The Measurable Impact of Mediware
Since the implementation of the MediLinks® Inpatient software solution, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute has been able to:
- Eliminate inefficient processes in documentation and IRFPAI scoring
- Strengthen the quality of IRFPAI scores
- Receive Medicare reimbursement that reflects the patient’s true burden of care
Meeting Full Potential Was A Challenge
SLRI’s inpatient rehabilitation department used both paper and electronic documentation processes. Nursing documented on paper while therapists documented in an electronic system. The electronic system was not built around inpatient rehabilitation workflows and made it difficult for the team to meet their full potential while documenting patients’ IRFPAI scores.
Using two systems simultaneously created unnecessary double documentation and inconsistencies in IRFPAI scores. Clinicians had to choose descriptors and base the scores on what they thought the score should be, making it difficult to gauge the true burden of care. As a result, Medicare reimbursements were negatively impacted and revenue opportunities were not being fully realized.
Reaching New Heights
In 2010, SLRI replaced their existing paper and electronic documentation processes with the MediLinks Inpatient software solution to help them improve their overall process for documenting IRFPAI scores.
With MediLinks, documentation took on a whole new dimension. Now, therapists and nurses are scoring using the same measurable criteria contributing to a more consistent scoring process. “The ease of functionality in MediLinks made it possible for therapists and nurses to contribute as a team to the documentation process and provide a much more accurate picture of our patients’ true burden of care,” stated Ginger Cohen, Former Chief Executive Nurse. In addition, because the scoring methodology of MediLinks is designed to determine patients’ IRFPAI scores based on clinicians’ answers to specific questions, there is now an objective approach to the functional scoring versus selecting a score.
The changes SLRI made to their documentation and IRFPAI scoring processes helped improve efficiency by removing double documentation between nurses and therapists and eliminated subjectivity in IRFPAI scores. “MediLinks Inpatient helps us meet our full potential because the solution is designed specifically for inpatient rehabilitation providers,” stated Ginger. As a result, clinicians are capturing more comprehensive IRFPAI scores and SLRI can rest assured that Medicare reimbursements now appropriately reflect their patients’ true burden of care.
With the help of MediLinks, SLRI overcame the challenges they were facing with documentation and capturing IRFPAI scores. The improvements they’ve made will help them as they move forward during these times of increasing care costs and shrinking margins in the healthcare industry.
About St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute
Founded in 1994, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute (SLRI) is Washington State’s largest provider of rehabilitation services for stroke, spinal cord injury, head injury and injury to bones, joints or muscles. SLRI is a 102 bed facility and accredited by The Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). SLRI combines compassionate care with expertise to provide inpatient and outpatient physical rehabilitation services to patients of all ages.