Longleaf Hospice Became 300% More Efficient Using the Brightree Hospice Solution on the iPad®, Improving Compliance and Accuracy

Case Study Snapshot

Challenges

  • Needed to keep up and stay compliant with changing documentation regulations
  • Wanted to eliminate technology barriers that delayed documentation and created an improper work/life balance for caregivers
  • Wanted to increase documentation and billing accuracy for improved efficiency and cash flow

Breakthroughs

Benefits

  • Increased documentation efficiency by up to 300%
  • Reduced time caregivers spent documenting afterhours by 30%
  • Shortened time for admission visit and documentation by 25%
  • Enriched completeness of documentation, reducing dependency on office QA staff and improving audit preparedness

Longleaf Hospice is a private hospice group offering end-of-life care through pain and symptom management and palliative care throughout the Metro Atlanta area. With an average daily census of 90-100 patients, Longleaf Hospice’s clinicians typically maintain caseloads of at least 12 patients with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

“Serving a large geographic area equates to a lot of windshield time for our staff,” says Sandra Washington, Administrator, Longleaf Hospice. “Anything that saves time will help us provide better patient care, while also improving business efficiency.”

Barriers

Following compliance issues related to a state survey, Longleaf discontinued using its electronic health record (EHR) and returned to a paper-based documentation system. Using this manual approach, staff typically postponed documentation until after leaving patients’ homes — relying on their memories to write narratives and take notes — which limited their ability to accurately capture patient visits.

Longleaf’s paper-based process was not only time-consuming and inefficient, but the potential risk for recording inaccurate or incomplete information added to their compliance concerns and jeopardized timely reimbursement. Additionally, staff were using personal time to complete documentation which meant they weren’t receiving full reimbursement for all hours worked. Having to document during off hours had a negative impact on clinician satisfaction and created an unhealthy work-life balance. These challenges prompted Longleaf to seek out a solution that would improve overall caregiving and clinician satisfaction through more accurate, efficient and flexible documentation capabilities.

Breakthroughs

Seeking a solution that would not only comply with regulation requirements, but also support efficient and accurate documentation and help staff follow care plans at the point-of-care, Longleaf selected Brightree Hospice software as its EHR, with the iPad-based point-of-care solution. Following a few weeks of video training, Brightree Hospice alleviated their challenges, and also provided a more user-friendly interface that became an immediate asset to foster patient interactions.

According to Washington, “Brightree Hospice is reliable and easy to use. Documentation flows wonderfully on the iPad solution!” She adds, “It’s not frustrating or cumbersome like our previous laptop-based software. Even staff that often shy away from learning new technologies catch on quickly and enjoy using the solution.”

Benefits

Following implementation of the Brightree iPad solution, Longleaf’s staff has been able to document patient visits up to three times faster than on paper. The user-friendly layout, intuitive design and unobtrusive technology allows their staff to navigate records easily and document at the point-of-care while simultaneously synching information in near real-time so that patient records stay updated. Decreased documentation time helps not only streamline caregiver workflow and provide more accurate care plans, but also optimizes workflows between caregivers and administrators working within the office. Real-time synchronization of documentation helps facilitate more efficient patient care by keeping all records instantly updated so that the office staff can operate more effectively.

Longleaf has also seen strong improvements within their billing department as a result of utilizing the Brightree solution. Instant documentation leads to more complete billing details and care plans to ensure that all services provided are accounted for and appropriately noted. This leads to more timely reimbursements and compliance, while also ensuring that patients are getting the best possible care.

In addition to improved patient care and satisfaction, Longleaf has also realized increased clinician satisfaction as a result of implementing the iPad solution. Equipping caregivers with the ability to complete documentation at the point-of-care without acting as a barrier to personal care enables caregivers to complete documentation during visits. This helps caregivers avoid the need to complete documentation at home and allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

“We’ve been impressed with the results and response we’ve seen using Brightree Hospice,” says Washington. “Documentation is so much easier on the Brightree iPad solution, and anything that can help us save a little time and frustration is wonderful.”

Posted In: Case Studies · Hospice

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