Overview of EHR Platforms
EHR, or Electronic Health Record, platforms have transformed the skilled nursing facility industry, and 64% of SNFs have been using an EHR Platform since 2016. What was once stacks of paper records has been streamlined into the digital world, providing skilled nursing facilities with easy access to a resident’s entire paper chart. Information stored in an EHR platform is likely to include a resident’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory or test results and can be easily and securely accessed to authorized users.
When a resident is in the hospital, all of their data is stored electronically. As soon as the hospital sends out a referral, skilled nursing facilities have to act quickly and efficiently if they want to win the bid. The admissions coordinator has to take a superset of digital records from the hospital and make a decision if the resident is a good fit for the facility. The coordinator will likely take the records to a nurse, who will then decide if the facility can extend a bed offer.
The problem with this system is threefold. First, each nurse and admissions coordinator will make different decisions on similar residents. A non-structured approach leaves room for subjective decisioning. Second, nurses are forced to make a snap decision on incomplete information. Decisions based on partial information expose the facility to liability and care issues, but more importantly, they can harm the confidence and morale of the nurse making them. If a nurse makes the wrong decision, it can have a negative impact on the facility or the resident, costing capital loss or resulting in poor care. As managers, it is our job to protect our staff from such heavy burdens. Finally, insurance is often forgotten about until after the resident has accepted the bed offer, which can cost the facility or the resident thousands of dollars.
The Current State
While many skilled nursing facilities are still active in the “challenge” period, some have adopted a digital system to streamline the admissions process. In such programs, facilities can customize a set of questions, documents, and forms necessary for a successful resident onboarding.
An admissions coordinator can now take the superset of information from the hospital and easily distinguish the pieces necessary for the onboarding process through a customized digital platform. Once basic care, insurance, and fit is determined, then a nurse can perform a clinical overview of the patient. A digitized process is repeatable and accurate, ensuring that each resident who enters the doors can be properly cared for.
The Ideal Future State: A Bridge Between EHR Softwares
As technology improves and digital adoption becomes standard, these digital onboarding programs will act as a bridge between the hospital’s EHR and the EHR of the skilled nursing facility. An admissions coordinator will not have to manually transfer diagnosis codes, insurance information, demographic data, rehabilitation goals, or discharge notes from the hospital and input those into their own EHR, but rather, the online admissions system will transfer all pertinent data from one EHR to another digitally.
The digital system will pull a superset of data from the hospital and generate the necessary paperwork for the resident, resulting in a data-driven admissions decision for the skilled nursing facilities. The digital system allows admissions coordinators to accurately and consistently determine best resident fit, cutting down the time and cost associated with resident onboarding.
Admit+, a digital admissions platform for skilled nursing facility and senior living, was developed from the challenges Western Home Community (Cedar Fall, IA) was having during their onboarding process. After adapting Admit+, they have cut down their admissions time by 60%. With more than 450 admissions per year, Western Home Communities has saved more than $90,000 annually.
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Take a tour of Admit+ and see how it can transform your skilled nursing facility admissions process into a well-oiled machine. Schedule a demo today.