Q&A: Greg Pino of NJRA on Leveraging Technology To Increase Mobile Workforce Efficiency

Today even a small business can run a complex field operation, service a significant portion of the market, and grow rapidly in a competitive sector like healthcare. That’s exactly what happened with the family-owned New Jersey Respiratory Associates (NRJA). In their case, all it took was a combination of customized mobile tech and a strong desire for change.

NJRA is a traditional, 35-year-old healthcare organization managing teams of respiratory therapists that still make house calls. They deliver in-facility care for 90 nursing homes across New Jersey, on the outskirts of New York City.

Greg Pino, VP of Operations and Sales for NJRA, found that administrative complexity and costs were spiraling out of control, crippling the company’s ability to scale. Greg’s answer was a combination of advanced software for CRM and intelligent scheduling. We caught up with him to chat about the challenges of manual scheduling, how they implemented technology to increase efficiency, and the awesome results the team saw from leveraging technology. Enjoy.

Skedulo: What were some of NJRA’s biggest challenges when it came to scheduling?
GP: Our therapists might go to five to eight building in a day. We were routing them at the beginning the day, then rerouting them as new patients arrived throughout the day. The process of deciding where to send each therapist and then communicating with that therapist about who to see at that facility was a huge challenge. We knew we had a long way to go to become really efficient at it. As we grew, the challenges with our manual scheduling process grew exponentially.

Skedulo: How did you handle scheduling your therapists in the field at that time?
GP: We were doing it manually by using Excel spreadsheets, we were using fax machines and we were calling our therapists almost 10X a day to update them, reroute them, and tell them where they would be going next.

Skedulo: How did you go about finding a solution for those challenges?
GP: We came across (cloud-based CRM platform) Salesforce as we looked for a way to better organize our customers and patients. Then, we needed a way to schedule and manage our mobile workers in the field, and were able to find Skedulo via Salesforce’s partner ecosystem. Skedulo provided a way to automate scheduling and seamlessly interact with workers in the field, while remaining HIPAA compliant. We were shocked to see the effect Skedulo had in enabling us to do more with less. These benefits extended beyond just our mobile workforce. We saw greater efficiency in our back-office operations, invoicing, and sales.

Skedulo: How did you get the team on board to implement these technology changes?
GP: We began having weekly meetings where we would map out our business processes and define our challenges. Once we had a complete outline, we introduced the platform and explained how it would solve those challenges by streamlining and automating many of our repetitive processes. When it was time to go live, we made sure everyone had the support they needed to learn the system and the ability to make mistakes without affecting customers or patients.

Skedulo: What are some of the results you have seen since implementing Skedulo and Salesforce?
GP: We have had a growth rate of 20% for three years in a row, which is impressive for a 35-year-old company. Also, we went from staffing one therapist for every 15 accounts, to one therapist for every 20 accounts. Finally, even at our current growth rate, we have been able to reduce the amount of back-office administrators needed to schedule our therapists and invoice our customers.

Skedulo: What advice would you have for other businesses that don’t have the tools and resources of a large organization?
GP: Actually, some of our larger competitors are still using fax machines and Excel templates because it’s harder for them to make these sorts of implementations. They have lost their advantage over smaller companies and haven’t been able to keep up with our pace of innovation. The other major thing is: Don’t try to solve 100% of your problems. Try to solve 60% of them and start there because you’re going to learn so much from those that it’s going to make it easier to solve the rest.

Summing Up

By deploying a customized mix of Skedulo and Salesforce, Greg streamlined NJRA’s workflows, provide therapists with a better work experience, and grow the family business, doing much more with much less. At the same time, NJRA eliminated hidden expenses, knocked down roadblocks to growth, and transformed their manual back office into a digital powerhouse.

To lean more about NJRA’s story, see the full case study here!