Nursing homes and other long term care facilities have been using elder care software in their day-to-day activities for some years now, following a move from paper to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) prompted by the many benefits that EHRs offer to nursing homes, such as:
- Reduced charting times: Effective long term care EHRs allow nurses to quickly and easily access patient information, which reduces the time spent on manual charting. This is a great benefit especially in the midst of a long term care staffing crisis.
- Enhanced communication between care team members: The best elder care software improves communication between care team members by allowing them to easily share information with doctors and specialists on their care team.
- Reduced medication errors: Thanks to effective medication management software modules, nurses can rest easy knowing their nursing home software helps reduce medication errors by providing easy access to resident medication histories, allergies, and integrates with external pharmacy software for error-free drug ordering and re-filling.
- Improved documentation: Nursing home EHRs provide a complete and accurate record of a resident’s care thanks to technologies such as point of care charting. This is essential in long term care facilities in which residents may be seen by multiple doctors and specialists over the course of their stay.
- Improved billing and coding: Thanks to advanced financial modules that work well with and can collect relevant resident data from clinical modules, elder care software can help improve billing and coding accuracy, which can lead to increased reimbursement from insurance companies and Medicare or Medicaid.
- Reduced costs: With the use of EHRs, the cost of care is reduced by eliminating the need for paper charts, the time spent on manual charting, and the space needed for filing and maintaining paper records.
- Enhanced information security: The best elder care software systems have strong data security capabilities, preventing unauthorized information access and HIPAA violations.
- Increased workplace efficiency: Recent studies have shown that long term care EHRs can improve staff motivation and satisfaction on account of its capability to record and retrieve resident information quickly and easily.
- Improved quality of care: Elder care software systems, such as EHRs, can assist in improving the quality of care by providing a comprehensive record of a resident’s treatment. This is especially essential in long term care facilities where residents may have complex medical histories. Nurses and doctors use electronic health records to document and analyze resident data more accurately in long term care facilities.
- Enhanced accessibility: Cloud-based electronic health records systems in long term care facilities make it so that authorized staff can access resident data remotely. This is a major benefit for long term care facilities that have staff members working on-call, who may need to remotely access resident information (e.g., an external physician).
Though the HITECH Act did not include payments to long term care facilities, it did play a role in their adoption of EHRs by offering financial incentives for adopting certified EHRs, which led to the widespread use of this technology. The HITECH Act also established federal standards for EHR use, making the use of EHR heavily regulated and setting a higher standard for electronic documentation.
4 Major Advancements in Senior Care Software
In response to the ever-growing demand for senior care software, developers are constantly creating new and improved elder care software systems that offer enhanced features and benefits. Some of the most exciting advancements in elder care software include:
Telemedicine is the use of technology to provide medical care from a distance. This can include things like using video chats to talk to a doctor, sending digital images of an injury or illness to get a diagnosis, and using special equipment to monitor a patient’s health from home or a facility.
Telemedicine falls under the broader category of telehealth, or, health care or education that is delivered remotely. Telehealth includes fitness programs, mental health counseling, and even parenting classes.
Telemedicine specifically is used in elder care because it can be difficult for elderly people, especially those who live alone or have chronic conditions, to make physical appointments. This technology allows doctors to monitor patients’ health more easily. Additionally, elder care software can help caregivers track appointments and medication schedules, allowing everyone involved to stay more organized and informed.
Needless to say, telemedicine has had a huge impact on long term care and improved the quality of care that elderly people receive. Most recently, telemedicine played an important part in helping with the continuity of care by facilitating communication with residents who were at risk during the pandemic.
2. Medical alert systems
Medical alert systems are used in conjunction with elder care software to keep seniors safe and help nurses and doctors track residents’ health. They can also be used to send messages or pictures to doctors in the case of an emergency when additional consultation is needed.
The various kinds of medical alert systems work differently though they share the goal of keeping elderly residents safe. One type of medical alert system used is a bracelet, which sends out a signal if a resident falls. This technology is particularly valuable for individuals who live by themselves and receive home care as well as for those with mobility problems.
For nursing homes, medical alert systems reduce the need for constant supervision, which frees nurses up to provide better care to residents with more pressing needs. Also, medical alert systems can help ease the burden on nurses and nursing homes that have high nurse-to-patient ratios.
3. Cloud-based programs
Cloud-based programs allow for access from any device that has an internet connection. This means that caregivers can conveniently access information from a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. In long term care, cloud-based programs have allowed physicians to more easily access resident information and confirm a suspected diagnosis. They have also made it easier for caregivers to keep track of residents’ health and medication schedules.
The best elder care software systems are cloud-based so as to offer a wide range of benefits to users. Cloud-based long term care EHRs also allow for real-time collaboration between users, which can be helpful for tasks, such as team projects or care coordination. Additionally, cloud-based EHRs offer secure storage of data, which can be helpful for healthcare providers who need to access patient information from multiple devices.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a type of computer program that can learn and evolve over time. It has the ability to simulate human intelligence. In elder care, AI is used to help develop better elder care software. The goal is to create software that can more accurately predict a person’s health needs.
AI can allow for elder care software to be more personalized and lead to a better quality of care for elderly people. Additionally, AI can be used to help with the continuity of care. For example, if a person is discharged from the hospital, AI can be used to help make sure that they receive the proper follow-up.
An example of existing software that uses AI is Experience Care’s PDPM Maximizer. This elder care software employs the use of AI to predict any missing diagnoses of residents during their admission to a facility. This not only helps residents to get the care they need, but it also ensures that a facility does not miss out on any reimbursements.
Contact us here if you would like to test drive our user-friendly elder care software.
Nursing Homes Long Term Care Management Software: What You Should Know
With America’s elder population rapidly growing, the demand for nursing homes and long term care facilities is expected to increase. This means that there will be a greater need for effective management of these facilities. One way to do this is through the use of nursing homes long term care management software and elder care software, such as a nursing home EMR software.
Here it is worth distinguishing between EHR (electronic health records) and EMR (electronic medical records), both of which are essential long term care software. While an EMR is a digital replica of the paper chart utilized by nurses and physicians, an EHR is a senior care software that goes above and beyond by providing a greater comprehensive look at a long term care resident’s health and medical history.
One tool that long term care administrators should consider as part of their essential nursing home management software, is the PDPM HIPPS Score calculator by Experience Care. This tool can help MDS nurses validate HIPPS scores early during a resident’s stay, enabling increased accuracy and facility reimbursements. Finally, as we mentioned, the PDPM Maximizer is another tool that can prove to be invaluable to facilities.
Choosing The Best Elder Care Software Vendor
With so many different elder care software vendors to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your facility. When narrowing down your choices, we recommend that you consider the following key factors:
- The size and needs of your facility: You will want to make sure that the elder care software vendor you choose has a product that is tailored to the size and needs of your facility.
- Your budget: It is important to find an elder care software vendor that fits within your budget.
- The features you need: Make sure that the elder care software vendor you choose offers the features you need for your facility.
- The level of support and training you need: You will want to make sure that the elder care software vendor you choose offers the level of support you need in case you have any questions or concerns.
Of course, one should always demo a long term care EHR before settling on it for their facility.