February 2, 2021 | Net Health

5 min read

The Future of Skilled Nursing Facility Technology

While calendars may be changing, one thing remains the same—we have to continue doing our best to empower teams with the tools and resources they need to deliver the highest level of patient care possible.

And if 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that having a firm foundation rooted in command and control of the basic processes we know best is the key to thriving and surviving. As we all look towards the future, SNFs can rest assured that adaptive and forward-thinking technology partners have created resources to help them do just that.

Why Technology Matters More Than Ever to SNFs

The last year has been a whirlwind for the SNF market, from managing COVID-19 to the implementation of rapidly changing government compliance requirements to continuing the switch to value-based care through the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). And while collectively, we’ve done a masterful job navigating the rough waters, some foundational processes and systems of support may need a little TLC.

This is where technology comes into play. While SNFs have been doing their best to stay above water, technology partners have been building systems and permanent solutions to help. 2020 taught us that anything can happen. And as we turn the page on a new year, it might be the perfect time to look into leveraging technology to drive more support in the era of the uncertain future.  

Here are three technologies that can help make life easier for SNFs.

Data & Analytics to Drive Better Business Decisions

Buzzwords like business analytics may be new to some of us, but the power they can bring to healthcare decisions can’t be ignored. SNFs have a lot of issues facing them this year due to COVID-19, most notably:

Advanced business analytics help SNFs manage the care of patients, residents, and populations for the best quality of care outcomes and succeed in value-based care by managing facility performance. Additionally, analytics can help SNFs see where they stand relative to other SNFs in the market. Armed with these comparative insights, SNF operators know which strengths to market and where to prioritize improvement efforts. In other words, instead of guessing what to do next, SNFs can use data to help drive our decisions.

Net Health recently acquired PointRight, a company that provides advanced analytics software for post-acute performance, to help with these challenges. PointRight’s advanced analytics help SNFs improve accuracy and quality of data (for accurate reimbursement), manage patient care and prevent adverse events, and measure, monitor, and manage key performance outcomes to deliver value-based care.

Rehab Therapy EHR Systems to Help SNFs Continue Adapting to PDPM

With the substantial shift within the industry to value-based care, the learning curve and enhanced requirements can put a strain on frontline and back-office teams. Everything from billing to compliance to documentation to scheduling is affected.

If the industry and regulations were more predictable, this might be an easier transition. But because everything is constantly changing, there’s a challenging dance between implementation and just knowing what to implement.

Technology can help, though. Choosing to make the transition to a dedicated therapy management solution that does the heavy lifting can provide benefits across the board. Some of these benefits with top-tier products include:

  • A boost to overall operations and capabilities to maximize SNF productivity, therapist/staff efficiency, and overall quality
  • Complete documentation with programmable alerts, automatic application of codes and modifiers, and up-to-date guardrails to keep documentation on track and reduce clean-up time at the end of the month
  • Faster and more accurate billing with real-time compliance updates and in-depth customizability
  • Regulatory readiness and support through software updates, educational resources, and forward-looking support

If you’re looking for an option that delivers all of these benefits and more, we’d encourage you to check out Net Health® Optima Facilities. 

Software to Track & Manage Employee Health Compliance

Outside of the scheduling benefits that come with a dedicated EHR solution, there are additional technologies that can help to streamline SNF operations. One area where a lot of processes are still handled manually is the monitoring of employee wellness and compliance. Many SNFs track staff members’ health, exposure, vaccinations, and wellbeing through makeshift spreadsheets and solutions.

But as we’ve seen as a result of COVID-19, there’s an opportunity to win back a lot of time and organization through streamlined processes when it comes to keeping staff and patients safe and staying compliant with regulations.

Net Health® Employee Health for Skilled Nursing Facilities (Agility®) offers multiple exposure tracking with a feature that enables employee health staff to upload the exposure only one time rather than having to input the same information over and over for each staff member who has been exposed. The solution can help SNFs easily upload vaccination data to state registries to assist with Operation Warp Speed, and just recently, Net Health added a mobile immunization app that enables staff to track immunizations and vaccinations in multiple locations. 

The Bottom Line

Using a calculated, technology-driven approach to getting back to the basics after a tumultuous year can prove quite fruitful for the future. Whether it’s continuing the shift to value-based care, making more informed decisions, or better monitoring of employee health—technology can be the best investment we can make this year.

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