The leaders of home health agencies wear many hats—from scheduling a caregiver’s shift, to documenting a patient’s new ailment, to keeping up with healthcare legislation. And just when you thought you couldn’t put on another hat, there’s one more—focusing on hospital needs. With the increasing need for improved transitional care, home health agencies are being asked to step up to the challenge to help hospitals meet their needs and reduce patient readmissions.
Due to new financial penalties under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, money has been playing an even larger part in the pressure to expedite hospital discharge. As we know, care doesn’t end when patients leave the hospital, and home health agencies have become leaders in helping hospitals and doctors extend their reach of care into patients’ homes, allowing for proactive intervention before an emerging or chronic condition leads to a hospital admission or readmission.
The Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform notes that the largest volume of hospital readmissions occurs among patients with chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes, which often reflects inadequate primary care support, and hospitals can be penalized. It could be helpful when working with patients with chronic conditions to utilize your agency’s staff, specifically in terms of diabetic educators, wound, ostomy and continence nurses (WOCNs), nurse practitioners, cardiopulmonary-certified physical therapists, and lymphedema-certified therapists to help provide self-care education and ensure care plan compliance to avoid relapses and readmissions.
When discharged patients return home from the hospital, patients should be closely monitored. Proper data collection can help to connect all parties involved, be it the hospital doctor or the in-home caregiver. The Arrow home care software team has been connecting home care and software development for decades, and is ready to help you meet hospital needs one step at a time. Here are a few ways Arrow can help your agency maintain quality care, keep clients from being readmitted to the hospital, and potentially lower costs:
Improve the communication of all parties
In the home health world, the caregiver must provide clear, comprehensive, timely documentation of each client encounter, which in turn improves the client’s quality of care. Arrow’s Clinical Documentation Portal allows agencies to create custom forms while storing both raw data and PDF copies, allowing agencies to access their personal forms library and print forms whenever they are needed. If your stored data is always accessible and useable, all of your home care documents are in one place and are accessible to multiple users at the same time. You can look up your clients’ most recent hospital surgery specs, and you can add notes at the point of care or quickly establish a patient in the agency’s system, all in real time.
Coordinate at-home care simply
When a patient returns home from the hospital, he or she will likely need additional care, particularly in that precarious 30-day post-discharge window. You’ll want a software system that can respond quickly and efficiently to varying scheduling needs of clients and coordinators. Arrow’s home health software allows agencies to coordinate in real time, prevent duplications and use the streamlined software for billing, payroll and invoicing.
Adhere to compliance
Arrow’s web-based HIPAA-compliant clinical documentation portal allows caregivers to log in, fill out, and electronically sign clinical forms, and provides agencies with the capability to create custom forms while storing both raw data and PDF copies, allowing agencies to access their personal forms library and print forms whenever they are needed.
Manage eligibility easily
With better software you can improve patient outcomes, manage multiple payer sources (such as Medicare, Medicaid and private companies), stay updated on changes in the patient’s healthcare plan, check on the patient’s Medicaid eligibility, avoid overlapping staff visits, and easily validate payer-required visits.
Let Arrow Solutions’ home care software system serve as a hat rack for your collection, a place to keep the many hats your agency wears organized. Contact Arrow Solutions for a free demo and to learn more about our home care software. Though conditions may sometimes become long lasting and tedious, meeting hospital needs doesn’t have to be.