nursing shortage Tag

Three Major Impacts of Selecting Interoperable Technologies    As we navigate 2021, we realize portability and the constant need to evolve is more important than ever. Interoperability has always been essential, and we are now understanding these requirements are not just a hoop to jump through, but a way we can improve patient centricity while also maximizing daily efficiencies when applied properly. There are three key ways in which we work that can be improved by adopting technologies that focus on interoperability. The way we work with patients, the way we work with doctors/ collaborating healthcare organizations, and the way we work with each other.   Working with patients Patient care is always the number one priority. But, with the way you allocate your time throughout your day, you can be left feeling like your industry is less about actual healthcare and more about constantly documenting and chasing paperwork. You then try to adopt multiple technologies to solve the problem, only to spend even more time keeping them all straight. This is where finding the proper resources can be essential to meeting your goals.   Technologies that integrate with multiple platforms are no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have to keep your head above water. With an endless amount of referral sources, portals, EMRs, apps, and more; finding a core, agile solution that understands the volatility of the market is a great place to start. This is not only a great foundation for the technologies your organization adopts, but a springboard into the ways in which technologies can truly work together to better serve you so you can better serve your patients.   As you build your network of technologies, less clicks, less manual tracking, less follow-up, less logins to remember –will all simplify your life and free up time to focus on your patients. Not only that, but the health record will maintain real-time updates that are easier to track and communicate to your patients. This is the cleanest approach to patient care and with that singular record of truth interfacing with ancillary technologies for you, you are now staying consistent with your messaging and follow-ups for the patient. You can be sure your information is the most up to date, without having to check in five different places to be sure.     Working with doctors You aren’t the only one who doesn’t enjoy having to remember another login and learn yet another portal or program in order to accomplish what feels like should be a fairly simple task. Doctors are being hounded with demands for new ways to access and update their patients’ information. Learning ways to better communicate and operate within their needs will quickly improve your working relationship. Aligning with their referral portals will also give your agency the upper hand as you continue to grow.   Having a more streamlined and consistent approach will help set proper standards and expectations while making working with your agency that much easier for doctors. It will also reduce the need for manual follow-up while your integrated technology is working for you behind the scenes.     Working with each other Your agency is made up of so many intricacies and nuances that are specific to you. Learning how to work together with not only your immediate co-workers, but cross departmentally can turn your marathon days into easy sprints.   Workload balancing, workflow automation, document tracking and other tools are great, but not having to follow-up with your team because you can check an easy-to-navigate dashboard with updates and send reminders simultaneously is like having a personal assistant. If the technology you interface with for health records management could update and automate items for your Accounts Receivable Department, wouldn’t that be a dream? If your clinicians out in the field could be updating and uploading documentation in real-time to patient charts while your back office confirms timely plan of care requirements by logging into one application, wouldn’t that be nice? If you no longer had to download documents from one portal to turn around and upload them to a new one, how much time would your organization save?   Adding new tech tools to your toolkit is great, but only if they can integrate into what your team uses. Interoperability should not just apply to you, but the vendors you select. Learn how to select vendors who are health tech powerhouses in interoperability by registering for our upcoming webinar here....

Follow these tips for quick and compliant physician approvals. We all know how time-consuming follow-up on physician orders can be. Not just the constant faxing, but dealing with the shifts in the escalation process. The pandemic has changed our processes for following up in person. This has strained the turnaround for many agencies. The big question is, how do we make this easier on agency staff and physicians with reduced opportunities for interaction.   Tip 1: Create Consistency. Make sure you are following a consistent process for your staff and physicians. A tracking tool like Physician Order Tracking is a great first step, but the tactical way in which you collect signature could be another factor in documents falling to the wayside. Not only is the process for defining follow-up essential. But, how your physicians go about signing could be bogging down their day and yours. Keeping it electronic eliminates back and forth and helps ease the process to QA incoming documents for your team. It also helps temper frustrations from physicians regarding the mountain of faxes coming through each day. Having a central hub to reference, along with a standard means for delivery can be a game changer for the time dedicated to these tedious processes. That leads to our next tip.   Tip 2: Eliminate Unnecessary Lag. Simultaneous updates via electronic delivery could help expedite the process. Your paperwork shouldn’t change multiple sets of hands. This just leaves room for risk. Many agencies have already taken that precaution and transitioned to a digital order tracking tool.  Already have that electronic order tracking tool in place, but feel like your orders sit in purgatory as you wait for physicians to respond to your faxes? An integrated, electronic signature tool can help beef up your already automated systems. (We will talk more about how those can work together in tip 4.) Maintaining fully digital documents also helps keep things organized and reduces the shuffling of physical faxes being handed off, not only on the physicians’ side, but when approvals come back to your administrative staff. Know the status of all your orders and keep a fully compliant, electronic paper trail of your order assets.   Tip 3: Be Easier to Work With. Nobody likes paperwork. Give your physicians something to look forward to, not loathe, as they work with you. WorldView’s eSignature application comes with a free tool for physicians. This tool makes it easier for physicians and their teams to view their data and manage to-do’s. By adding value to their tracking process, you will create a user-friendly environment for them to better work with your agency. This specific tool also keeps it clean and simple for them and is one less login to worry about. Physicians get a new 4 digit pin every time they access their dashboard. No more keeping track of yet another portal profile.   Tip 4: Stay Connected. Integrate where you can. A fully integrated solution saves clicks and manual keying. With the volume in orders and associated documents needing sign off, keystrokes related to those downloads that are happening only to turn around and re-upload to your EMR really add up. Integrated solutions like WorldView eSignature also help your team stay compliant because there is no longer a concern about rogue downloads or random, locally saved PHI. Doing more with less means less confusion. One less software platform to add to your technology stack is a win for your tech team as well as your users who interface with multiple technologies in a single day.   Tip 5: Keep Costs Down. You may be thinking, “I’ve already looked into compliant, electronic signature applications like DocuSign and they are just too costly.” But, there are products out there that are tailored for the home health industry. Ones that give you more and won’t break the bank. Be sure you are getting the most bang for your buck, but keep an eye out for any that may skimp on functionality or are difficult to use. If you haven’t found many softwares that check the boxes for ease of use while offering a robust solution, WorldView eSignature is a great place to start as you vet these tools for your agency.   Want to learn more about WorldView eSignature or our other healthcare software solutions? Get instant access to the webinar recording now....

HHAs are dealing with high turnover and a shortage of home health nurses. Changes made to address PDGM may actually be able to help you deal with that. If you manage a home health agency (HHA), it may seem like the Patient-Driven Groups Model (PDGM) has turned your world upside down. But, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Implementing process changes to adhere to PDGM compliance is helping some of our customers tackle one of their biggest business challenges: the home health nurse shortage and the high turnover in the industry.   Diagnosing the Problem Before rendering a diagnosis and recommending treatment, it’s important to understand the underlying issue. The average tenure for a home health nurse is only 19 months (BLS). That means you can only expect any given hire to remain on the job for a year and a half before they either burn out or leave for an employer able to offer better working conditions.   The cost to recruit a replacement can be astronomical - $52K on average (NSI National Health Care Retention and Staffing Survey). Don’t expect to replace them quickly either. Recruitment periods are lasting 86 days on average.   But, these are all symptoms of the underlying problem that aren’t all centered around just PDGM changes. That is, being a home health nurse is a high-stress job. In a recent webinar, Axxess shared some of the feedback gathered from home health nurses. They said:   “I love my patients but after six months of staying up till 10 PM every night I finally had to leave.” “[management must provide] relief of stress for field staff.” “Documentation requires too much time!” “Workload is equivalent to two full-time jobs!”   Not only is turnover expensive, but a stressed-out nursing staff can also impact overall patient care. Yes, home health nurses do the best job they can, but we don’t need studies to show us that employee burnout can lead to short tempers, lower-quality care, and an increase in errors.   How PDGM Changes Can Help Relieve Stress It may seem counterintuitive that a change in billing and reimbursement protocols, especially one that requires 30-day billing increments instead of 60, could possibly help reduce paperwork and solve the issue of home health nurse burnout.   And, if you’re trying to solve the problem by simply implementing new processes, it probably won’t. In fact, it may exacerbate the issue as nurses struggle to comply with the coding requirements and shortened reimbursement cycles. By the time they sort it all out, they may already be planning to head off to greener pastures.   On the other hand, updating both the systems and processes you use can have significant benefits. Recently, WorldView conducted a webinar with Axxess to show how having the right systems and a single source for documentation can help you significantly streamline processes for less stress in your workforce and easier PDGM compliance.   Watch the webinar: Streamlining Documentation for PDGM Success   Here are just six of the many ways WorldView and Axxess work together to help make your home health care nurses’ lives easier while improving your bottom line and ability to serve patients.   #1 Eliminate Billing Delays and Rework. If a home health nurse (or a clinician) enters an ungroupable diagnosis, Axxess will alert the user and not allow them to proceed unless they’ve been assigned the appropriate access permissions. This can help eliminate the amount of rework that needs to be done and lessen the chance that an error will jeopardize reimbursement.   The patient-centered dashboard helps HHAs manage the first and second thirty-day billing periods.   #2 Tracking Comorbidity Resolution. Often a patient will have more than one condition that needs to be addressed. For example, they might have an acute illness as well as an underlying chronic condition. If the acute illness is resolved within the first thirty-day period, that information needs to be shared with billing. Unfortunately, manual and paper-based processes can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Axxess provides a change in focus form, which your home health nurses can use, from wherever they are, to capture everything your billing department needs to know.   #3 Paperless Faxing. Perhaps no industry makes more use of fax machines than healthcare. With all that paper, it’s easy for a fax to get lost or attached to the wrong patient, which in turn, increases paperwork billing errors and delays. Working together, Worldview and Axxess allow you to eliminate a good deal of the manual faxing and automatically attach faxes to the patient’s chart.   You can also “fax” documents directly from WorldView. Examples might be faxing lab results to a clinician or routing a document for a signature. This is especially helpful if a doctor forgot to sign an order. The document can be routed right back to them through WorldView.   #4 Less Data Entry. Your nurses didn’t enter their chosen profession just to spend time doing data entry. That isn’t why you hired them either. We can help them find more time to spend in front of patients by automatically populating forms for them. If you receive a type of document frequently, e.g., signed orders, our application can create a scannable QR code that automatically pulls in all the necessary data.   We also offer a feature called a Virtual Print Driver, that allows you to “print” documents from other sources into Axxess. In a recent training session, one attendee told us that, over the weekend, it took him four hours to pull documents for four separate patients from a portal and upload them. Using the Virtual Print Driver, we processed a 104-page patient document and sent it to Axxess in less than a minute. He was speechless.   #5 Automated Order Tracking. Right now, your nurses and other staff probably spend a significant amount of time tracking down orders. Though your team bears the brunt of these delays, they’re often not their fault. With PDGM, delays can also derail reimbursement, so you’ll want to streamline this as much as possible.   You can set up a schedule for how you want to handle orders that have not been signed and returned. With PDGM, many of our customers will automatically resend the orders at four days and again at seven days. You can also set up alerts for aging orders so your team is aware of any delays. We already talked about how WorldView allows you to send orders directly from the system, but we can also use our tracking functionality to track orders for physicians that still require a physical copy as well.   #6 Referral Management. Referrals are a constant in the healthcare world, but especially in-home healthcare. WorldView can automate the processing and tracking of incoming and outgoing referrals, saving your team time and helping to ensure your patients get the care they need.   Protocols are important. Every HHA has specific ways of doing things, and PDGM has requirements that must be met as well. Removing manual processes helps ensure these protocols are followed, while providing much-needed stress relief for your staff.   If you’d like to learn more about Axxess and WorldView, you can watch the webinar or visit us online.   ...