Letting go of paper…South Georgia Medical Center improved their workflow with data.
The Measurable Impact of Mediware
Since the implementation of the MediLinks® Inpatient software solution, South Georgia Medical Center has been able to:
- Maintain adherence to regulatory standards from admission to discharge
- Focus on patient problems and overcome barriers to discharge
- Improve documentation and increase Medicare reimbursement by an average of $1,020 per patient
Letting Go of the Paper
SGMC’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit used paper throughout their day-to-day workflow. Paper presented a number of familiar challenges: double documentation, charts not always available when clinicians needed access to patient information, and IRFPAI score variances between clinicians, just to name a few. This made it difficult for the team to maintain high levels of quality documentation and efficiency throughout the patient’s stay.
Additionally, the increasing demands for electronic medical records, and the rapid changes taking place in the inpatient rehabilitation industry, made it obvious to SGMC that it was time to transition their inpatient rehabilitation unit to an automated workflow. According to SGMC’s Administrative Director of Rehabilitation Services Paivi Parssinen, “We looked at a few solutions and realized that Mediware was the only solutions provider who truly understands the distinct needs of inpatient rehabilitation.”
Embracing Automation and Data with Open Arms
In 2009, SGMC’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit implemented the MediLinks Inpatient solution. They quickly began to see improvements throughout their day-to-day workflow, as well as their ability to increase the quality of patient care and adhere to strict regulatory requirements.
Patient Assessment — Crystal Clear
From admission to discharge, SGMC’s clinicians found the documentation process to be a lot easier and precise in MediLinks. MediLinks guides clinicians through a series of specific questions throughout the assessment process and helps them determine a comprehensive IRFPAI score that accurately assesses the appropriate level of patient care and meets regulatory requirements. “MediLinks captures thorough and accurate data that helps us gauge the appropriate level of care for every patient and ensures we’re receiving accurate reimbursement from our payors,” added Paivi. As a result, SGMC has noticed an average reimbursement increase of $1,020 per Medicare patient.
Patient Information — There When You Need It
MediLinks has made it possible for the entire interdisciplinary team to have around-the-clock access to patient information. This has dramatically increased productivity for the team and made it easier to keep track of the patient’s daily progress. “MediLinks reports provide us with daily patient trends that we use to measure the patient’s progress and quickly modify their treatment plan according to their changing needs,” stated Paivi. Additionally, MediLinks has made it easier to communicate patient information to everyone involved in the patient’s care. Martha Ponder, SGMC’s Clinical Resource Nurse added, “The reports help us effectively communicate patient information among each other, as well as with the patient’s family and payors.” Overall, clinicians have found they’re now spending less time on administrative responsibilities and more time on what they do best – providing patients with quality care.
Patient Problems — No Longer a Barrier to Discharge
The efficiency MediLinks delivered resulted in more than SGMC expected. Because of the automated data the team had at their disposal, they were able to take a more proactive approach to solving patient problems. With MediLinks, they’re able to spot and treat barriers to discharge in the early stage of the patient’s stay. Also, the time gained meant more time was devoted to patient care. “Not only did MediLinks help us improve our day-to-day workflow and make us a more productive team, it also helped us improve the quality of care we provide to our patients every day,” added Martha. In fact, the average length of stay decreased by almost a day per patient because the care team was able to work together more efficiently and focus more on the patient’s progress.
The overall changes SGMC implemented with MediLinks have helped prepare their inpatient rehabilitation unit for the future of healthcare. “Mediware has been there for us and helped us overcome the challenges that exist in today’s inpatient rehab environment. We are so lucky to have Mediware on our side!” stated Paivi.
About South Georgia Medical Center
Founded in 1955, South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) is a regional referral hospital dedicated to being the leader in improving the health, wellness and quality of life in the communities it serves. Located in the metropolis of Valdosta, Georgia, SGMC serves a multi-county area in South Georgia and North Florida. SGMC’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation through a team-treatment approach to patient care. Their main goal is to prepare patients for a safe discharge from the inpatient rehab setting with the highest level of functional independence.