December 29, 2023 | Net Health

8 min read

10 Critical Questions to Ask About Wound Care EHR Software

Looking for a new wound care EHR solution? Ask these questions first before you buy

The increasing demand for quality wound care, the complexity of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and new regulations such as the CURES Act are pushing providers to look for wound care EHR software solutions that are flexible, intuitive, scalable and easy to use. However, providers want more than just a piece of technology they plug into their systems. They want a healthcare partner with the expertise and resources to help them grow, meet challenges, and optimize the care and services they provide their patients and communities.

To find the right partner you have to ask the right questions. With nearly 30 years in the business of creating specialized EHR healthcare software and reuniting caregivers with their calling, Net Health knows a thing or two about wound care software. The wound care experts at Net Health have developed a list of questions to help any size wound care provider – in any location – identify the software provider that will best meet their needs. Here are the top 10 questions to ask, and remember, you are looking for a partner dedicated to your needs and success.

#1 What key features are provided?

If there’s one feature you want from a wound care software provider, it’s flexibility. Specifically, flexibility to provide the features you want and need. We’ll dive into workflow, documentation and billing, but other areas are also essential. One of the most important is the ability to integrate advanced wound imaging and analysis technology into your wound care EHR software solution to help you capture images and tell a better story about each patient’s treatment journey. Net Health is the only partner in the market that offers an artificial intelligence powered wound imaging and analysis tool in its industry-leading Net Health® Tissue Analytics and provides full integration capability for all leading EHR platforms.

Offline Mode: Capture images of wounds even if your mobile device is offline or you have a bad internet connection. We know it’s important for clinicians to record wound data when there’s low or no connectivity or while traveling. With offline mode, it’s possible to capture images of wounds without an internet connection. Once you’re connected again, wounds are automatically measured and then seamlessly synced to the patient’s chart in the EHR.

#2 Will the technology improve workflows?

Staffing shortages across virtually all size facilities in all markets mean that efficiency is more important than ever. Look for wound care EHR software solutions that work seamlessly into your workflow and intuitively understands the steps and tasks you undertake, making your workdays a little easier. It’s not just about streamlining workflow.

Utilizing a comprehensive, interoperable, specialty EHR is key to driving compliance with ever- changing rules, regulations, and findings within your wound care department. Good software can also help you address other vital issues, such as:

  • The why behind your workflow
  • Reporting on workflow processes and their efficacy (or lack)
  • Timing for updating workflow

For more information, check out our Wound Care Checklist

#3 Is the software certified, and will it promote interoperability with other providers and patients?

The 21st Century CURES Act means that it is more important than ever to ensure your software and EHR promote interoperability and data sharing. The act aims to give patients more power over their healthcare data and ensure seamless data sharing with other providers. Net Health® Wound Care was among the first EHRs to ensure interoperability. Additionally, it is fully certified under The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) guidelines.

The CURES Act was passed in 2016. CMS notes that the 312-page act was created to help advance innovative medical products and remove barriers to developing those technologies and that enables patients, physicians, healthcare organizations, and others to share information freely. The goal is to “…help modernize and personalize health care, encourage greater innovation, support research, and streamline the system…”. You can get more information here.

#4 Is the data transmission process automated?

Suppose you are an independent wound care provider working with a post-acute care facility. There’s a lot of critical information you need to be able to share with that facility. You don’t want to rely on faxes, emails, or paper copies; you need something fast and secure. Look for a solution that seamlessly manages automated clinical documentation exchange. Technology that provides configurable documentation and integrates the latest MIPS guidance is also a plus.

#5 How will the software help my billing process?

Wound care billing is complex. Plus, as noted with MIPS and other value-based care programs, multiple regulations must be followed. Simple errors in CPT coding can be costly. EHRs that provide features that ensure coding accuracy and don’t require manual input of data have tremendous value. Net Health keeps up with the latest ICD standards, including updating the code changes each October via direct file uploads from CMS. Additionally, our wound care EHR software solution ensures accurate ICD-10 code selection to meet medical necessity and carrier policy requirements, which are also necessary for optimal reimbursement.

#6 Will the technology ensure I have accurate documentation and help streamline MIPS reporting?

Documentation is one of wound care’s most time-consuming and critical operational steps. Documentation that supports regulations needs to be mapped within the specialty EHR. Specific wound care elements and medical necessity requirements are essential for compliant patient records. Clinical and operational wound care triggers, outlier management, coding, and billing requirements are also necessary to drive facility standards, enhance outcomes, and optimize reimbursement.

For providers billing through Medicare and most major payers, MIPS reporting is critical for reimbursement. MIPS reporting accuracy is essential for compliance and timely reimbursement.

MIPS looks at four key areas:

  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Clinical Improvement
  • Promoting Interoperability

Net Health provides a range of resources to ensure proper MIPS reporting. For example, in the redesigned Regulatory Functionality section of our How-To Documentation, you can find the information needed for MIPS reporting for Promoting Interoperability and Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) for Outpatient Facilities and MIPS CQM for Traveling Physicians.

These topics list all measures supported by Net Health Wound Care and specifically highlight the fields used to measure data. We understand each provider group is unique, so we offer special links within Net Health Wound Care — such as those for traveling wound care providers — to ensure reporting is tailored to your specific needs.

#7 Does the software offer analytics to provide operational and clinical improvement insights?

Today’s clinicians need to understand each patient’s status, history, and risk to predict wound healing outcomes and improve quality accurately. They also need to obtain these insights without excess time and work. Make sure the software you’re considering includes analytics that effect these successful outcomes.

Net Health’s software provides advanced clinical and operational analytics consisting of the following:

  • Wound Trajectory Indicator that predicts the likelihood that a wound will heal in a specific timeframe.
  • Risk of Amputation Indicator to indicate the likelihood that a wound may lead to eventual amputation.
  • Missed Visit Prediction for essential insights into the likelihood that the patient will not show for a future appointment, which can significantly impact healing and outcomes.

#8 Can software help me market and engage with patients and other providers in my community?

Marketing their programs is essential for community and traveling wound care providers to grow their businesses. However, it can also be one of the more challenging aspects of a healthcare business since clinicians are more familiar with healing patients than promoting their work. When looking for solutions to help with engagement and marketing, key features to consider include:

Marketing

  • A fully integrated all-in-one solution that eliminates the need for multiple patient engagement and digital marketing tools that each require their own training and overhead.
  • Automated online reputation building to capture patient likes, reviews, and manage online perceptions.
  • Ability to optimize online directories to increase the likelihood that prospective patients will choose your clinic over your competitors.

Patient Engagement

  • Connect with your patients outside of visits to strengthen your relationships with them and ensure completion of care.
  • Keep patients on track and motivated throughout treatment by providing insight, encouragement, and tips for at-home care between visits.
  • Ensure timely, personalized communication with your patients using their preferred method (SMS/email).

#9 What kind of ROI can I expect?

When picking a software partner, price is, of course, important. Still, it’s also necessary to look at the return on investment (ROI) as well as the features that will drive efficiencies that lead to better reimbursement. For example, using Net Health Tissue Analytics to measure wounds digitally streamlines workflow, improving efficiency by 57%, and saves 5 to 10 minutes per patient, a remarkable efficiency that leads directly to a better bottom line. Time savings can reduce contracted nurse hours needed per month for wounds and/or increase billable evaluations per month.

Using Net Health’s solutions, one facility saved 22 hours per nurse per month (14% of nurse time), which allowed for an additional 12 visits ($1,605 reimbursement) per nurse per month. Another feature we offer, the Missed Visit Prediction Indicator, brings beneficial operational capabilities that improve workflow efficiencies and financial results.

Consider that patient no-shows and cancellations have real costs in terms of outcomes, quality of life and overall health. They cost healthcare organizations more than $150 billion annually in the U.S., and providers lose an average of $165-200 per unused time slot.1 Software that addresses not only reimbursement but also cost drivers will boost the financial viability of any wound care practice.

Net Health Wound Care Benefits

  • 80% reduction in manual labor to capture and transfer images
  • 57% increase in efficiency
  • Reduces charting time by 22 hours per nurse per month.
  • 15% increase in billable visits
  • Improve efficiency by 57% and save 5 to 10 minutes per patient.

#10 What’s your track record? What differentiates you from other wound care software products?

When looking for a partner, experience and reputation matter. As the leading provider of specialized wound care software, Net Health has served providers for nearly 30 years. Our solutions are trusted by top healthcare leaders in over 25,000 facilities every day as well as 98% of the largest health systems in the U.S., and we’re the partner preferred by independent clinics and traveling wound care providers.

But what sets us apart is our commitment to being a partner – not merely a vendor and not just a software product. With Net Health, your business is reviewed by clinical experts, who will take a deep dive into your current processes, documentation, and workflow. We’ll identify gaps and areas that could be improved, providing specific recommendations for improvement in clinical and operational workflow. You’ll get a detailed scorecard and report that gives you the information needed to take your wound care program to the next level. No matter your size or need, we have a solution for you.

Net Health’s Wound Care database has more than 4.7 million unique encounters, making it one of the largest in the world.

Reference

1 Jain, SH. Missed Appointments, Missed Opportunities: Tackling The Patient No-Show Problem. Forbes. October 2019.

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