Since 1978, Hospice of the Western Reserve has provided hospice, palliative care, caregiver support and bereavement services to patients and families throughout Northern Ohio.
As one of the earliest pioneers of the hospice movement in the U.S., the non-profit community-based agency has grown into one of the nation’s most acclaimed hospice agencies, serving an average of 1,100 hospice patients per day. The agency is headquartered in Cleveland, and serves a nine-county area in Northern Ohio.
Known for its extensive expertise in the areas of cancer, heart disease, COPD, HIV/AIDS, dementia, chronic kidney disease and pediatric end-of-life care, Hospice of the Western Reserve provides the most comprehensive range of programs and services in the region. The agency’s Hospice Institute, the only one of its type in Ohio, offers the region’s healthcare professionals continuing education on end-of-life care issues.
Its Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Bereavement Center, a community-based grief support program, offers individual grief counseling for children and adults, support groups, resource and referral, as well as school and workplace programs, children’s camps, healing arts workshops and community crisis response. As part of Hospice of the Western Reserve’s continued efforts to support those in need, the agency has deployed a mobile technology solution.
The organization searched for a mobile solution that would interface with the current electronic medical records (EMR) system, Suncoast Solutions. As long-term satisfied users of this software solution for over 12 years, the agency was in need of also managing its remote workforce. The solution needed to interface seamlessly, streamline workflow and be cost effective. The deployment of mobile solutions was the best fit to utilize staff resources in an efficient manner and provide more time for care and less on paperwork. The introduction of mobile devices as documentation tools has provided advantages of accessibility and readability of information as well as the capability of capturing accurate information at the point of care.
Mary Kay Tyler, Director of Pediatrics and Clinical Support commented, “Previously, we scanned and logged documents into Suncoast. Eliminating this extra process is saving time and improving the efficiency and accuracy of our indexers. We had a 26 percent reduction in mileage with the implementation of CellTrak, and 1,700 hours of clerical time was re-allocated. The information captured is more comprehensive and accurate on the phone than what had been captured on the paper forms. Having accurate and clean documentation is particularly crucial for audits. Documentation is found exactly where it needs to be, creating a true paperless medical record.”
K. David Swagler, Education Coordinator, who managed implementation of CellTrak commented, “Paper processes add unnecessary duplication. Mobile documentation allows us to better communicate in a more streamlined fashion. Our operational risks decreased due to accurate log documentation, and the new method also provides a way to track staff locations.”
Swagler added, “Security risks dropped dramatically around secure patient information. Privacy is more secure using the mobile app rather than paper forms, which could easily be misplaced or lost. The ability for the application to be ‘wiped’ from any device remotely is invaluable for security and patient confidentiality.”
CellTrak is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that has been designed at the core to be completely redundant, secure, scalable and reliable in line with industry best practices. Cloud services combined with internal IT infrastructure and integrated data provide the best model to expand the effective usage of information technologies for their business. Importantly, mobile provides better access to data relating to care delivery, care performance and staff effectiveness and management.
Mary Kay commented: “The mobile solution offers a real-time workforce management solution. With the use of real-time updates and reporting, we are able to re-route daily schedules, eliminate trips to the office to pick up paper schedules, and to dispatch caregivers more efficiently to deliver the right level of care faster. Certain days had significant down time, and we were given the ability to move schedules to add more volume of visits. Last month, we managed and delivered over 19,000 successful visits with CellTrak. This was great for our organization and staff. Our caregivers feel they have more valuable information in real time to be more empowered at the bedside.”
K. David Swagler added, “Implementation and support of the mobile product implementation was quick and easy. New employees adapt easy to the program we use, and have not had any problems getting new staff acquainted with using the phone for documentation. All comments from staff have reflected their happiness with having the information in hand for the patient they are visiting. This also gives our organization peace of mind knowing that our staff members are safe and delivering the ideal patient care we promise in our mission.”
Swagler commented, “As Education Coordinator, I found the use of CellTrak University (CTU) helpful. Videos and documents are loaded into on online portal, where we downloaded and watched videos to assist in the training and continuing education of staff. As the agency continues to grow, we know it will be easy to get new staff to adapt to the technology with the use of the training tools.” “We are always looking for ways to streamline and improve our processes and further enhance the quality of care we provide by introducing new technological solutions,” said Bill Finn, Chief Executive Officer, Hospice of the Western Reserve.
“CellTrak offers our care teams the enormous gift of more time doing what they do best: caring for our patients and families.” Michael K. Wons, President and CEO of CellTrak shared “Hospice of the Western Reserve has proven to be a caring and thoughtful organization putting the people they care for first.” Wons added, “We are pleased to be partnering with one of the largest hospice organization in Ohio. They are set apart by their technology adaption and execution to provide comfort for those in need.”
Teresa Craig, CEO of Suncoast Solutions, echoed a similar sentiment, “We have worked closely with Hospice of the Western Reserve since 2001 to ensure they are always on the cutting edge of technology and the healthcare advancements we provide. The joining of forces by Suncoast Solutions software, CellTrak, and such an innovative organization has proven to be a powerful solution for providing quality care.”
Combining care coordination and visit delivery management processes and technology such as CellTrak point of care and electronic visit verification, to provide a foundation for care provider collaboration via a common approach to secured electronic healthcare records is critical to the future success of the healthcare systems. With day to day changing patient needs, there is increasing evidence that mobile technology and applications will transform the industry and facilitate faster and better communications, improved compliance as well as rapidly providing integrated outcome data to the front line field staff.
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