HTM Speaks With Warren Brown, President, Procura

Procura, offers its customers best-in-class software that Home Care and Hospice organizations in Canada, the U.S.A. and Australia use to streamline the management of their resources, and their administrative processes, optimize their financial and revenue cycle needs and maintain compliance in clinical documentation. Procura’s EHR and comprehensive records management serves the Strategic needs of Executive Management’s and the operational needs of staff, clients and partner organizations.

Please introduce yourself, your background and your current role:

Hello, my name is Warren Brown. As President of Procura, I am responsible for the vision, strategies and management practices of the company. We have a team of dynamic, dedicated professionals who manage the ongoing enhancement of our products and services, implementation and training and support for clients and corporate growth through business development and acquisitions. Their experience in the sector and a culture of client service are the key to our success. At heart, I am a serial entrepreneur with nearly forty years of experience in the IT sector. I learned my craft in large, well run organizations with excellent practices, such as Great-West Life. Over the last 20 years I have adapted and changed in new and exciting entrepreneurial opportunities, serving clients in government and in Health Care.

Who is Procura and what are your defining strengths as a business?

For more than twenty years, Procura has focused solely on the provision of software to the Home Care and Hospice sector of Health Care. It is our mission to provide our clients with high quality products and services that will enable them to grow and manage the challenges of a changing health care environment. Procura is the software vendor of choice for home, community and aged care organizations across North America and Australia. Over 12,600 users at more than 600 customer sites use Procura to manage over 69,000 employees. Our customers range from small start-ups all the way through to multi-site and franchise organizations. Headquartered in Victoria, BC, Procura we have offices in Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA and Toowong, QLD and offer a range of solutions for home health care providers including the Procura Home Care Solution, the Progresa Health System and ContinuLink. Our clients tell us that our strengths are the quality of our product and our support, the flexibility of and comprehensive nature of our product, especially for scheduling and resource management.

In today’s highly regulated and ever changing healthcare industry, healthcare providers and payers are swimming in an ever increasing sea of data. As the data increases and regulations and policy change how can healthcare organisation harness business intelligence solutions, to adopt better decision making process, improve patient care and lower the bottom line of the payer?

Business intelligence tools provide organizations with instant access to real-time information from all departments. When you combine that with the ability to pull in data from other applications like your financial systems, you suddenly have a very powerful, consolidated view of the organization’s performance. Business intelligence tools that track progress, identify areas for improvement and perform predictive modeling ensure that organizations have the insight to make good decisions. Procura provides dashboards that track clinical, financial and operational data that is updated in Procura as a matter of daily operations. Our business intelligence tool enables you to see trends at a glance and assess, compare and contrast the relevance of data in other corporate systems.

You have led Procura since 1995. What major developments have you seen in the Healthcare IT and Technology industry in that time?

It’s widely publicized that the population is aging. This evolution in the population structure is reflected in an evolution of the services required from healthcare. Today’s patients typically develop long term chronic conditions that require the health system more often and for a greater length of time. Further, their conditions are more complex and often involve several co-morbid health issues. As our population ages, so do our health care teams.

A shortage of skilled home care staff across the country is evident in the unsuccessful recruitment and retention efforts of home care providers. It has become increasingly evident that technology is required to increase the effectiveness of organizations while lowering their costs. We have seen the following developments in the past few years:

  1. The ability to provide a single Database and the computer capacity to network nation-wide organizations.
  2. Point of Care solutions and telecommunications services that allow clinicians to record information at the source, saving time and increasing the accuracy of information collected.
  3. Patient-driven care with select patient populations moving towards self-care models for non-acute interventions using remote monitoring technology.
  4. Interoperable solutions that allow discrete systems, usually finance, payroll and client information, to work together and increasingly enable Electronic Data Interchange between organizations.
  5. Clinical Decision Support Systems that integrate patient data and a medical knowledge base to generate case-specific advice for clinicians in the field.
  6. Business intelligence solutions that will provide the right information at the right time by providing historical, current and predictive views of business operations.

What are the driving factors behind implementation of organization management solution in healthcare organizations?

There are a number of opportunities for growth of healthcare organizations some of which I mentioned above including the: The aging of the population; The financial, professional and emotional stress that family caregivers feel in providing support for this population; and, An increasing acceptance of the benefits of keeping people at home. Cost reduction is one key driver. As organizations grow they see the need for a solution that can help them manage their organization from end-to-end. Concurrently, they see a need to reduce the cost of doing business and become more efficient due to: Changes in reimbursement policy which most often result in decreased reimbursements Aggressive consolidation of organizations in the industry; and The potential impact of clinical outcomes and performance measurements becoming more closely linked to reimbursement rates and referral patterns.

Health Care is attracting experienced management professionals who are demanding the kinds of capabilities they know are possible, having come from other industries. They want innovation in current products and are encouraging vendors to step up. Increasing regulation is another key driver. The need to provide an auditable trail and demonstrate compliance with regulations has caused vendors to either keep up or abandon the playing field.

Clinical and client information at point-of-care is case critical and assists healthcare professionals improve decision making, make the correct diagnosis and carry out the necessary medical care. Such data may speed up process, help clinicians make rapid and informed decisions and ensure no unnecessary treatment is given. How can Procura help healthcare providers achieve this?

Procura continues to enable the mobile workforce with its Point of Care Solutions that include a personal home page for clinicians – the Procura Clinical Day View – to ensure integrated care delivery at the patient’s home with electronic charting and Care Planning with clinical pathways. Procura’s Mobility Suite including CallMe!, the company’s telephony solution; Procura Mobile, a smart phone application; and Procura for laptops and tablets ensures that organizations are able to match the solution to the information needs of the mobile employee. These solutions eliminate the need for time consuming manual, paper, fax and telephone methods of collecting and communicating data. Procura also offers interoperability features that automate the flow of information between provider and funder, thereby optimizing resources and increasing data quality.

How does Procura assist home care agencies in the USA manage their Medicare, Medicaid and Private Duty lines of business whilst improving the quality of care?

Procura provides a comprehensive clinical, financial and organization management solution that can manage all aspects of an organization while providing their clinical teams with the information they need to provide the best possible care. The assessment, billing and reporting requirements of Medicare take advantage of Procura’s comprehensive management of OASIS assessments and the associated revenue cycle management. Moreover, the workflow engine and alerts assists agencies in remaining compliant with the CMS regulations.

Our clients tell us that we are the best vendor they know for being on top on changing regulations. The requirements of the various Medicaid programs take advantage of the unique engine-based design of Procura which enables our customers, in most instances, to independently adapt the solution to meet their specific needs without having to engage us.. Private Duty agencies tell us that our scheduling and resource management tools are the best in the industry, enabling them to manage within the low margins and the customer service that competition demands.

The healthcare industry is known for a shortage of professionals. It is also an industry known for its lack of efficiency. How can Procura’s Solutions help healthcare providers manage their HR, and ensure they have the correct professionals available at the required time?

Procura’s strength is its workforce management and the sophisticated tools. Our sophisticated predictive scheduling, automated communication and optimized scheduling processes dramatically streamline the workforce management process. Essentially, we recognized that the shortage of professionals was unlikely to be resolved in the short term and focused on providing organizations with the tools to maximize the efficacy of their current workforce. Procura’s Scheduling Genius automates scheduling processes by consistently applying “assignment of work” rules to ensure that the most suitable personnel are identified for each visit.

Offers of work and schedule changes are then automatically generated and electronically conveyed to field staff. Shifting communication away from the telephone increases accuracy and improves productivity by allowing Coordinators to focus on more complex tasks like urgent booking requests and complicated service plans. In combination with Procura’s Employee Portal that allows field employees to respond to offers of work, access their schedule, and requests changes in availability online organizations can see efficiency gains of up to 40%. Our workflow and alerts functionality combined with our GPS enabled Point-of-Care solutions, enable agencies to know where their staff are, whether they are late for a visit or if they can be rerouted to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Finally, the overtime and Premium Pay calculations in Home Care are very complex, time consuming to administer and completed under tight deadlines, for every pay period. Errors are common and stress among back office staff is prevalent. Procura’s Premium Pay Utility enables the agency to encode the rules they use to make these calculations. Then agency staff can rely on the timely and accurate time records being exported to their payroll system.

What opportunities do you forecast in the business, in the next 5 years, and how will Procura position itself to maximize on these events?

The need for Health Care and Home Care and Hospice, in particular, will continue to grow at some 8% CAGR. The sicker will be released into the community quicker. Avoiding re-hospitalizations will loom large in financial reviews. There will be increased levels of documentation and the use of scanned documents as a part of the EHR. More sophisticated analysis of population data will be required to track disease and outcomes. Larger organizations will continue to enter the arena with larger budgets and more sophisticated management. More and more work will be completed at the point-of-care.

Taken together, these trends will “lift all the boats” as it were. However, in order to remain competitive, and not be swamped, as will many of our smaller competitors, we will continue to invest in R&D inkey areas such as Document Management, Clinical Solutions, our Point-of-Care Continuum, GIS systems, and more sophisticated reporting and data analytics.

back to top