Med Passes Have Never Been Easier
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Business ProblemNurses at Chatuge Regional Nursing Home began requesting to be transferred to acute care on account of cumbersome software not specifically designed for long-term care.
Brian Free, the IT specialist, and his team moved to Experience Care on account of needing a more streamlined and efficient med pass system. All of a sudden, med passes were only taking half the time and job satisfaction increased dramatically.
Staff retention is a major challenge for long-term care facilities. That is why it is crucial to select the right EHR. When on Cerner, nurses at Chatuge Regional Nursing Home were slowed by a system that required them to enter each medication separately for each resident. Caregivers who initially entered long-term care to interact with seniors were frustrated by the fact that they spent most of their time behind a computer. Then, Free and his team switched to Experience Care. All of a sudden, med passes could be conducted much more quickly. Nurses heard about this and began returning to the facility.
The Consequences of Selecting the Wrong EHR
The Demands of Long-Term Care Must Be Taken Seriously
Seniors who turn to long-term care do so for a clear reason: they have specific needs and want to see those met in a comfortable environment. Larger organizations, though, sometimes ignore the distinct nature of long-term care and, instead, impose one EHR upon both hospitals and nursing homes. Brian Free has found that to cause major issues.
“… [Cerner’s] long-term care plans were completely unusable to the point that we had to do them on paper and scan them in.”
Brian Free, Clinical IT Specialist, Chatuge Regional Nursing Home
What Happens When Nurses Are Denied the Joy of Providing CareThe fallout of using an inefficient EHR is that it denies nurses the opportunity to do what they love most: interact with and care for their residents. This is because they will find themselves spending far too much time trying to perform basic tasks. “We would hear residents complain that their nurses are constantly staring at their computer screens,” he said. “And nurses felt they couldn’t give the kind of care they wanted or have the meaningful interactions that attracted them to long-term care in the first place. They had lost the ability to do that, because of an inefficient and, some felt, very unsafe process.”
“We began to hemorrhage nurses because of Cerner.”
Winning Back the Workforce
“Within the first six months [of moving to Experience Care], we were
able to bring back 25 to 30 percent of the nurses who had transitioned
to acute care, all just because of our new EHR system.”
The Value of Listening to Caregivers
Better Software. Together.Developing EHRs expected to support the wide range of tasks in long-term care is not a simple process. After all, caregivers are involved in essentially every aspect of residents’ lives, and their EHR must account for ADLs, therapy, dietary restrictions, and more. This is why it is important to engage with caregivers in order to determine how to improve clinicians’ workflows. Unfortunately, Free did not find that Cerner had this sort of awareness. “At Cerner, they just push out a build after making a decision internally,” he said. “And then you just have to live with whatever adjustments they make. You would get your footing, and then they would just pull the rug out from under you.”
“… [Experience Care’s system] is worked on by people using it on the floor. We get to work with the design team [in our user groups], and it’s just fantastic.”
Customer Support When You Need ItFree expressed frustration over Cerner’s customer support. “It could take three, four months before someone even looks at your ticket,” he said. “It’s pretty bad. Anybody who’s considering Cerner for a long term care facility needs needs to pump the brakes, because they’re going to be miserable.”
“We had to go on paper downtime procedures,
because [Cerner] just didn’t care.”
Now Free and his staff are getting the responses they need. “Most of the time, I’ll hear back in an hour. And if I have a big issue, they will usually call me right back in a few minutes.” Meanwhile, when Free receives a question about his facility’s state survey, he simply emails the customer support team and gets an “almost immediate” response. “[Experience Care’s] customer service is absolutely fantastic,” he said.