Hospice Software Can Help Organizations Ace New Survey

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Amy Shellhart By Amy Shellhart 
Director of Product Management, McKesson
A woman conducting a hospice software survey

With hospice surveys set to begin later this year, you probably are wondering how your organization will stack up against other providers in your area and those across the country.

Surveys of hospice organizations are required by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act) for the next decade and will be conducted by either state survey agencies or accrediting organizations. Many of the survey questions deal with deficiencies that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finds during its Medicare hospice recertification surveys.

This presents you with an excellent opportunity to review your hospice software and clinical workflows to determine how your organization will perform on the survey. Let’s look at three of the top issues your organization likely will be judged upon: plan of care, care coordination and medication disposal.

  1. Plan of care. Plan-of-care issues continually rank among the top deficiencies. CMS discourages a cookie-cutter approach to care planning, so you must look at each patient’s needs before formulating a plan for that individual. McKesson Hospice™ offers an assessment-driven interdisciplinary plan of care. The software lets interdisciplinary team (IDT) members communicate and receive notifications to help ensure that each patient’s care needs are being met.
  2. Care coordination. Documented coordination between a hospice provider and nursing facility is a critical consideration on the survey. In McKesson Hospice, clinicians can document the facility identifier for each item in a care plan to show care coordination between the hospice and the care facility. This approach will define which organization is responsible for each care plan item.
  3. Medication possession and disposal policy. At the time controlled substances are ordered, the medication possession/disposal policy must be communicated verbatim to the patient and/or family. McKesson Hospice provides the ability to incorporate agency-specific communication into the workflow that patients can sign electronically. Medication disposal also can be documented, including who witnessed it.

Other survey questions encompass whether a spiritual assessment has been made within five days of the start of care and documentation of criminal background checks for all personnel, including volunteers. McKesson Hospice includes specific functionality to address both issues.

Use the start of the hospice survey to make sure your processes are in order and that your hospice software will help, not hinder, your compliance.

Do you have questions about how to use hospice software to prepare for the IMPACT Act survey? McKesson’s hospice consulting services can help show you how to use your software to its full potential.

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