As home-based care patients become more complex, providers are looking for ways to ensure that clinicians don’t feel alone.
Specifically, providers are beginning to use data to solve challenges, especially through decision support tools that improve work patterns.
“These patients, when they’re in the hospital, are on the floor with every specialist and every diagnostic 48 hours later,” Jeffrey Sommer, chief quality officer and VP of clinical innovation at VNA Health Group, said. at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) annual conference last month. “Now they are at home with one of our nurses. How do we create a supportive ecosystem for (our nurses) to use technology so they can make good decisions for a patient’s care plan?
Based in Holmdel, New Jersey, VNA Health Group is a provider of home health, hospice and palliative care services. The nonprofit serves patients in New Jersey and Ohio.
In 2015, VNA created the Connected Health Institute, which includes projects focused on data collection, aggregation and reporting. Even then, there is a need to use data in a way that goes beyond collecting it for the sake of collecting it.
As patients become more complex, that need only grows.
To manage complex patients in a more controlled environment – at scale – VNA Health Group uses technology to facilitate and facilitate clinical decision-making and uses data that would otherwise be “stuck” in the reporting stages of documentation.
The second layer of the new strategy is simple: get everyone involved and on the same page.
“We really have to align all of our clinical reasoning with all of the experts that we have on staff,” Sommer said. “We need to help create fewer places for our experts to find this information. The last piece, which I think is really important, is that our system is built by clinicians for patients and for themselves.
The results are promising.
For its wound care patients, pressure ulcers healed at a 34% higher rate in 2022 compared to 2018. Length of stay for stage 3 PI decreased by 27% compared to level in 2019.
As the average time to review patients in wound care has decreased, revenue for VNA has increased.
“By finding things that aren’t easy1, without going through your EMR system, we have been able to integrate this new system into our home wound care program, ” Renee Coughlin, VP of Service Development and COO of VNA Ohio, said. “Right now we’re looking at different ways of how we can improve this system though.”