and TomTom IQ Routes, which evaluates routes based on actual traffic speeds rather than posted speed limits. It also is able to recommend the fastest route for any particular time of day.
Garneff then takes the final schedules for each of the 12 trucks and uses Route Solutions, the leading route planning offering, which easily integrates with TomTom to help select the best routes. The software then sends the optimal routes to the units in each truck. Drivers arrive in the office at 6:45 a.m. each morning to review last minute changes – and then get behind the wheel and pull up their schedules.
Chen Medical’s fleet also uses TomTom’s HD Traffic solution.
Miami is notorious for traffic delays and we are located in the heart of the city and can’t afford to have 20 or even 45 minute delays. Our schedules are very tight and having our drivers know which route to take pays off, said Garneff.
According to Garneff, the decision to move to TomTom has been a tremendous boost to Chen Medical’s transportation department and is already delivering cost and time savings.
The ability to get our drivers to patients more efficiently and to follow an open route has allowed us to increase our carrying capacity about 30 percent. We are now transporting 9-to-11 patients per trip in 1.5 hours, said Garneff.
Before the TomTom implementation a driver was only able to transport five-to-six people in 1.5 hours. In a few short months, we have seen a dramatic decrease in time on the road for our patients, more efficient travel for our drivers and cost savings for our company.
In the past, increasing fuel prices, normal vehicle repairs and other costs of doing business have built the perception that the transportation department can be a bit of a financial drain. But with improved fleet efficiency and the ability to bring patients home quickly so they don’t sit for hours at a medical facility Chen Medical is maximizing the value of its transportation group on a daily basis.
According to Garneff,
TomTom’s navigation system has been great for routing – even though many of our drivers are local. They use it for traffic updates and save valuable time that way. It’s also been beneficial for our new drivers who have not been local to Miami-Dade County. In addition, we have last-minute changes every day that could really disrupt our schedule, but because TomTom gives us the ability to make changes and coordinate our fleet in real-time, we have improved our internal processes tremendously – resulting in an improved experience for our clients and cost savings for Chen Medical.