The importance of a quick intake in home health and hospice

Time-consuming data intake may seem like an unavoidable sentence home health and hospice agencies face, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you decided to work in the home health or hospice industry, did you excitedly imagine sitting in front of a computer, entering complicated data as the hands on the clock spun? Probably not – you more likely had rewarding visions of helping people with a range of conditions recover or enjoy a better quality of life.

But while many home health and hospice clinicians and professionals are passionate about providing quality care to patients, many of them spend too much of their time plopped at a keyboard instead.

Time-consuming data entry may seem like an unavoidable sentence home health and hospice agencies face, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s look at the importance of a quick intake in these care settings – and what your agency can do to make inputting data a less painful process.

Why intake is the enemy
Okay, data entry is not really the enemy, as it’s through this method that clinicians understand a patient’s health situation. The enemy is the archaic method that’s currently used for information intake that steals away your staff’s time.

Referrals to home health or hospice agencies are often, hopefully, accompanied by substantial sets of health information from their previous provider. As standard practice goes, the post-acute agency then needs to manually enter this patient data into its own system so it can be read and understood; after all, the referral source’s data, along with its own patient assessment, forms the agency’s basis for care delivery. This can add up to dozens of hours of time doing intake instead of providing care each week.

Intake doesn’t have to steal all your time.

A bleak outlook
Does your head hurt yet? Well, start loading up on Tylenol because it might just get worse. With the government doling out increasingly complicated mandates and reimbursement programs that make clinicians jump through increasingly challenging hoops, intake is poised to become even more of a time suck. Physicians are anticipating a “mass exodus” from Medicare in the wake of upcoming regulations, in large part due to “death by bureaucratic strangulation,” as one individual so poetically put it, according to Medscape. The pain is certainly also being felt in home health and hospice, as well as other areas of health care.

How you can have faster intake 
It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s the NDoc® solution and how it harnesses C-CDA CCD.

Consolidated clinical document architecture (C-CDA) and its Continuity of Care Document (CCD) are documentation standards designed to communicate patient data from one provider to another in both human- and machine-readable formats. However, CCDs alone do not solve the problem of time-draining intake. Expediting the intake process is dependent on the receiving provider EMR’s ability to process the CCD’s data electronically. In theory, this is prevalent; in reality, it is rare.

The NDoc software solution fills this gap. With the push of a button, NDoc® instantly gathers new patients’ C-CDA CCD data in their intake records, then automatically reads and processes this information, dramatically streamlining the intake process for clinicians. NDoc® also features useful add-ons to C-CDA CCD that further reduce intake time, such as its medications module.

With the push of a button, NDoc® instantly gathers patients’ C-CDA CCD data in their intake records.

Target the pain, see real results
At Health Calls Home Health in Pennsylvania, intake would typically take 45 minutes for each transferred patient, with another 30 minutes for entering medications. After adopting NDoc®, however, this process has been slashed by more than an hour.

“Demographic and clinical information carrying over along the continuum of care saves everyone time and money,” said Client Services Coordinator at Health Calls, Aaron Rimby.

No longer tied down by data intake, clinicians can focus on doing what they’re paid to do: caring for patients. NDoc® has transformed workflows at Health Calls and given back time for face-to-face interaction with patients – and it can do the same for your agency, too.