Mobile technology proves its worthiness

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Debra Smith, RN, TLC Management
Debra Smith, RN, TLC Management

At our facility, we were caught between the rock - striving for higher RUG scores to generate more revenue, and the hard place - being fearful of being audited for high RUG utilization.

Since we certainly deserve the higher reimbursements for the services we provide, we turned to our electronic health record system to generate the documentation necessary to improve our RUG scores and justify our claims.

But as with any system, it is only as good as the information you put into it. For years, we used kiosks for our certified nursing assistants to enter Activities of Daily Living for residents. We struggled with our compliance levels. It seemed that there were never enough kiosks or that CNAs were getting distracted even before they got to one.

Our documentation suffered and so did our reimbursements.

That all changed when we partnered with CareServ Technologies. We removed our wall=mounted kiosks and started using mobile devices for ADL documenting. 

Now ADLs are completed right at the bedside in a timelier and more complete fashion. Our ADL compliance score quickly jumped from 50% to over 95%. As a result, we have fewer RUA reimbursement days, which we believe to be the direct result of more complete documentation. 

Obviously, this had a dramatic and positive effect on our bottom line and we have the documentation to support it.

To address our concerns about infection control associated with using mobile devices, CareServ treated them with their 24-month, self-sanitizing antimicrobial solution. That's a must-have in healthcare facilities.

As a bonus, our clinical staff also spends more time with our residents and less time at computer stations. CareServ's subscription model, called Hardware as a Service, allowed us to provide mobile devices throughout all 17 locations without a large upfront capital expenditure. CareServ and their support staff that have been there every step of the way, making the transition to mobile documentation smooth and effortless. It's helped us move into the 21st century. 

Debra Smith, RN, RAC-CT®, WCC, is the Corporate Clinical Informatics Director at TLC Management in Marion, IN.

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