Considering it’s 2017 and we’re well into the digital age, most home healthcare organizations are aware of the benefits of going paperless. The amount of time and money your home care agency can save by implementing paperless clinical documentation, or electronic visit verification (EVV), amongst other paperless processes is substantial.
Not only does eliminating paper reduce the clutter in your home care agency, it makes finding the information you need that much easier. And, considering care models are becoming more client-centric and technology is considered the norm in most industries, more and more of your clients are going to expect your processes to be paperless.
So what does going paperless actually mean for you and your home care agency? Here's a list of the most common home care agency paper processes that are going digital:
Schedule & Time Sheet Reconciliation
Using manual/paper-based processes to prove that home care services were delivered, where and when they were scheduled is costly and tedious for a number of reasons. In many cases, field staff carry a paper timesheet that requires a signature from their client for proof of the visit.
They then need to return the timesheet to the office (mileage usually expensed), where the information is then entered into the database for billing and payroll processing. The entire process is time consuming and there is little to no accountability for information being reported.
With digital solutions in place such as electronic visit verification (EVV), field staff can clock-in and out of a scheduled visit with the tap of a button (or call into a number with telephony). Technology affords us some important ingredients to make schedule reconciliation easier and more accurate, such as “time stamps”, “GPS Coordinates” and software code that permit various business rules to be programmed into a software.
You can increase accountability for time and attendance, while also eliminating excess travel costs. You can read more on digital schedule and time sheet reconciliation best practices here.
Having quick access to important and reliable clinical information is essential to providing an effective home care visit.
If a client’s health data is in paper form, there are a number of factors that could compromise the records, such as physical damage or loss, human error, illegibility etc. Sharing or gaining access to paper records is also time-consuming; the document needs to be found, scanned or copied, then mailed to the appropriate person.
Implementing a digital clinical documentation solution addresses all of these issues.
Home Care Cloud-based software platforms allow home care providers to access the information they need instantaneously. With clinical data securely stored in a HIPAA compliant environment, your agency has the ability to pull up a client’s care plan and document their progress in real-time, at the point-of-care.
This technology also enables multiple users to access the same documents at once, increasing visibility and overall data-sharing.
Also keep in mind the power of data mining virtue of going digital. Pulling aggregate reports for your agency to draw insights from visits, and extracting data to improve health outcomes becomes invariably easier when the data starts in a digital format.
In a paper-based accounting department, every document that comes in requires some kind of manual processing.
Staff will spend the majority of their time hunting down documents, assembling or organizing paper and doing manual data-entry into accounting systems. Processing agency billing or payroll could take hours at this rate.
Electronic accounting solutions can turn hours into minutes by replacing manual tasks with the click of a button. Using a home healthcare software solution with incorporated accounting functionality replaces manual data entry with electronic invoices and file management.
You start your accounting processes with all the information you need already captured in your system saving you significant amounts of time, while reducing errors.
Increasing referrals and client-onboarding are extremely important aspects of running a home care agency. Generally processing a referral consists largely of manual data-entry for intake coordinators, and it’s not uncommon to see delays between processing referrals to admission.
This is generally the result of human error in data-entry, which is a problem you’re more likely to run into with paper-based referral processing.
Digital or web-based referral management solutions make this a completely digital process. Information is inputted directly into your home healthcare software, and data-entry processes are eliminated, thereby reducing the chance of error.
All of the information Care Coordinators need is readily available to them, updating instantly and reducing overhead.
Understandably, in some scenarios there’s just no getting away from faxes or paper forms. At AlayaCare we encourage our users to use our internal “drop box”-like attachment folder that conveniently stores documents beside all the visit and clinical information in the system.
With paper documentation it becomes really difficult to share health information with clients and their family members. Lack of visibility and communication with key stakeholders can negatively impact the client’s care experience, which in-turn could have a negative impact on the performance of your home care agency.
With digital documentation and new technologies such as family and client portals, information can be securely shared with everyone in the continuum of care.
Family, friends, and everyone the client gives access to, can have full visibility into what care is being provided to their loved one. This gives agencies the ability to offer a new level of service to clients that would be impossible with dated paper processes.
These digital processes are only a few of the many ways your home care agency could go paperless.
Implementing a home healthcare software is key to going paperless, as many of these solutions offer some or all of the capabilities you need to aid in the transition.
AlayaCare is a provider of revolutionary, cloud-based home healthcare software with a product spanning clinical documentation, back office functionality, client and family portals, virtual care and mobile care worker apps.
Want to find out more about how AlayaCare can help your home care agency achieve paperless workflow excellence, and deliver better health outcomes? Request a demo, or give us a call at 1-855-858-5214.
Here is a case study from Acclaim Health...who used to be on paper...