Travel Itinerary Management

Healthcare professionals, particularly those engaged in patient transport and outreach programs, heavily rely on well-coordinated itineraries to ensure punctual appointments, consultations, and treatments.Efficient travel itinerary management in healthcare organizations plays a big role in enhancing patient care and operational productivity. 

Despite its importance, you can still manage travel itinerary with substantial challenges. Coordinating multiple appointments across diverse locations, taking into account various medical specialties, and accommodating the unique needs of patients can be overwhelming. 

Unforeseen changes, such as last-minute cancellations or rescheduling due to emergencies or complex medical situations, further complicate the process. Moreover, ensuring the availability and preparedness of healthcare staff to align with these itineraries poses a logistical challenge. 

This blog discusses the importance of efficient corporate travel management and how to streamline this process.

Key Features of Travel Itinerary Management Systems

Below are some of the most important capabilities. Travel itinerary management systems offer key features that streamline and automate healthcare organizations’ travel booking and management process.

Itinerary Creation and Editing: Users can create, customize, and edit travel itineraries according to their preferences, including adding destinations, activities, accommodations, and transportation details.

Calendar Integration: Integration with calendars allows users to sync their travel plans with their personal or work calendars, ensuring they have a consolidated view of their schedule.

Centralized profile and preferences:  Travel itinerary management for Travelers can store their profile information and preferences like seat selections, loyalty programs, and other details in a central system. This data auto-populates during the booking process to save time.

Integrated booking and approvals:  In order to manage travel itinerary it integrates directly with online booking tools and TMCs. Travelers can book flights, hotels, rental cars, and other components directly in the system, which then routes to approvers and applies policy controls. 

Real-time reporting: Dashboards and reports provide real-time visibility into travel spending, upcoming trips, policy compliance, common carriers booked, and other valuable data. Users can easily track budgets, forecast future travel costs, and optimize policies.

Collaboration and Sharing: Enables users to share itineraries with travel companions, colleagues, or clients, facilitating collaboration and coordination among multiple parties.

The Benefits of Streamlined Itinerary Management

Implementing a centralized travel itinerary management system can provide healthcare organizations with several key benefits:

Increasing Visibility into Spend 

The system provides centralized reporting that aggregates data across the entire organization. Finance teams can view dashboards that track budgets versus actual spending in real time. Drilling down further details expenditures by department, employee, vendor, geographic location, and more.

Managing healthcare expenditures is crucial, especially when it comes to travel costs. Organizations gain real-time visibility into travel budgets and spending with a streamlined travel itinerary management system. 

With this level of transparency, organizations can identify savings opportunities, negotiate better rates, and adjust to keep travel costs within budget. The system empowers finance professionals with actionable data to make decisions that reduce expenses.

Having instant access and manage travel itinerary ultimately results in smarter allocation of limited resources. Healthcare organizations rely on these insights to manage travel itineraries efficiently while supporting necessary business travel activities.

Improving Duty of Care Protections

Healthcare organizations must keep their traveling employees safe. With travel itinerary management software, organizations can improve their duty of care protections in several key ways:

Real-time traveler tracking: Software enables organizations to track employee locations in real-time. The organization can quickly locate impacted travelers if there is a weather event, health crisis, or other emergency at a travel destination.

Emergency response services: Leading software platforms integrate with emergency response services. If an emergency occurs, the response team can access the traveler’s itinerary immediately and provide coordinated assistance. 

Traveler check-ins and alerts: Travelers can easily check in via mobile apps. Alerts notify both the traveler and management if there are risks associated with the destination. Check-ins confirm the traveler has arrived safely. In the travel itinerary management the travel team is notified to verify the traveler’s status if a check-in is missed.

With these duty-of-care capabilities, healthcare organizations can better monitor employee locations, respond quickly to emergencies, and keep closer tabs on traveler safety. This enables more proactive risk mitigation and improved protection for traveling staff.

Streamlining Expense Reporting

With automated travel itinerary data, organizations can significantly streamline the expense reporting process for employees. Features like automatic mileage calculations and per diem lookup can populate expense reports with no manual entry needed by the traveler. 

Automatic expense reporting: Travel itinerary management systems can automatically populate expense reports with trip expenses like airfare, hotel, rental cars, etc. This eliminates the need for employees to collect receipts and manually enter expenses.

Mileage and per diem calculations:  The system can automatically calculate mileage reimbursement based on the travel route. Per diem rates for meals and incidentals can also be looked up and applied based on the itinerary location details.

Integration with accounting system: Once expense reports are auto-generated, they can be integrated directly into accounting systems like NetSuite, QuickBooks, etc. This allows seamless handoff of expense data for approval and reimbursement.

The Implementation Process

Successfully implementing and to manage travel itinerary  requires careful planning and execution. Executive sponsorship is crucial – leadership buy-in demonstrates commitment to the project and helps drive adoption. A phased rollout focusing first on frequent business travelers allows the organization to onboard users gradually. This minimizes disruption and enables the travel management team to provide focused support during each phase. 

Comprehensive user training and ongoing support will smooth the transition. Training programs should educate users on the benefits of centralizing itinerary data and demonstrate how the system simplifies travel booking and expense reporting. User guides, webinars, and help desk support are essential, especially in the initial launch stages. Change management techniques can help users embrace the new system rather than resist it.

Measuring user engagement, tracking adoption metrics, and gathering feedback are vital for continuous improvement. The travel management team should analyze data and refine training and support programs based on user input. Patience and persistence are key to replacing established workflows. With time, the system will become a seamless part of travel operations, leading to significant efficiency gains. Executive sponsors should maintain commitment through the multi-phase process until the benefits are fully realized.

Measuring the Impact

Implementing a travel itinerary management system can have significant benefits for healthcare organizations. However, measuring the new system’s impact is important to demonstrate ROI. Key metrics to track include:

Travel Spend Savings: A streamlined travel booking and approval workflow and improved policy compliance can substantially reduce T&E spend. Analyze spending data before and after implementation to quantify savings. Look at reductions in airfare, hotel rates, ground transportation, meals, and ancillary travel costs. 

Process Efficiency Gains: By automating manual steps in the travel management process, organizations can achieve major time savings and productivity gains. Track metrics like time spent per travel booking, time to complete expense reports, and approver time per request. Compare before-and-after numbers to showcase efficiency improvements.

Traveler Satisfaction: A smoother travel experience improves employee satisfaction and retention. Conduct traveler surveys before and after implementation to gauge satisfaction levels. Look at metrics such as ease of booking, time to complete requests, access to preferred vendors, ease of expense reporting, and overall experience. 

The data validates the investment and builds support for the new system across the organization.

Manage Travel Itinerary with ITILITE

You can easily manage travel itineraries through a travel management system and experience significantly less time spent on expense admin. Travelers no longer have to collect receipts or remember meal expenses meticulously. Finance teams also gain efficiency by avoiding manual data entry and chasing down receipt copies. Integrated end-to-end travel expense management is a huge benefit gained from travel itinerary automation.

Use our travel management software to manage travel itinerary and boost your healthcare organization’s efficiency.

Book a free demo with us to know more.