Just the Right Amount of Detail

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)
Home care software improves agency efficiency

In healthcare, nothing is more frustrating than a lack of patient information. But in the quest for complete information, we must avoid getting so bogged down in details that every task becomes a Herculean effort.

That’s the balancing act Stacy Mathers and her team perform every day at Concordia Visiting Nurses in Cabot, PA. Mathers, clinical and informatics director, and her colleague Katie Podnar, clinical supervisor, recently spoke about their agency’s move to the clinical management functionality of McKesson Homecare™ home care software. Concordia is a community-based organization with a home care census of approximately 1,200 and a hospice census of 160.

Mathers was frank about the previous assessment process, saying “OASIS is aggravating and time-consuming.” One of the biggest issues her organization faced was training new nurses and home health aides on documentation practices. New employees found the process cumbersome and non-intuitive. It was difficult to remember each step to complete an assessment, yet nothing was in place to help prevent forms from being submitted with missing or conflicting information.

Mathers says McKesson Homecare helps clinicians:

  • Complete assessments more quickly because the process is intuitive and the home care software system is “smart,” anticipating which forms will be needed for each patient’s condition
  • Avoid submitting incomplete forms (certain areas must be filled in completely)
  • Provide a more comprehensive assessment (e.g., checking “short of breath” prompts a series of related questions)
  • Provide a more consistent flow of information that helps prevent duplication and improve goal setting, which leads to better discharge planning

Mathers was upfront about the careful steps needed for a successful migration to clinical management. But now that the organization’s nurses and aides have started using the home care software system, the benefits are abundantly clear.

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