5 EHR Implementation Tips from PointClickCare

| November 17, 2015

Providers of long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) are collecting more and more data about a growing number of residents and clients. That data explosion can present an overwhelming challenge to providers who are “mired in paper records workflows,” says CAST Commissioner Dave Wessinger, chief technology officer at CAST Partner PointClickCare.

Providers of long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) are collecting more and more data about a growing number of residents and clients who are living longer, managing multiple chronic health conditions, using more health care services, and transitioning between care settings. This data explosion can present an overwhelming challenge to providers who are “mired in paper records workflows,” says CAST Commissioner Dave Wessinger, chief technology officer at CAST Partner PointClickCare.

“Senior care providers must expand their data systems and information technology (IT) infrastructure in an effort to handle this coming wave of data-enhanced senior care that has already started,” Wessinger wrote in a recent edition of McKnight's Long-Term Care News.

5 Tips for EHR Implementation

Wessinger used his McKnight’s column to explore why some LTPAC providers are still resisting health IT. The column also included 5 tips that could help providers enter the digital information age.

  • Recognize the financial value. Some providers believe that electronic health record (EHR) platforms are expensive and overly complex, writes Wessinger. But the reality is that paper-based workflows make care delivery documentation and medical data collection “inefficient, time-consuming, and error-prone.”

  • Give staff the right tools. Staff members need adequate training to implement health IT successfully. “They need to know how the new solution will help them do their jobs better, improve outcomes, and keep their organizations healthy in the long run,” says Wessinger.

  • Reach for the Cloud. Cloud-based EHRs can help paper-based providers move into the new world of digital health records, writes Wessinger. They are scalable, cost-effective, and interoperable, he says. They provide a centralized way to collect data and document care delivery, are flexible enough to let organizations adapt forms and documentation for different teams, and can improve collaboration among clinicians by facilitating communication between desktop computers and mobile devices.

  • Support Meaningful Use. LTPAC providers aren’t eligible for the federal EHR Incentive program, which rewards hospitals and physicians for making “Meaningful Use” of EHRs. But the LTPAC sector still has a role to play in helping hospital and physician partners earn their Meaningful Use incentives. LTPAC providers should view health IT as “an investment in more productive relationships with key care partners,” Wessinger writes.

  • Get ready for value-based payments. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be implementing value-based payment programs for senior care providers by 2018. “The data-intensive documentation needed to receive reimbursements will require senior care to implement EHRs,” says Wessinger.

 

“We know technology is a necessity in promoting the efficiency that this coming expansion of the aging baby-boomer generation will require,” concludes Wessinger. “Technology supports us; it sustains quality and operational objectives. Technology helps elevate the ability of the senior living industry to streamline workflows, lower the cost of care delivery, and improve care coordination and outcomes.”