Mobile App Helps On-the-Go Homecare and Hospice Clinicians

By Ryan Squire tags:

Kindred’s PeopleFirst Homecare and Hospice Division is now working with the company Homecare Homebase to implement their software system – HCHB and PointCare mobile; the system will become the division standard and replace traditional paper-based record-keeping.  When paired with a mobile device through PointCare, HCHB allows caregivers to have access to patient information on the go.

“Our Homecare and Hospice caregivers see patients in a variety of settings, particularly in clients’ homes, and this mobile technology gives them the ability to access important patient information and input new visit data while working with patients rather than documenting after a visit is complete,” said Christa Simons, Manager of Clinical Systems Development for Kindred Healthcare. “Documenting the visit while working with the patients allows clinicians to be more efficient and accurate.”

HCHB is currently being rolled out as the PeopleFirst Homecare and Hospice Division’s standard clinical and billing system. Sixty-seven branches are currently using HCHB with another 30 expected to be begin using it in 2013.

As part of the implementation, Kindred provides the clinicians with seven or ten-inch Galaxy tablets on which to run the HCHB program. When clinicians synch their tablets each morning, they access their list of patient visits for the day, related clinical information and care plans. The branch office staff is able to communicate with the clinicians in the field through email, also accessible on these tablets.  Nurses complete all required CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) documentation, including the OASIS (Outcome and Assessment Information Set) documentation, through the system, which features checks-and-balances that alert clinicians if the answer to one assessment question contradicts another. This helps ensure accuracy, not only with medical information but also with billing.

Information that may be accessed and updated in the system includes initial assessments, physical or occupational therapy needs, or any kind of skilled care, such as wound care, and even scanned documentation related to a patient’s previous care.

Mobile App Helps On-the-Go Homecare and Hospice CliniciansThe tablets connect via 3G access, so they are not dependent on Wi-Fi. The clinicians synch the tablets with the HCHB database several times a day keeping information up to date in both places.

The system and its mobile component are especially helpful on weekends, for the on-call clinician, who traditionally had to go into the office to admit a patient or schedule a visit over a weekend.  With the HCHB system, they are able to use the Galaxy tablets to access both the back-office application and the PointCare mobile application for visits.

“The system gives us up-to-the-minute data at our fingertips and has made it a lot easier when we get a call or an e-mail about a patient, because we can send the information on that patient to the clinician in the field, wherever they are,” said Deb Locke, RN, MS, COS-C, Corporate Clinical Director for Signature Health Services, an affiliate of PeopleFirst HomeCare and Hospice. “The ease and efficiency helps us improve quality of care for our patients.”