Current day hospice care documentation requirements present enormous challenges for agencies and clinicians alike. In an industry that is becoming increasingly driven by standardized, regulated, data-driven, and check-the-box systems, a true patient-centered focus can seem left behind.
Best practices in hospice organizations offer a culture of emotional support and problem-solving for team members, both as individuals and teams. Many hospice leaders are driven by extensive quality compliance standards that are part of our operational guidelines – which in practice can interfere with the core requirement for personalized, patient-centered care.
How Can We Meet Both Needs at Once?
In short, as our world has become more complex and efficient, and more is asked of us in terms of managing workflow of systems and meeting data-driven goals for productivity, our one-on-one act of caring for dying patients and their families remains unchanged. What can be done to help this situation?
This is where hospice agencies should take a good hard look at their operational systems in place. Are they efficient and user-friendly? Where are the pain points? Documentation regulations are difficult to comply with as requirements change, and workloads increase. Paper-based processes are time-consuming and cumbersome.
Many hospice providers have addressed this with a transition to electronic medical records (EMRs). However, not all technology is created alike. Many programs have been retrofitted from home health software, creating frustrating workarounds and time wasted being forced to answer unrelated OASIS questions. This is where a specialized EMR system built from the ground up for hospices can remove many pain points when it comes to documentation, freeing you and your staff to focus on patients.
What Does a Specialized EMR Look Like?
A few points to consider when shopping for a specialized hospice EMR system:
- Look for a hospice-specific workflow in a cloud-based system that ensures compliant documentation with intelligent guidance and configurable hard stops. The software should streamline interdisciplinary communication through secure, actionable messaging.
- Save your staff hours of time prepping for IDG meetings by opting for EMR software with superior IDG efficiencies. Look for auto-populated meeting documentation that crosses all disciplines. This feature also eliminates paper in IDG meetings with a centralized view of all patients being reviewed. Look for a system that captures e-signatures all at once per discipline for patents reviewed in the IDG meeting.
- Keep your focus on patients by opting for an EMR system that provides a holistic view of interdisciplinary care. This can save you time with intelligent care planning within assessments, offering instant insight on the patient’s conditions through graphs in role-based dashboards.
- For clinical oversight concerns, look for an EMR with visual indicators. These visual indicators provide guidance for clinicians before finalizing their documentation. This helps avoid incomplete documentation. The software should provide visibility on the schedule so the clinicians complete comprehensive assessments every 15 days and stay compliant.
While compliance documentation requirements can sometimes seem to undermine our ability to create patient-centric care plans, shifting to an EMR system built specifically for hospice organizations can save time and headaches, freeing your staff to put their focus right where it should be – caring for patients.