The increasing technological advancement has transformed the ways hospice care is delivered. Right from the expansion of electronic medical records (EMR) to the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI), hospice service providers are largely deploying new systems to create efficiencies, enhance patient care, and make their organizations more attractive to investors.
Many health care organizations are relying on the importance of predictive analytics, telemedicine, and emerging communications systems.
Hospice service providers are no more reluctant in embracing the new communication technologies to create efficiencies and improve responsiveness to patients and their family needs. Physicians can connect instantly instead of making a phone call. Telemedicine technology also allows health care providers to communicate with the experts to consult from the patient’s home, such as a wound care expert.
Nowadays, hospice agencies have many options to leverage technology to improve communication with patients, develop new efficiencies, and enhance responsiveness towards the requirements of the patients. The physicians can connect in real time with the proactive methods of communications that are not possible with the traditional or reactive communication channels. Additionally, telemedicine technology empowers clinicians to speak virtually with specialists as well as patients to take precautions while COVID-19 has created a mess.
Main features of hospice software
- Scheduling management – A thorough EMR software solution comprises capabilities to optimize that very first patient appointment or consultation for building a comprehensive care plan are clinical orders, assessment guides, diagnoses, medications & vaccines, etc.
- Documentation and care delivery – For managing home healthcare patients’ information and medical records, an intuitive interface is a must. An effective EMR software solution will prioritize user-friendly functionality that accommodates the workflow of medical staff, allowing for easy access to crucial information and seamless communication among team members.
- Back-office management – The hospice and EMR software are most efficient to integrate financial and administrative tasks. A comprehensive system incorporates the following features for office operations to enhance the entire cash flow and reduce administrative overhead costs. A well-designed EMR software streamlines your home healthcare agency for the best in productivity and performance.
- Reporting & analytics – To maintain the home healthcare clinic to remain relevant, it is vital for staff, management, and executives to retrieve valuable financial statistics, patient conversion rates, and other useful data that helps to gain insights into your clinic’s fiscal health and growth. A hospice software with inbuilt analytics makes it easier for your home healthcare facility to manage important business decisions.
- Financial management – A hospice software has strong financial billing capabilities that save plenty of time for your Accounts Receivable department. It also reduces the margin of error and provides the added bonus of automated tracking of each patient’s status.
- Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) – PDGM implements changes that focus on protecting vulnerable patients and curtail costs by no longer factoring in the number of therapy visits when determining payment. The major shift in billing is a step away from volume-based care towards value-based home health service
Key benefits of using technology to hospice service
Hospice service providing agencies are witnessing significant benefits by implementing advanced technology. Here are the key benefits that can be considered by those agencies that are hesitant in adopting the digital advancements.
Prioritize patient-centered care
Initially, the technological advancements appear like taking away from hospice providers’ patient-centered values. Communication nowadays is more with computer screens and smartphones instead of having direct face-to-face eye-to-eye interaction. Hospice agencies tend to grab the attention of the people by assisting patients in the age of COVID-19 pandemic with smartphones, laptops, tablets, and e-signing of medical orders. In case any hospice staff member is annoyed with the growing demands of technology, it may help to analyze how the other team member will be viewing the data they are entering, and how it will help their patients receive overall responsive care.
Enables hospice professionals to stay connected to their patients
During tough challenging times like a pandemic, telehealth has already been a huge asset to many hospice care and palliative care providers for patients in rural and remote areas. The technology is now in the limelight as a workaround for the current pandemic crisis. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has closely identified and understood the requirement to adjust the need to provide physicians and other clinicians the flexibility they need to provide care during COVID. Hospice providers can now implement telecommunications technology to assist those receiving routine home care.
- As per the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), “Fully 61% of hospice service providing agencies have admitted patients with COVID-19 to their hospice service”.
- NAHC research roughly accounts for 98% of hospice care is delivered in a patient’s home.
- As there is limited control over potential exposure, NAHC addressed CMS to consider permanent changes to Medicare policies allowing the use of telehealth in hospice care.
- On Aug. 3rd, a new Executive Order was signed to expand access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly in rural areas.
The recent deployment of technology and use of telehealth services has made a difference to 62% of respondents in the survey, and 82% reported that they are using two-way audio-visual communications. Before the emergency declaration, thousands of Medicare beneficiaries accessed telemedicine services during a week and the number had expanded to nearly 1.7 million people.
Empower hospice professionals to spend more time with their patients
Using proactive technology allows the hospice service providers to spend maximum time with the patients as they are close to their end of life. Not only it helps to deliver enhanced care to the patients but also reduces the time involved in monotonous paperwork.
In some cases, upgrading your technology can allow your team to spend more time with patients.
For example, Shifting to an EHR system that is created specifically for hospices and moving away from one that is retrofitted from home health software can save physicians time by avoiding non-hospice queries, unnecessary fields, or other workarounds. A purely hospice-specific system provides real time insight into the patient’s condition through centralized views, dashboards, and graphs, offering another layer of care. It allows hospice staff to get the latest picture of each and every patient in order to deliver the right care at the right time.
Hence, the hospice service providers are now made the mindset to go parallel with leveraging technological advancements to enhance their services. If you are still lagging behind, its high time to adopt the growing trend.
About Net Health
Net Health is reuniting caregivers with their calling through cloud-based software for specialty medical providers across the continuum of care. Net Health’s interoperable EHRs deliver end-to-end solutions that ensure compliance, improve outcomes, empower providers and inspire care. The company serves over 14,000 facilities, including 98 percent of the largest hospital chains, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and many leading hospice organizations and private practices. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners.