The Measurable Impact of Mediware
Since the implementation of MediLinks® Inpatient, National Rehabilitation Hospital has been able to:
- Decrease patient length of stay (LOS) by monitoring and maximizing treatment time
- Reduce missed therapy time and accurately meet prescriptive time requirements
- Improve the accuracy of IRFPAI scores captured by therapy staff
Process was Reactive
Prior to implementing the MediLinks Inpatient software solution, NRH used a paper process to manually schedule treatment time, document care and measure IRFPAI scores. “For a facility that had grown to our size, the paper process was no longer practical and it became difficult for us to retrieve information about our operations,” stated Cathy Ellis, AVP of Clinical Services. Managers were forced to react to problems, rather than staying ahead of them. “By the time we rescheduled a missed appointment, we may have lost an hour of the patient’s day because the process was very labor intensive and full of communication breakdowns.” Communication among staff was a challenge. Therapists’ notes were typically completed every seven days and relevant information about the patient did not always make it into the plan of care in time. It was difficult to stay on top of patient and therapist schedules and achieve optimal care.
In 2009, NRH implemented the MediLinks software solution designed specifically to meet the unique needs of inpatient rehabilitation providers. MediLinks allowed NRH to better care for their patients and reduce patient length of stay (LOS).
Providing Patients with the Care they Need
With MediLinks, NRH was now able to view their patients’ and therapists’ schedules in real-time and reschedule missed appointments within seconds. “We can quickly look at the patient’s day, compare it to 20 different therapists’ schedules and reschedule the patient in no time. This alone helps manage LOS because the patients get the full amount of therapy they’re scheduled for everyday,” stated Cathy. Therapists and managers have also become more efficient throughout their day because they can readily see the patients they have scheduled for the day as well as the patients’ notes – all on one screen. Cathy added, “It really helps keep our therapists moving and focused on patient care. It’s been a great support system for our therapists.” Additionally, being able to build weekend schedules has enhanced efficiency and accuracy by eliminating redundancy.
Maximizing Care with Better Communication
MediLinks helped NRH move to daily notes written by their therapy team. “Daily notes really improved the availability and accuracy of the hand offs of patient care among all the therapy staff. We’ve been able to dig deeper into the patient’s care plan and stay more current with the plan of care. Particularly around patient safety, skin management, falls management, medical management and missed therapy time,” stated Cathy. Also, the documentation features of MediLinks made it possible for therapy staff to get an earlier start on team conferences, which helped start discharge planning earlier on.
Improving Quality and Managing Costs
With the automated system, the therapy staff no longer has to spend time looking for crucial paperwork when measuring patients’ IRFPAI scores. Because of the algorithms that are built into MediLinks, clinicians are more comfortable with scoring all items now. According to Cathy, “Scoring is now being done more efficiently and accurately. This has been critical for us in controlling our costs.” In fact, because scoring has been more thorough and accurate, NRH has seen a revenue increase of $885 per Medicare patient.
MediLinks has been a meaningful tool that has played an important role in helping NRH achieve their strategic goals. All in all, NRH successfully improved quality and managed costs while effectively meeting the complex medical rehabilitation needs of the patients they serve.
About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
Founded in 1986, National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) has built a top-quality post acute care system for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. NRH is a 137-bed facility and fully accredited by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).