Improve Hospital Profitability with Therapy-Specific Software Solution
Why Your Rehab Department Needs a Specialized EMR
Even before the global pandemic, major hospitals and health systems were losing millions of dollars from inefficient delivery of care. One major cause of these inefficiencies is an overreliance on the hospital’s general electronic health record (EHR) platform for use in specialized applications, such as rehab therapy, where deploying a more precise tool would be better. General, enterprise-level EHRs (such as EPIC, Cerner, Meditech, and others) often lack discipline-specific workflows tailored to meet the needs of rehab therapists. This frequently leads to slow and inefficient documentation, frustrated therapists, and lower productivity – all of which ultimately result in decreased profitability for a hospital’s therapy services.
To overcome these challenges, and eliminate related profitability losses, hospital executives may instead consider implementing a much more capable, therapy-specific software solution that drastically increases efficiency and profitability of therapy operations. By implementing purpose-built software tools, this approach alleviates the major operational and clinical shortcomings inherent to the general EHR behemoths and provides the extended functionality needed to properly deliver hospital-based rehabilitation.
The following guide introduces Net Health Therapy, a leading therapy-specific EMR software solution created for hospital outpatient and acute care therapy settings. Net Health Therapy integrates seamlessly with a hospital’s HIS and features powerful tools that enable therapists and rehab directors to dramatically boost provider efficiency, business performance, and patient outcomes which, in turn, significantly increase the profitability of a hospital’s therapy department.
The right tools for the job
Your hospital’s general EHR might do an okay job documenting patient visits, but how easily can your rehab managers view detailed reports and vital clinic metrics at a glance? Does it intuitively guide clinicians through the documentation process quickly while also improving compliance, reducing errors, and eliminating manual processes? And does it help your therapy department engage and retain patients while growing your therapy business?
Chances are your hospital’s general EHR falls short on these and many other important functions when used to manage rehab therapy. To perform at the highest level, a therapy department needs a compliant, efficient documentation solution that aids, rather than inhibits, clinicians in navigating therapy workflows quickly. Directors and managers need convenient access to actionable data, comprehensive reporting, and crucial insights so they can make better decisions and improve business performance. And the platform should also be able to handle the unique scheduling, billing, and operational demands of providing hospital-based rehab therapy.
To optimize hospital rehab management, Net Health Therapy incorporates powerful therapy documentation, customized PT/OT/SLP clinical workflows, robust management reporting, convenient and feature-rich scheduling, and automated billing tools into an all-in-one, cloud-based platform. Together, these fully integrated capabilities naturally guide clinicians through the documentation process quickly and help to ensure compliance, boost efficiency, and enable high productivity – all of which grow a hospital’s revenue and increase profitability. In addition, built-in patient engagement and reputation management tools allow providers to connect with patients through videoconferencing for telehealth and automatically request online reviews from your clinic’s best patients with the click of a button.
Having a system that encompasses everything from scheduling to billing to patient intake to documentation has made our Rehabilitation Services Department be more productive and it has made it a more well-rounded and complete business.
Interoperability and cloud-based connectivity
A great software solution that’s difficult to access and doesn’t reliably connect and communicate with a hospital’s various IT systems is, essentially, worthless. Patient data drives crucial elements of hospital operations, so the information within each patient record must always be organized, accessible, and fully connected. A hospital’s success is significantly hindered if data access and connectivity begin to resemble a scavenger hunt rather than a well-oiled machine.
To avoid data management and access issues, hospitals should rely on solutions that provide interoperability and cloud-based access. A fully interoperable system assures that data passes automatically between various IT system components so that staff members throughout the therapy department and across the organization are always working with the correct, most up-to-date patient data. Well-built cloud-based solutions allow providers and managers to easily and securely access essential data, reports, and tools from anywhere, on any device. Choosing solutions that incorporate these concepts ensures that the entire therapy department and broader healthcare teams are all working together toward the same outcomes for patient care, scheduling, and billing while never interrupting or compromising continuity of care.
Net Health Therapy maintains total interoperability and keeps your HIS up-to-date by directing data right where it’s needed, seamlessly, with several key interfaces: ADT (Admission, Discharge, Transfer), Orders, Clinical Documentation Results, and Billing. This means no lost data, no dual data entry, and no manual processes to sync up multiple systems. The cloud-based platform can be accessed securely from a computer or tablet, from anywhere, with built-in backup and recovery, seamless software updates, and minimal hardware requirements. Additionally, Net Health Therapy is built with several powerful integrations that further extend the functionality of the solution, including FOTO outcomes management, home exercise program, E-faxing, patient eligibility verification, videoconferencing for telehealth, and more.
A rural critical access hospital finds cutting-edge solutions for outpatient therapy
Outpatient therapy should never operate at a loss
Establishing highly-profitable outpatient therapy services is a great opportunity for a therapy department to function as an independent, profit-driving entity that positively impacts a hospital’s bottom line. However, operational inefficiencies that degrade the profitability of rehab services can instead cause the therapy department to function as a cost center rather than a profit driver. In addition to ensuring effective and efficient documentation, a therapy-specific EMR solution further optimize a hospital’s rehab therapy profitability by minimizing claim denials, reducing reconciliation errors, and automatically ensuring complete and accurate charges, codes, and patient information.
Another example of inefficiencies that reduce profitability are missed appointments and/or low patient attendance. Patients who miss appointments not only experience worse clinical outcomes, but the missed visits also cost a hospital potential revenue. Each time a therapist is unable to complete a scheduled visit, or a patient fails to complete their plan of care, billable hours are lost and the hospital takes a financial hit. Net Health Therapy features automated appointment reminders that increase productivity by eliminating manual, staff-initiated appointment reminders and immediately decrease cancelation/no-show rates.
We’ve made some substantial gains with staffing, productivity and staff retention… I tell everybody that if you want to look like a rock star, and if you had revenue issues before, give Net Health Therapy a look because you could wind up being a rock star. It’s just that simple.
High efficiency and improved margins in acute care therapy
Although acute care therapy is not a revenue and profit generator like outpatient rehab, establishing efficient processes and systems to manage a hospital’s acute therapy function is essential for keeping costs in check and maintaining profitability. Effectively managing acute care rehab requires efficient patient and therapist management with timely updates and communication among people and systems. Unfortunately, many hospitals still use outdated methods such as whiteboards, magnets, paper orders, or spreadsheets to assign and track acute care patients and therapists. These methods waste loads of time and introduce rampant opportunities for inefficiency. Each morning, supervisors must spend hours manually processing and assigning orders, patients, and therapists. Then, throughout the day, therapists who were assigned in the morning find themselves having to track down a patient or arriving to empty rooms whenever patients are transferred or discharged.
Instead of enduring these time-wasting, profit-sinking inefficiencies, Net Health Therapy for Acute Care shortens the time from order to evaluation by automating and streamlining patient and therapist management. The digital Patient Management Board and real-time Clinician Worklist work together to automate and supercharge daily case flow and orders management while keeping therapists on track with real time, live updates for new or updated assignments throughout the day. These powerful features allow clinicians to respond to new or rescheduled appointments on-the-fly and helps to maintain the profitability of each hour worked. Net Health Therapy integrates seamlessly with your HIS, so therapists automatically receive order updates and location changes in real-time. This helps drive compliance and keep your HIS, clinical team, and rehabilitation providers informed with up-to-date patient information.
Powerful tools built for rehab therapy performance
Net Health Therapy is designed to provide the following critical functions that general, enterprise-level EHRs do not offer consistently, if at all:
- Customizable scheduling
- Patient checked-in alert
- Automated appointment reminders
- Videoconferencing for telehealth
- Clinical reporting alerts
- Insurance authorization alerts
- Medicare Therapy Threshold tracking and alerts
- Automated billing reconciliation and alerts
- Reporting suite
- Plan of care tracking
- Electronic faxing
- FOTO (Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes)
- Home exercise program
- Patient eligibility verification
- Online Reputation Management
- Clinical content for PT, OT, SLP
- Standardized assessment tool scoring templates
- Information transfer of relevant clinical information
- Clinical and therapy terminology shortcuts
- Integrated clinical and billing documentation
- Automated NCCI edit alerts in clinical documentation
- Automated Medicare 8-minute rule tracking and alerts
- Automatic discipline modifiers
- Comprehensive integration capabilities
- Required fields within clinical documentation
- Customizable documentation workflows
- Integrated ICD-10 diagnosis tool
- Patient portal
We love the efficiency for our therapists to document at the point-of-care—the ability to have template workflows based on shoulder, hip, knee – whatever they want to create. Our therapists are able to leave earlier and not have paperwork left over for the nights and weekends, like they did when we were on paper.
The right tool pays for itself
When increased efficiency meets a well-designed, purpose-built solution, the result is a win-win-win for patients, clinicians, and hospital leadership. And in the case of Net Health Therapy, the efficiency gains and therapy-specific tools often pays for themselves. On average, hospital outpatient clinics who use Net Health Therapy see the following results immediately after implementing the solution:
- 8% increase in therapist productivity
- 4% decrease in cancellations and no-shows
- 12% increase in charge capture/units billed per day
And many users see even better results. This hospital therapy department increased billable units by 21% and added $560,000 in annual net revenue without any additional clinical or administrative staff.
For hospitals that adopt Net Health Therapy in both outpatient and acute care settings, even more efficiency gains are realized. Staff who spend time in both settings will have greater familiarity with a single solution – this reduces training time, helps establish consistent processes, and improves user experience for providers and managers. Additionally, utilizing Net Health Therapy in both settings allows for comparable metrics and improved data management and reporting consistency. Further still, this approach also improves continuity of care for patients since clinicians have shared access to clinical information, immediate access to medical history, and improved therapist communication across settings. Adopting Net Health Therapy in both outpatient and acute care settings also results in technical cost and time savings since implementation requires just a single interface set up for communication with your HIS.
The benefits of a specialized EHR for your rehab therapy department are clear.
Ensure high performance and profitability for your therapy department
The key to hospital success in 2021 and beyond is to make every episode of care productive and profitable. Net Health Therapy can help your hospital therapy department achieve considerable increases in profitability by reducing operational waste and adding value to the actual time therapists spend treating patients. Together, these functions help rehab directors and hospital executives deliver the highest profit potential and transform the therapy department into a high performing profit driver for the hospital.
Connect with Net Health now to schedule a demo and see the powerful, therapy-specific tools in action.
Ohio County Healthcare Improves Rehab Therapy Operations
Ohio County Healthcare, located in Hartford, Kentucky, was looking for an integrated EHR solution that could meet their specialized needs for acute care and help them provide the best patient care possible. Net Health Therapy for Acute Care did just that – and more.