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Are You Taking Advantage of Basic Technology?


The accountability to improve the quality of care and manage rising costs has shifted back to providers across the healthcare industry.  Home health and hospice providers must follow suit, working to provide higher quality, better customer service and improved outcomes without increasing costs.  

According to Darcey Trescone, RN, BSN, Senior Manager at Simione, many technology solutions are available today to help agencies reduce expenses without sacrificing performance.  They include:   

  • Workflow and task management tools accommodate and standardize the business flow for both home care and hospice.  These tools help to drive efficient and effective internal processes across all functional areas within an agency, and assure best practice and regulatory compliance.
     
  • The scheduling component of your existing electronic health record should be supporting visit compliance and the efficient use of office and field resources.  Poor adoption of scheduling tools creates the need for paper, spreadsheets, and people processes that are inefficient.  Many agencies are just now recognizing that this is a top priority, and are working closely with their EHR vendors to better utilize scheduling.
     
  • Telephony ensures visit compliance and mileage tracking of the para-professional workforce.  These remote employees have access to current schedules, basic care plan task documentation, and messages pertaining to their company, team or individual work.
     
  • Document management for integrating, tracking and storing documentsreduces costs associated with printing and managing paper.  Field staff who have access to these documents on a point of care device avoid excessive trips to the office. 
     
  • Telehealth tools improve patient outcomes and lower the cost of care for your referral partners.  By incorporating telehealth technology, agencies can monitor the patient between visits to prevent acute episodes that may require re-hospitalization.
     
  • Business intelligence tools provide real-time access to measure key performance indicators and benchmarks, thereby supporting expense reductions and continued business growth and development.  
     

These basic tools are readily available and should be part of every agency’s technology portfolio.  Simione Healthcare Consultants recommends that every agency review and audit its use of these tools and work with vendors to optimize efficiencies and achieve the maximum gains possible.