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Mary Burkart, an RN RAC-CTA at St. Mary’s Home for the Aged, found that her team was spending far too much time documenting care and still not getting the information it needed.
By switching to Experience Care, her team now conducts more efficient and accurate documentation of activities of daily living and can make necessary changes to the software in a fraction of the time it took previously.
Long-term care facilities hold themselves to certain standards. For St. Mary’s, that not only means providing accurate care but also honoring the dignity of its residents. Unfortunately, previous EHRs did not make that very easy. Burkart’s team found themselves spending far too much time charting daily activities, sometimes double charting, or, documenting electronically and on paper. Other times, important information was either left out or not made clear. Now, by using Experience Care’s most recent software, she has found that the entire facility is working more efficiently and effectively.
Less Time Behind Your Computer
Find ADLs More Quickly
Burkart described how the new updates to Experience Care are saving her facility a great deal of time. “When I’m on the floor as a CNA, I know for a fact that it goes faster than the previous software I used, like CareTracker,” she said. “My nurses save upwards of 30 minutes a day on their documentation because there’s so much less scrolling involved.” With seven nurses, 17 CNAs, and four agency staff members at St. Mary’s Home for the Aged, which is part of the Felician Village community, translates to over 14 hours a day, 400 hours a month, and 5,000 hours of time saved per year.
In the previous software Burkart used, one would have to scroll through the various activities of daily living (ADLs) listed in order to find the relevant item. Users of Experience Care, though, now find that the organization of ADLs is in accordance with the highest standards of graphic design, or, the kind of user-friendly format one encounters when using an iPhone or the Uber app. It is intuitive, color-coded, and there is a logical flow. Colors and icons make sense. “Now you click on one, and it’ll open up another item and so on,” she said. “You have the residents’ names at the top and can pick the one you want or pull them all up at the same time and do the same charting for each of them.”
These updates mean that Burkart can more easily chart for eating, toileting, or rest for all of her residents at the same time. “It’s just so much easier to navigate now,” she said. “You can even put your little shortcuts up on top.” And she is not alone; other members of the staff at St. Mary’s agree. “Our health unit coordinator loves it, just the ease of using the buttons,” Burkart said. “She can help all the nurses chart appetites, what residents have eaten, and how much they’ve drank. You only have to click dinner and how much they ate, and boom, you’re done!”
Adjust the Workflow, Change Buttons in Almost No Time at All
Burkart is also saving tens of hours changing items in her system by using Experience Care. “Previously, when we were using CareTracker, changing things was time-consuming,” said Burkart. “It would spend two days trying to get the thing to work and would still end up calling tech support, who would send us a bill for their help. It was a nightmare.” This, she said, is because she would have to shut off the original button and create a new one.
Burkart gave the example of making changes to the button for toileting, like checking if Peri care was provided for an incontinent person. “With CareTracker, you had to go in there and find the series that feeds into the main button, then add a question, and get involved with more of the technical side than I was comfortable with,” Burkart said.
However, changing activities buttons in Experience Care is rather intuitive, according to Burkart. “It’s very simple with this system,” she said. “Tonya [Thomas, the clinical support manager] showed me how to do it once or twice, and now I can do it on my own in under an hour.”
Train Agency Nurses More Quickly
Burkart mentioned that her team is saving a great deal of time training the agency nurses that are brought into St. Mary’s. “[Training] was cumbersome with CareTracker,” she said. “But now [with Experience Care], they’re finding it easy to pick up on; you show it to them once, and they’re able to fly with it.” Burkart elaborated, saying that agency nurses can now be trained in half an hour less than before. “That might not seem like a lot, but when you have a half an hour times five people that come in each week, that makes up some time, especially when you have three agency people coming in at the same time,” she said.
"We can pull out a better care plan because everything's at your fingertips now."Mary Burkart, RN RAC-CTA, St. Mary’s Home for the Aged
Getting the Documentation You Need
For a long-term care facility, it is crucial that care is documented accurately. Unfortunately, that was not always the case with the previous EHRs that St. Mary’s utilized. “When we used CareTracker, I don’t know that the charting was all that accurate,” she said. “You just kind of guessed what you wanted to put on the MDS.”
The new point of care at Experience Care, meanwhile, is allowing Burkart to document more of the information related to care. “The functional abilities we submit for our Medicaid people are right there, available for me to look at,” she said. “If something doesn’t look right, I can investigate and say, ‘Yep, looks like they just hit a wrong button.’ It’s all very convenient and it makes my life easier.” She added that she can now click on a drop-down menu in the MDS and find physician orders or nurses’ notes. “It’s all right there,” she said.
Kardex System That Helps Personalize Care
One major advantage of Experience Care’s new point of care is a Kardex system—an alert system for the most pressing matters—that helps facilities like St. Mary’s provide care in keeping with their particular vision. “We can pull out a better care plan because everything’s at your fingertips now,” Burkart said. “We are able to use that Kardex now and personalize it to give that dignified care, the compassionate care [which is part of the mission of St. Mary’s] rather than something that’s just very generic.”
Burkart described how the Kardex is “elevating the care” her team provides, as it allows them to include the names that residents prefer, their favorite activities, and personal items that carry significant value for them alongside their legal names. “I like that you can fit all that personal information in there better without it being a lengthy paragraph,” she said.
Clear and Accurate Language
It is important that Experience Care’s point of care used clear and precise language, something that the previous EHRs she used did not have. “PointClickCare pretty much used canned phrases that lacked real detail,” she said. Burkart also mentioned the software of CareTracker and ECS, which she previously used, as also using broad and imprecise language. “They would choose whatever they thought was close to what they wanted to say,” she said.
That is, in part, why she decided to switch over to Experience Care. “In Experience Care, you have the IPN notes or the progress notes, and they have to physically type out what they’re talking about,” she said. “So you get much more descriptive documentation. Now they actually have to type out a nurse’s note, like in the olden days, and it ensures they actually say what they need to say.”
"In Experience Care, you have the IPN notes or the progress notes, and they have to physically type out what they're talking about. So you get much more descriptive documentation."
Why Experience Care
A System That Clinical and Financial Can Agree Upon
A long-term facility is a series of systems; a number of teams must work together to provide various aspects of care. When it comes to software, it is only natural that those involved with the financial side will be looking for certain features, while those involved with the clinical side will have other priorities. Burkart recalled the point in time in which the staff at St. Mary’s explored EHR options and wanted to settle on one that worked for everyone and connected various departments. “In the beginning, we had separate business office software, separate nursing software, and the two didn’t talk,” she said. “And that’s why we decided to look into [Experience Care].”
She explained how Experience Care was able to meet satisfy the needs of the various teams at St. Mary’s. “We watched the demos and just felt that Experience Care was the best fit for our facility,” she said. “There were some options that nursing liked and some that the business office liked better, but this one we all liked.”
After deciding upon Experience Care, Burkart and her team are satisfied with the software’s interoperability. “There are no more hiccups,” she said, meaning the clinical side and billing are now interconnected. “Once I’ve locked those MDSs and signed, sealed, delivered them off to the keys system, the RUGs levels are there for Medicare and automatically fed into the bill,” Burkart exclaimed. “The census automatically goes to the pharmacy, whereas they used to have to send that manually, so there are a lot of advantages to the two talking to each other now.”