Small Town Care Provider Achieves Big Time Results with PointClickCare’s EHR Software
Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center wanted an Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) vendor who could help streamline clinical and billing office activities and guarantee disaster and regulatory readiness.
Founded in 1960, Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center (BLHCC) is a small independent Skilled Nursing Facility and Senior Living Community focused on providing unparalleled healthcare services that respects the uniqueness of each individual and their needs. Located in the small town of Buffalo Lake, Minnesota, BLHCC provides an atmosphere that is tranquil, therapeutic and comfortable for all individuals in its two 49-bed long-term care facilities, and its 18 senior living residences. Whether through its variety of amenities or its well-trained staff, BLHCC is committed to providing the highest quality of care for its patients and residents.
Kendra Hiles – Director of Nursing
Nancy VanderVoort – MDS Coordinator
Julie Pederson – Billing Office Manager
Electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR)
Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center worked with a small, local EHR vendor for many years, but with changing regulatory laws, specifically involving Minimum Data Set (MDS) standardization, BLHCC needed a vendor that they could rely on to meet these regulatory changes. In addition, in 2003, Minnesota experienced a tornado and BLHCC wanted to ensure that they had a web-based system in place that would enable them to have access to, and restore, its resident’s data should a natural disaster strike again.
Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center looked at various vendors and PointClickCare was the only vendor who was able to meet all their needs when it came to streamlining clinical and billing processes, providing disaster recovery support, and ensuring future regulatory compliance.
Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center was no stranger to operating on an EHR. For many years, they worked with a small, local installation-based vendor solution. However, with the imminent approach of MDS 3.0, there was a looming fear that their vendor was not going to be ready. The facility decided it was time to re-evaluate their EHR solution and requirements.
After fully assessing what features and functionality were truly needed from a new EHR system in order to improve operational efficiencies, enhance quality of care, and reduce business risk, BLHCC decided that PointClickCare was the right healthcare partner for them.
In June 2010, the decision to implement PointClickCare was made and the long-term care provider began to rollout several solutions including; clinical, financial, Electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR), and Point-of-Care (POC). As a result of implementation, clinical staff expertise has increased, MDS processes have been simplified, medication administration is more accurate, and billing efficiencies have improved.
Increased Clinical Expertise
With its previous vendor, BLHCC leveraged the basic features and functionality for its licensed nursing staff only. After moving over to PointClickCare, the facility expanded beyond this and provided access to all clinical staff of the complete system, including POC and eMAR.
At first, this change brought with it a bit of fear for the facility, as the majority of staff had never worked in a computer based environment. “We had numerous situations where our staff had never used a laptop or didn’t know what a computer mouse was,” says Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing, Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center. “As a result, staff was pretty resistant, some even threatening to quit, but now they are big advocates of the system and act as peer-to-peer trainers for new hires. In fact, we have had no turnover in our professional nursing staff since implementing PointClickCare.”
The team at BLHCC has also seen a significant paper savings since implementing PointClickCare. Everything pertaining to the resident chart is housed within the software, so going paperless has not only increased accuracy in reporting for BLHCC, but it has reduced administrative costs as well. “The paperless environment through POC is helping to eliminate copycat charting, which was an issue for us previously,”says Hiles.“Our facility is leveraging the ability to scan other documentation, such as lab results, and upload these files into the system. Point-of-Care is also providing more accountability for the care activities our staff is documenting, our team even gets territorial over entering information into the system for a resident.”
Simplified MDS Process
Since implementing PointClickCare, BLHCC is obtaining reliable and accurate Activities of Daily Living (ADL) coding, something they were not receiving with their previous EHR.“By establishing an internal process for staff to properly document all ADL activities during day and evening shifts, our facility has been able to increase our RUG case mix,”says Nancy VanderVoort, MDS Coordinator, Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center. “With the use of the ARD planner and case mix analyzer I am able to easily monitor ADL scores during specific reference periods, allowing me to ensure accuracy and monitor for coding errors to maximize the highest RUG case mix possible for the us, as much as $75 per day per resident.”
Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center is also leveraging PointClickCare Mobile – MDS, an Apple® iPad® application designed to conduct MDS interviews, which gives staff the flexibility to conduct assessments and capture real-time resident information directly into the EHR from anywhere, at any time.
Improved Accuracy of Medication Administration
Integrated with Omnicare, eMAR provides on demand medication fulfillment, eliminating the need for phone and fax orders. Prior to this, medications were delivered every 28 days, taking nurses a full day to inventory pills and ensure all medications for residents are delivered. “Since leveraging the eMAR solution, our nurses are able to enter orders on the physician’s behalf,”says Hiles. “As a result, we are no longer dealing with difficult handwriting and the errors that occur from illegibility, which in turn has helped improve accuracy and increase productivity with our staff.”
With eMAR, the system automatically provides the information needed to deliver the right medication to the right resident at the right time, saving nursing staff quite a bit of time since they no longer need to prepare medication for each resident individually.
Enhanced Billing Office Efficiency
On the financial side, since implementing PointClickCare’s financial solution, BLHCC has seen enhanced efficiencies with its billing office. “Our facility’s therapy treatments are handled by an outside company so previously I would reserve one day per month for manual billing data entry for each resident’s therapy treatments,”says Julie Pederson, Billing Office Manager, Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center. “With the new EHR, now I spend no more than 10 minutes per month uploading a file I receive from the therapy company directly into PointClickCare, which has improved efficiency for me drastically.”
“Since implementing PointClickCare we have seen improvements in our staff accountability, we have maximized RUG case mix for our facility, and we have seen an increase in time savings for staff, which has allowed us all to truly focus on what matters most – delivering quality care to our residents.”
Kendra Hiles – Director of Nursing
Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center