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Hospice Documentation and the Electronic Medical Record

  
  
  

By: Amy Walrod, RN, Product Analyst, HealthMEDX, LLC

In December 2008 hospice regulations went through a major overhaul.  Prior to 2008, the regulations had not been updated for 20+ years.  Several agencies were forced to shop for a solution and forgo their paper documentation system with the need to standardize the data collection and reporting as a major driving factor.

In 2008 we were introduced to the QAPI (quality assurance/performance improvement) initiative.  This regulation was a challenge for hospice agencies and forced many to transition from paper to an electronic medical record.  The need to track, trend and report on clinical and operational outcomes was overwhelming to many.

During this time the industry was faced with increased regulatory scrutiny.   RAC and ZPIC audits were more and more common among hospice providers.  Agencies had to learn how to navigate regulatory compliance in day to day operations.  As a result of the regulatory climate, hospice providers are focused on clinical documentation to ensure data elements are being tracked and clinical eligibility is clearly recorded.

These regulatory changes have made an electronic medical record a necessity in most agencies.  A paper based documentation system has become inefficient.  The need for standardization, enhanced communication, improved efficiency and regulatory compliance has made electronic documentation the tool of choice within the hospice agency.

Hospice agencies are challenged to focus on the changing regulations while maintaining high quality care.  The electronic medical record helps by recording consistent data and outcomes while also assisting the clinician support eligibility by using evidenced based protocols.

Avalon Health Care Management Selects HealthMEDX for Electronic Medical Record- Efficiency and Flexibility Key to Making the Final Decision

  
  
  

OZARK, Missouri, November 11, 2011 – Avalon Health Care Management has selected HealthMEDX Vision as their enterprise-wide software solution.  Avalon will deploy the HealthMEDX Vision software via HealthMEDX’s web-based hosting facility for all of Avalon’s 39 facilities across 5 States. Avalon will utilize the full suite of software modules that make up the Vision solution including census, clinical EHR, and financial across their entire long-term care organization. 

In discussions between the two organizations, establishing a relationship to work towards the goals Avalon has for the care they provide their residents was critical to the decision.  The added benefit seen in the solution to streamline new employee training and efficiency between various care team members was also crucial to the decision.

“Ever changing regulatory requirements create a great challenge  for providers like Avalon to provide the highest quality care while at the same time controlling the high cost of operations”, stated Charlie Daniels, President of HealthMEDX.  “Avalon is one of the leaders in our industry that sees these changes and challenges of our industry as opportunities to improve the quality care   and increase productivity by investing in technology as part of its overall strategic plan.

Gains in staff efficiency are expected after reviewing the intuitive design of the HealthMEDX Vision solution. Vision utilizes an intuitive graphical user interface consisting of role-based logic, workflow and dashboards that enable the user to focus on their specific area of responsibility within the organization.  This unique software design reduces the training time and lengthy adoption process typical of enterprise- wide software.  

“Our primary objective is to provide the highest level of care for our residents and we are consistently working to ensure that our facilities meet our care delivery goals”, stated Dr. David Dangerfield, CEO of Avalon. “While the HealthMEDX Vision software met all of our functional requirements, we saw great value in the dedication from the HealthMEDX leadership to meeting the goals Avalon has in the coming years.  We need a solution that can easily adapt to our industry’s ever changing operations.  HealthMEDX was the clear choice for our needs.”

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Introducing EVV Workgroup for Home Care

  
  
  

Recently various home care industry experts have come together to create the EVVworkgroup.org site.  The group’s  goal is to establish a central repository of ideas and information related to a free market, standards-based approach to EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) in home care and hospice.  The group intends for the site to provide educational materials and raise awareness on the merits and advantages of available full-featured EVV solutions to stakeholders including payers, back-office software vendors, homecare and hospice providers, and home care recipients.

The EVV Workgroup primary mission is to assist in the development of acceptable uniform standards for the implementation of EVV so that payers and providers may have the confidence to adopt free market, standards-based solutions that will help payers and providers:

  • Save time and money
  • Enhance compliance
  • Improve service delivery

All stakeholders are encouraged to visit the site to learn more and to leave comments that will enhance our collective efforts to create standards that will unleash the benefits of free market solutions for home care.   

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