How Continuous Monitoring Helps Improve Clinical Documentation & Education in Post-Acute Settings

calendar icon Posted on October 2, 2018

_DSC0782The post-acute care market is more competitive than ever, with more and more facilities finding themselves pressed to not only increase their level and quality of patient care, but also their operational efficiencies and relationships with referring hospitals.

For these facilities, however, an emerging technology is offering a new solution: The kind of contact-free continuous monitoring (CFCM) delivered by EarlySense can help “provide post-acute facilities with the ability to deliver a higher level of patient care, which will allow them to thrive in an increasingly competitive and cost-conscious marketplace.”

So write the authors of a white paper exploring how post-acute facilities can improve their competitive advantage. Finding that CFCM can create new revenue streams and profit opportunities for post-acute care (PAC) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the white paper authors also observe that the technology can offer improvements in clinical documentation and education.

Download White Paper: Technology as a Competitive Edge for Post-Acute

Clinical documentation improvement has rarely been more important than ever — or more elusive, particularly among nursing facilities. On top of this, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regularly updates its data and reporting requirements (and the fees for failure to comply). With a method in place for improved clinical documentation, then, facilities can work to improve care and avoid costly fees in a single stroke.

Achieving Clinical Documentation Improvement with Contact-Free Continuous Monitoring

In researching the white paper, the authors convened with a number of post-acute administrators to discuss the effects contact-free continuous monitoring has had on their facilities; some told them that the data captured by the monitoring technology improved both the “speed and accuracy of their claim documentation.”

As managers well know, the capacity to improve clinical documentation can lead to significant potential benefits, including:

  • Faster claim submissions
  • Better outcomes documentation
  • Stronger justification for higher levels of services based on objective data points

Taken together, these factors “can improve a facility’s financial position while at the same time add operational efficiency,” the authors write, noting that the facility administrators they spoke to “reported improvements in their revenue cycle thanks to fewer rejected claims.”

Because margins for PAC centers and SNFs are “traditionally razor thin” (and becoming even more so), this potential for increased revenue via improved clinical documentation can, on its own, justify the technology’s implementation, the authors observe.

How CFCM Improves Clinical Education, Training & Retention among Staff

This ability to effect performance improvement extends to clinical education and training, too. Because it provides “a significantly richer source of objective data,” contact-free continuous monitoring is well positioned to serve an “educational tool for staff, patients and families to baseline on the patient’s status, identify potential problems, and show improvement over time.”

That capacity for improved education is also multi-faceted: “An often-overlooked benefit to CFCM data is the ability to serve as training case studies and staff development materials,” the authors note, while pointing out that improved documentation training can easily be an aspect of this feature — and that the need for advanced clinical education is greater in a setting where nursing staff turnover is particularly high.

Because of these higher-than-normal rates of staff turnover, “most administrators have to provide training every time a new hire is brought onboard.” This training time can lead to inconsistencies within quality of care because of the “lack of attention given to the transferring of knowledge and implementation of processes and procedures for the nursing staff’s daily functions.”

But contact-free continuous monitoring can help managers put in place “threshold, low and high range, standard setting, protocols and institutional policies” to ensure proper patient care. This serves not just to improve clinical education and documentation, but also staff recruitment and retention:

“When nurses see that a facility they are considering working for is using CFCM, it demonstrates the provider is committed to better patient care and technological innovation, and CFCM becomes an effective recruitment tool,” the authors note.

Contact-Free Continuous Monitoring: Effective, Easy to Use & ‘Non-Obtrusive to Patients’

Contact-free continuous monitoring from EarlySense is “intentionally designed to be simple for staff to use and non-obtrusive to patients and their families,” the white paper authors note.

Yet, even so, the authors recommend that “facilities should have senior staff members analyze CFCM data trends and communicate them to physicians, administrators and the rest of the clinical team,” to best make use of the power of CFCM to improve clinical documentation and education — and maximize revenue and profits, as well.

Learn How Post-Acute Can Increase Revenue by 22%

Learn more about how contact-free continuous monitoring can help your facility achieve improvements in clinical documentation and education: Download the white paper here, or contact us here to schedule a complimentary consultation with an EarlySense expert.

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