After three years of development, we are proud and excited to finally introduce our new wound center operating system; Luvo. With that said, the question remains; Why Luvo?
More than 20 years ago, I was trusted with building and operating the first wound center I had ever worked in. Let’s be honest, being a program director of a wound center is an incredibly tough gig. There are literally hundreds of issues that need to be addressed on a regular basis, and any one of them could derail your program in a big ugly way if not handled appropriately. I didn’t know much about operations, billing or coding, and I knew even less about team management and hospital operations. Resources were few and far between. I secretly dreamed of a magic eight ball that could answer my questions, a mentor to provide me with insight as to what should be done each day to make the center successful, and a resource that would tell me how my program was doing, and more importantly, what to do about it.
Years later when I founded Wound Care Advantage, we focused on building a system that could provide the tools I had always looked for as a Program Director. I believed that the best way to make a program successful was to give the hospital control of their program and provide the tools, team, and resources they needed, both on-site and through a web-based system. That system became e-Wound. We were the first company in the wound center industry to go fully paperless using the original Electronic Medical Record built by Net Health Systems, which we customized for outpatient center use. We combined the benefits of that data along with files, chat rooms and information to build what we believed to be the best technology tool in the industry for that time.
We had some great early success with several tools inside e-Wound, and boy, did we blow it on a few other things. Our first attempt at a wound center telemedicine concept; Wound-Vu, is still a sore subject around our offices to this day! Over the years, we collected hundreds of “wouldn’t it be great if it did …” and a few thousand “what ifs”,adding ideas and functionality to e-Wound as we went along. The goal of this system was simple; provide a way hospitals could run their centers effectively at less cost than what traditional management companies were charging. In this way, we could assure that wound centers would remain profitable for hospitals, allowing all patients access to the limb-saving services a comprehensive wound center could provide. By combining our team of experts with this platform, we provided a winning combination to our partner hospitals for more than a decade.
Early in 2012, our entire team sat down and asked the question, “what is next for e-Wound?” It became clear that upgrading the system or implementing a few additional tools would simply not be enough to meet the vision we all had for our company. A completely new tool was needed, built on the experiences, failures and successes we experienced over ten years. This new tool needed to not only inform, it needed to educate. It needed to predict how a center would operate, it needed to show areas of improvement before they became concerns. It needed a way of making all documentation accurate and defendable. It needed a way of taking the immense body of data we had collected over a decade, and converting it to actionable information. The system needed to be reinvented from the ground up.
We took the best recommendations of our clients, the best ideas of our team, and every long shot idea we could come up with and started what would become a three-year process to develop a new approach in outpatient management; an operating system for your wound center.
Over the next 36 months, we set out to reimagine how a wound center could run. We designed categories or “Modules” for each of the services we wanted to offer. We challenged our department leaders to rethink the services their teams provided and determine more efficient ways to deliver the support, services, and systems needed for a successful wound center.
A great example of this new focus is our VP of Education and Training, Melissa Bailey and her team. They re-imagined how education could be provided in a wound center, both for the center team and the patients. They then simply and completely overhauled how we provide education across the country. We are incredibly proud of the outcome; Luvo University. Rather than a one-size fits all approach, Melissa and her team developed the Clinical Fingerprint, a way to determine what essential education team members may need, that also identifies how a staff member learns best. It then makes suggestions and adjustments to optimize the educational experience for every person. On-site education programs, a vast array of video learning, lectures and podcasts were now all at the fingertips of every clinician, all of the time. To put the icing on the cake; they added a tracking and reward system which provides surprise items to every member who finishes their allotted education requirement for that month. Every four weeks the Luvo Awesome Box shows up at the center, filled with useful items for those that finished their minimum monthly education requirements. The best part? It is all tracked easily by the PD and supported by our exceptional experts in the field.
In addition to education, every process used in a wound center was reviewed and every tool was improved or rebuilt. We challenged each other to cut through the clutter and figure out how we could make the lives of each wound center team member better and their workload easier to manage. During our research, we learned that a rapidly escalating trend in partner hospitals has been to eliminate single-department directors, tasking managers with the oversight of multiple departments instead. We developed intuitive metrics and dashboards which would allow these very busy directors deep and meaningful insight into their programs that needed only seconds to review, freeing them up to focus on the areas that needed their attention the most.
Though Luvo was designed to help every wound center in the country, we feel it really answers the question posed by hospitals coming to the end of their current management contracts or self-managed programs, “what’s next?” Most programs have people, a great facility, and access to the capital for hyperbaric chambers. The need then, is really for cost-effective assistance and guidance. I believe that Luvo, coupled with our on-site experts and hands-on education, fits that need perfectly. I should orI wouldn’t be worth a damn as a CEO.
So now that you know what Luvo is, I would like to hear what you would like it to do. We want to know how close we got to your vision of a wound center operating system with the first version of Luvo. Send us a message and let us know what you think.