CASE STUDY: Feldcare Connects Trusts DeVero as Partner in Providing Therapy EMR for the Home Health Industry
Feld Care Connects provides needed therapy services to patients in the comfort of their homes. Through partnerships with hundreds of home health agencies, the Westlake Village, California-based company has provided physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and dietary services for more than 12,000 patients since 2013.
With consistency in patient care held paramount, Feld Care Connects has strict demands for all of its systems. Electronic records allow for a high volume of extremely accurate clinical documentation, communication, and coordination.
“Having our therapists document care on paper and then fax or email it back to our central office and then to the referring home care agencies is not only an inconvenience, it is simply not viable. With our volume of patients, manual processes simply don’t work,” said Randi Peled, founder and CEO of the innovative care organization.
As such, Feld Care Connects had to find and implement an electronic medical records (EMR) system that would support its unique care delivery model, while also providing a foundation for growth.
“We needed a standardized electronic system to meet the needs of our community and to most efficiently document and share clinical information that is compliant with Medicare guidelines,” Peled said. “We realized that an EMR would provide an efficient way for the therapists to communicate with our central office and for us to then communicate with the agencies so they could we could work together to most effectively care for patients.”
Choosing an EMR that could accommodate the care provider’s needs, however, was no walk in the park. Not just any EMR would do as Feld Care Connects needed a solution that would make it easy for their therapists to document care and, at the same time, offer the straightforward access that their partner home health agencies needed.
“This ease of use and access would make the entire care process as seamless as possible,” Peled said.
Perhaps most important, though, Feld Care Connects needed a system that would keep pace with the organization, offering the flexibility to grow and change as the provider’s business continued to evolve and expand.
After analyzing a variety of systems, Peled choose an EMR from DeVero. The system’s ease of use and flexibility stood out from other alternatives.
Indeed, with the DeVero technology, clinicians control their workflow – and do not need to follow a predetermined list of tasks. As such, clinicians can move around in the system “at will.” For example, they can enter a blood pressure reading at any time. In other decision-tree based systems, clinicians might have to fill out pages of demographic information and check off various items before being allowed to enter the reading.
In addition, the system offers the flexibility required to meet Feld Care Connects quickly expanding needs. For example, DeVero is able to easily accommodate the clinical documentation needs of various populations, making it easy for Feld Care Connects to expand its service offerings.
“We now serve some pediatric patients – and they have different clinical documentation needs and requirements,” Peled said. “A lot of EMR systems only cater to the traditional Medicare world. DeVero, however, is able to quickly modify electronic forms and, therefore, offers the flexibility to work with many different populations.”
With the system in place, Feld Care Connects therapists document clinical care electronically in patient homes. Home care agencies then log onto the system to access the electronic documentation and transport it into their own EMRs. The solution eliminates the need to manually pass information throughout the care continuum.
The easy-to-create and easy-to-access electronic documentation is resulting in a variety of benefits such as:
Increased collaboration among Well Care Connect clinicians. With the Devero EMR, “everyone – occupational therapist, physical therapists, speech therapists, assistants – gets to see the documentation. Our therapists don’t have to come to the office to review a paper chart. It’s all right there electronically available to whoever is working on the case. So, everyone is on the same page, and there is better continuity of care,” Peled said.
Streamlined communication with homecare partners. “If a patient’s vitals are out of whack or a patient appears to need medication or some type of equipment, our therapists can quickly document that in the EMR – and the electronic notes can be immediately sent to the nurses at the homecare agencies. And, they can quickly involve the doctors. So, patients are able to get needed care much more efficiently,” Peled said.
Improved patient care. “Patient care is much better because it is easier to track progress, keep clinicians informed and meet goals. Reviewing timelines and quantifying clinical improvements becomes much simpler and more effective because we don’t have to flip through a stack of paper documents to look at data. We can move through the information quicker and respond,” Peled said.
Enhanced growth opportunities. “We are growing and expanding, while operating out of a single office. The only way we can do that is with an EMR. Our census is extremely large. So to be able to handle the large census of patients that we serve, we must have an EMR. We wouldn’t be able to handle the volume of calls that would have to come in if we were doing it based on phone and paper,” Peled said. “With the DeVero EMR in place, we can confidently move forward, expanding our services and our geographic reach, knowing that we have the ability to support the documentation, communication and coordination associated with providing high quality therapy services to home-bound patients.”