How We’re Transforming Dialysis Technical Operations
Bion represents an entirely new way of thinking about Dialysis Technical Operations and the Biomed’s role in it. I coined the term “Biomedical Care” to describe our company purpose and our unique approach to supporting patients, caregivers, Biomeds, and clinical teams. There’s a different mindset that goes with it, and we see it create value and enhance effectiveness across every facet of dialysis we touch.
What is Biomedical Care?
Biomedical Care is the future of kidney care—a holistic, collaborative, patient-centered approach to Dialysis Technical Operations that breaks down existing silos to integrate Biomeds into the patient care team.
It keeps Biomeds 100% focused on specialized technical and compliance tasks, by relieving them of non-biomedical duties.
And it ensures that Technical Operations are handled independently by outside experts with fresh perspectives and up-to-date experience, led by a code of ethics that prioritizes accountability, transparency, and advocacy.
Why does Biomedical Care matter?
A dialysis machine is an extension of the human body, so excellence in patient-centered care demands strict attention to Biomedical Care. When we keep Biomeds focused on what they do best, their job satisfaction and technical skills soar. And we create a path for more-collaborative ways of working together, everyone wins.
In “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century,” the Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America states that
“The increasing role of business and finance in medicine, the fragmentation of patient experiences, and the reduced time for clinical encounters all lead to a general decline in both patient and professional satisfaction.”
As an industry, we’re talking and thinking about patient experience and value-based care, but if you ask Biomeds, Patients, and Clinicians, they point to some persistent problems. For example, because of grey areas where responsibilities aren’t clearly defined, relationships between Biomedical Technicians and Clinical Staff Members can be tense. Not to mention the fact that Biomeds’ skills can suffer when they spend increasingly less time working on equipment, and more time on inventory, receiving, shipping, cleaning, and re-training. Because Biomed roles are typically entry-level employees whose days are filled with irrelevant busywork, they often feel underpaid and starved for respect and career opportunities. As a result, there’s a vicious cycle where the Biomeds jump ship at the first compelling opportunity, forcing Providers to move on to the next entry-level person to fill the need.
But the Biomed’s work is not entry-level.
Equipment Care is highly technical work that demands broad, up-to-date knowledge and a talent for troubleshooting. And effective troubleshooting and preventative maintenance require excellent two-way communication between Biomeds and Clinicians.
Our team of Biomeds is Biomed-led, and that guides our company culture and operations. But we’ve also spent decades interacting with patients, so our approach also involves seeing Dialysis Care through their eyes and making their experience the best it can be.
Impact on Patients
Unless they see something to contradict it, patients instinctively see Biomeds as part of their care team because Biomeds service equipment that connects directly to their bodies. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for patients to observe dynamics that confuse them. Tied to a chair for twelve hours a week, some patients have seen Biomeds pivot from janitorial work to start working on dialysis machines. They don’t know that their kidney care provider is just doing what they can to fill up the full-time Biomed’s schedule. To them, it can look like someone from housekeeping is overreaching, and their suspicions are confirmed when they see the Biomed’s insights being dismissed or disregarded by clinicians. Because patients can see when Biomeds are respected collaborators kept 100% focused on biomedical duties, Biomedical Care enhances patients’ confidence in the quality of care they’re receiving.
Impact on Providers
Grey areas of responsibility don’t just confuse patients. They create accountability gaps that inhibit teamwork between Biomeds and clinical staff. Management teams spend too much time working to correct them repeatedly because the solution has to be structural. With our Biomedical Care approach, Providers are free from the burden of employing and managing Biomeds and finding ways to fill their time. We deploy our Biomeds when and where they’re needed, and Providers pay for the service they need and nothing more. Deployed independently in the field and focused solely on biomedical tasks, grey areas of responsibility are eliminated, creating unprecedented accountability. This model helps our Biomeds keep their skills well-honed and up-to-date, so our preventative maintenance and troubleshooting are second-to-none, as is our track record in equipment readiness, sustainability, and cost control. Better communication reduces mistakes, and shared insights across disciplines lead to more strategic decision making.
Impact on Clinicians
This approach humanizes everyone involved by emphasizing our shared values and goals. By empowering Biomed to support Clinicians collaboratively, Clinicians experience reduced stress and increased confidence in their Biomedical teammates. By emphasizing shared goals and shared values of communication, collaboration, and compassion, Biomedical Care reaffirms Clinician’s professional missions and identities. And by eliminating grey areas of responsibility, Clinicians benefit from partnerships with Biomeds who meet new standards for accountability and expertise.
Impact on Biomeds
There are two types of Biomeds. Most are in-center Biomeds who maintain dialysis equipment but spend half their time on non-technical duties. Then there are OEM Biomeds and third-party Biomeds like us, who focus 100% on equipment and the systems that make it work. This level of focus is essential to our Biomedical Care model, and our mission of 100% compliance. Focused experience yields highly skilled Biomeds with the technical expertise to solve any issue that arises, and collaborate effectively with clinical staff.
We’ve found that when you empower the Biomed, you elevate every aspect of patient care they touch, from Provider productivity to Clinician morale to Patient confidence. Given the opportunity to provide high-level insights and patient-centered advocacy, Biomeds become invested stakeholders who are comfortable taking the initiative to advance the mission and create excellence. Biomedical Care humanizes the Biomed’s role at work, creating a more collaborative, respectful, and rewarding environment that encourages talented technicians to build careers where their talents and skills are most needed.
Yes, our model is disruptive
But Dialysis Technical Operations are ripe for modernization. Our Biomedical Care approach reverses course on the way things have always been, but our model is so positive, empowering, and productive, that it’s more than one company’s mission. Biomedical Care represents an enormous performance leap in Dialysis Technical Operations, and it’s a movement that’s elevating the entire sector.