Early Warnings = Early Intervention = Readmission Prevention
Back in 2014—when most skilled nursing buildings were still capturing vitals manually and less than 50% had an EMR system, Touchstone Communities’ Heights of Huebner, San Antonio, became the LTPAC industry’s first adopter of PointClickCare’s newly-launched vitals integration solution with Constant Care Technology. Talk about visionaries! Paul Wray, SVP Clinical Services, Skilled Division, says “Touchstone Communities have prided themselves on staying ahead of the curve to offer the highest standards of care and we’ve espoused the advantages of technology to help achieve our goals.” The Heights of Huebner jumped at the chance to integrate vitals into their electronic health records, creating huge time saving opportunities for nurses and caregivers. The result: improved care with superior measurement and documentation accuracy-- plus real-time alerting.
Fast forward to 2017: Technology investment is being embraced by the leaders in the LTPAC industry who are determined to win the battle of reduced occupancy, tightening referral networks, readmission penalties and that ugly 2% withhold. In his first OpEd of 2018, McKnights LTC Editor, John O’Connor, predicts “you better have that ‘stuff’….or start talking buyout terms with…bigger fish.” What did Heights of Huebner do to improve their bottom line and revenue retention? They put the “right stuff” to work for their team: the power of prevention with CareConnection's SMART*Technology and the new, ruggedized Vitals CareCarts.
Delivering the Right Stuff: “Customer feedback has helped us create a turnkey solution that makes sense for Long Term Care,” remarks Jodi Funderburk, Director of Business Development for Medline's Diagnostics Division. “It’s increasingly difficult to retain revenue with shorter stays, higher acuity and new payment models. Our FDA Cleared solution, which integrates with all the major EMR’s in our industry, embeds alerting and SMART*Reports that predict resident health crisis to help your teams prevent readmissions.” The re-designed, Vitals CareCart tower embodies customer requests for fast, accurate vitals monitoring with choices of thermometry; heavily-ruggedized construction; ergonomic efficiency; exceptional cord management. Best of all, the cart does double duty as a mobile kiosk to facilitate not only vitals integration to your EMR—but augments access to your web-based products for bedside documentation (e.g., admissions assessments, ADL documentation, etc.).
Pin-point focus on readmission prevention: “The CNAs love these new heavy-duty Vitals Carts,” remarks Johnny Hernandez. “They especially like the temporal thermometers—no need to wake a sleeping patient to get vitals! Plus, we’re seeing compliance increase now that the tablet is at eye-height. Everyone gets the point—this is about sending the vitals to PointClickCare immediately and without error.” Hernandez exclaims that the team is “thrilled with the SMART*Reports” that identify combinations of subtle changes in condition that are predictive of resident health crisis. “We’re all about preventing readmissions here at Touchstone Communities—and this helps us keep the focus on early intervention.”