Success Story: East Texas Medical Center Rehabilitation
The Measurable Impact of Mediware
Since the implementation of MediLinks® Inpatient, East Texas Medical Center’s (ETMC) Rehabilitation Center has been able to:
- Improve accuracy and content in clinical documentation and IRFPAI assessment
- Improve appropriateness of patient functional assessment and rehab impairment group assignment
- Efficiently monitor compliance to CMS’ 3 Hour Rule and 2010 Final Rule
Tedious Processes in a Highly Regulated Environment
ETMC’s Rehabilitation Center’s clinicians frequently assessed the functional ability of their patients and documented the results on paper. The process was time consuming and presented a lot of risk for human error, especially in an environment where highly regulated standards are inherent in the daily workflow.
From a patient assessment standpoint, a lot of time and manual calculations went into determining IRFPAI scores. As ETMC Rehabilitation Center’s Patient Assessment Manager Debbie Bryan pointed out, “The process was like a math quiz filled with room for error; there was so much adding and figuring that went into determining patients’ IRFPAI scores.” The management team knew they had to find an alternative to the manual processes that were inefficient and impractical for their organization.
“We knew there had to be a solution out there that was designed to meet the specific requirements of inpatient rehab care. When we found Mediware, we knew this was the solution that would allow us to transform our clinical documentation process and efficiently monitor compliance to regulatory standards,” confirmed Laurie Lehnhof-Watts, ETMC Rehabilitation Center’s Assistant Administrator of Patient Services.
Achieving Results with MediLinks
In 2009, ETMC’s Rehabilitation Center implemented the MediLinks Inpatient software solution. They were immediately pleased with Mediware’s rehab industry expertise and product support and began to notice significant improvements in their daily workflow.
With MediLinks, clinical documentation greatly improved for ETMC’s Rehabilitation Center. Documentation became more accurate and it was easier for clinicians to capture more meaningful information in their patients’ functional assessments. “The difference I’ve seen in just the IRFPAI score documentation alone has made MediLinks worthwhile!” stated Debbie. Because the templates are designed specifically around the unique inpatient rehabilitation workflow, clinicians no longer have to worry about flipping through reference material to determine a patient’s IRFPAI score. Now, clinicians simply click through a series of questions that assess the patient’s functional ability and MediLinks automatically calculates the IRFPAI scores. “Our documentation has gotten so much better and we’re capturing so much more. When we implemented MediLinks, we noticed an improvement in the appropriateness of the rehab impairment group assignment,” confirmed Laurie.
Managing Regulations with Efficiency
MediLinks also helps ETMC’s Rehabilitation Center monitor compliance to regulatory requirements more efficiently. Specifically, with regards to CMS’ 3 Hour Rule and 2010 Final Rule requirements, MediLinks’ pre-built templates and reports have been a tremendous asset. “I no longer have to worry about how we’re doing compared to the regulations. With MediLinks, it’s so much easier to monitor where we are,” stated Laurie. In fact, managing the 3 Hour Rule is a smooth process for ETMC’s Rehabilitation Center. They no longer have to spend time on manual chart reviews to make sure they’re meeting mandated time requirements. “Tracking the 3 Hour Rule has become so automatic and easy to look at on a daily basis, and in real-time. It’s just amazing how we were able to completely transform our process with MediLinks!” said Laurie.
Overall, MediLinks has proven to be an effective solution that’s helped ETMC’s Rehabilitation Center improve the quality of clinical documentation, facilitate appropriate RIC assignment and monitor compliance efficiently. “The results we’ve had with MediLinks have tremendously helped us make improvements we would have never been able to make without the support and guidance we’ve received from Mediware,” confirmed Debbie.
About East Texas Medical Center
Located on East Texas Medical Center’s Tyler Olympic Plaza, the Rehabilitation Center is designed to offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services and programs. The ETMC Rehabilitation Center serves as the model for the system-wide network of rehabilitation programs and facilities located throughout East Texas and at ETMC affiliate hospitals. The Center is accredited by The Joint Commission and CARF to help ensure the highest level of care to their patients.