Home Care Software Therapy Alerts Bring Higher Level of Compliance

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Homecare Software Therapy AlertsOptimizing the use of therapy alerts in Horizon Homecare™ “has been a lifesaver for us,” says Susan Pucko, rehab manager at VNS of Rochester and Monroe County (N.Y.). Pucko was a featured speaker during the McKesson Homecare and Hospice 2012 National Users’ Conference, presenting on the topic “Building Compliance with Therapy Alerts.”

Therapy evaluations are required at the beginning of each therapy episode and during the 13th and 19th visits and at least every 30 days. The CMS regulations allow for some leeway when there are multiple therapy disciplines involved, but coordinating visits and juggling schedules can prove challenging for many home health agencies.

Before adopting the alert functionality within their home care software, notifying staff of evaluation visits was a labor-intensive process that required much duplicate effort, Pucko says. Compliance suffered, and coordination was difficult. But she notes that adoption of the use of Horizon Homecare’s therapy alerts was an attempt to use the system to help increase compliance and improve ease of tracking without overwhelming the therapists.

“You need to coordinate with IT to make sure alerts go to the right therapists and not all therapists for that patient. IT does a lot of the behind-the-scenes set up,” Pucko says.

Staff members still need to coordinate certain visits with other disciplines, but the staff has come to rely on alerts to point out critical evaluation time points, Pucko says. The agency’s compliance rate has improved after beginning to utilize this useful homecare software feature, as has its efficiency.

“Managers’ time has moved from hours to minutes to monitor compliance,” Pucko notes. “We miss fewer than 10 visits a month out of 400, and we’re happy with that amount of compliance.”

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