As a trusted business partner to the hospice community, we want you to know that we are fully prepared to continue to serve you and your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. While no one can fully anticipate the multitude of challenges that may present themselves, having an effective business continuity plan and executing it in a thoughtful manner are critical in times such as these. Enclara has taken a number of actions to maintain the highest level of service and support for hospices through the current crisis.
We have strong redundant capabilities with multiple dispensing and call center locations in different parts of the country along with a vast network of preferred local pharmacies. Enclara’s pharmacy operations are recognized by governmental authorities as essential or “life sustaining” businesses. They will remain operational regardless of any “lockdown” or “shelter in place” orders. Rest assured in the knowledge that we are doing everything possible to maintain normal operations.
Early on, we increased inventory levels at our national mail order pharmacy dispensing locations. We are in regular contact with our suppliers to monitor product availability and, at this time, are pleased to report no supply chain disruptions. Should disruptions occur, our formulary committee is prepared to identify alternative dosages and formulations.
To further assist, we have extended the allowable days’ supply for both local and mail order requests. We have successfully responded to a spike in demand as clinicians prepared for potential disruption to their ability to see patients. Please help us maintain the highest level of service going forward by adhering to regular prescribing patterns and choosing second-day delivery when possible. This will help us maintain appropriate inventory and capacity to meet critical needs.
Our shipping partners continue to deliver on schedule, but please be aware that FedEx and UPS have relaxed or eliminated signature delivery requirements to protect delivery personnel and customers. If this is an issue for your organization, please consider the use of local pharmacy as an alternative. If you encounter difficulty locating medications through our third-party retail network, we will do our best to help identify alternate pharmacy options.
Support for Our Associates
Enclara has instituted multiple protocols to protect our associates and their ability to serve you. In early March, we stopped business travel to limit potential exposure. We also increased remote network capabilities. In the space of a week, we transitioned 90 percent of our office-based staff to working from home without any significant disruptions in our operations or technology solutions. That includes the vast majority of our call center pharmacists, technicians and customer service staff. Those who remain on–site at our office and dispensing facilities are following recommended social distancing protocols in and out of the workplace. In addition, we have implemented enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and safety procedures, including pre-entry and post-shift health screenings of all associates at our dispensing sites.
Due to a spike in call volume, please be aware that your staff may experience extended call center wait times in the near term during peak operating hours. We highly recommend the use of our electronic tools for routine medication profiling and refills at this time. In order to meet anticipated needs, we have increased bandwidth on our digital platforms but some latency issues are unavoidable due to the current high traffic on cellular and broadband networks. Nurses and hospice staff are using our E3 MobileTM app every day, but we know some may still have questions about certain advanced functions. Our trainers are standing by to provide additional guidance and support to both individual nurses and hospice teams around getting the most from our powerful digital tools.
Our goal through these actions is to give our hospice partners additional peace of mind. We will continue to listen to your feedback and explore ways we can support your organization through innovative solutions, technology and personalized support.