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Scaling Up Without Losing the Personal Touch

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Matt Stewart, VP of Operations at Local Infusion, discusses scaling operations while preserving our hallmark personal touch in patient care.

Matt Stewart, Vice President of Operations, recently joined Local Infusion after 17 years growing multiple healthcare organizations in the dental industry, bringing with him a deep passion for scaling patient-centric care.

“Being able to, at the end of the night, lay your head on the pillow and feel excited that you’re able to support people who are taking care of patients. That’s meaningful,” Matt shares. As Local Infusion embarks on a period of rapid expansion fueled by a recent Series A funding, Matt's role is pivotal in maintaining the essence of what makes us unique.

"There are some similarities but also differences," Matt notes, comparing his experiences in dental and infusion therapy. "In dental, you verify and take care when bringing in a new patient, but at Local Infusion, the intake process is different. It's about creating a culture of love and rolling out the red carpet for our patients. Our patients value the personal touch we provide, and it's imperative that this remains at the heart of everything we do, regardless of our size," he asserts.

This unrelenting commitment to patient first care is emblematic of Matt's approach to scaling up operations without losing the personal connection. In his role, Matt oversees Local Infusion’s operational functions, from intake to people management. "Operations is about taking care of the people who take care of the patients," he explains. This philosophy serves as the bedrock to how he envisions the future of Local Infusion, ensuring that as the company grows, its core values and commitment to exceptional patient experience remain steadfast.

Below, Matt Stewart delves into his enthusiasm for the new phase of growth at Local Infusion, sharing insights on how the company plans to maintain its delicate balance between expansion and patient care.

How do you think about navigating rapid expansion while maintaining key company values? 

Local Infusion’s mission has always been driven by the core belief that “Patients deserve better.” From the first time I set foot into one of our centers, I could really sense that our clinics are living and breathing embodiments of the mission and values of this company. In my tenure in dental, I really can’t say that I was ever exposed to a company that so effectively balances patient experience with high-quality care in a welcoming atmosphere. Not only that, but the engagement and happiness of each team member really speaks volumes to why patient experience is truly exceptional.

With our Series A in the rearview mirror, the real operational challenge for us is going to be scaling up while making sure that our growth never dilutes the essence of what makes Local Infusion what it is. That’s what I call the secret sauce: the patient experience, the team, and the technology behind it all.

With this role, I like to think I’m in a unique position. With previous experience scaling operations, it’s my mission to ensure that the Local Infusion experience is palpably felt in every aspect of how we expand. With any service, you need to develop a deep understanding of the importance of breaking down barriers to care and maintaining a patient/provider-centric focus. Whether in a dental office or an infusion center, the goal is to create a culture of care and excellence. What do we mean by that? Breaking out the red carpet for our patients, making sure they know that their experience is the most important thing in the world.

We really believe this period of growth is an opportunity to reaffirm our values. As we push forward with our geographic expansion, our team's vision remains crystal clear. We’re doing more than just adding pins to the map. We're expanding our capacity to offer high-quality care to a broader range of people who truly need it most. After all, at the end of the day, patients deserve better care, everywhere.

How does technology play a role in scaling patient care? 

Operational strategy should be tightly intertwined with technology. I really believe that, especially in Healthcare, technology can  reshape how we approach patient care. And, as we continue to scale up, technology is key in supporting our team in maintaining consistent, intimate, patient-centric care.

One key way technology has helped us scale our care is in communication with patients and their broader care teams. Patients and their providers are able to stay up to date as patients receive their treatment, and we’re able to help coordinate care for their infusion treatments, as well as for their needs after the infusion. And, by the way, this isn’t simply for efficiency's sake — patients and providers appreciate our transparency and timeliness in communication, and it’s all done in a way that feels personal.

And it’s not just how we communicate. This personalized experience extends to our actual care centers as well. Imagine walking into a healthcare facility and feeling like you've just entered a space where everything is tailored just for you. That's the kind of feeling we want our patients to feel when they first walk through our doors–there is never any waiting, your room is ready for you, the lunch you requested is there, and your medication is laid out before you walk in. The way that our patients are greeted and flow through a clinic - the experience they have is mind-blowing. 

That’s what we aim to bring with every new location added to the list. Technology has enabled us to simplify complex processes – from patient intake to the actual appointment – so that our patients and staff can focus on the things that truly matter: relationships and healing. Our teams build true relationships with our patients — our teams often receive gifts and notes of gratitude from their patients, not something you see often in this industry!

How does Team Management change in expansion?

Effective team management becomes increasingly important as an organization starts to get bigger — particularly when it comes to upholding a certain standard of patient care. It is a fundamental truth within our walls: if team members are happy and engaged with what they are doing, that will directly resonate in a better patient experience. My job goes beyond operational management; it's about influencing and inspiring change and enabling team members to take ownership and excel in their roles.

A critical element of all of this is intentional recruitment and training. We're actively hiring for roles that directly impact our standard of care. We’re bringing in individuals who are not only highly skilled but also deeply resonate with our values and mission. This means every team member, from infusion guides to clinicians, play a vital role driving operational efficiency and delivering superior patient care.

Another pillar is our emphasis on continuous improvement. It is important that we constantly evaluate and refine our processes. We're always asking, 'How can this be done better?' Every small change, whether it's in our forms, our communication strategy, or our internal processes, is aimed at enhancing patient treatment efficiency and thereby allowing our teams more time to focus on care.

Managing our team effectively is key to balancing our growth with our core commitment to patient-centric care. By focusing on team empowerment, strategic hiring, and continuous process improvement, we ensure that our expansion enhances rather than compromises the quality of care we provide.

READ MORE: Empowering Our Care Teams To Do Their Best Work 

What does raising the bar for Infusion Care mean to you?

We’re at a pivotal moment right now. As we forge ahead, our goal is to define what operations look like in the infusion industry. Coming from a dental background, where operational focus was paramount, I’m in a unique place to bring that same level of meticulousness and efficiency to the infusion space. We want to establish Local Infusion as the gold standard in infusion operations, a model that others aspire to. That’s what raising the bar means to me.

My goals with operations are intrinsically linked to the broader legacy we’re looking to carve out right now. A legacy where scaling up actually amplifies the quality of our patient care. We are sharply focused on blending our expansion with our commitment to each patient's health journey. Growth isn’t just about a statistic or a number, but a reflection of a deep commitment to patient care.

READ MORE: At Local Infusion, The Patient, Payor, & Provider All Win. Here’s How

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