Like many CEO’s, COO’s and Executive Directors, I understood the challenge of working in a highly regulated environment, providing services in a scattered site, or de-centralized, approach and relying heavily on dual entry (at best) and paper based systems. Having started my executive responsibilities in the 90’s I only had the promise of the digital age. As a Medicaid provider we were not going to be using cutting edge technology and pricing for hardware, data and connectivity solutions were complicated and expensive. And though some things have stayed the same, e.g. regulations have only increased, and funding is mostly untouched since the 90’s, we now have the opportunity to access less expensive hardware and software solutions, data is accessible and reasonable, and even our large entry level work force has been playing with smart phones and access in their personal lives, for more than a decade now. (Ever try to buy a phone today, that is not a smart phone?)
Digital Wish List
Being an active member of the Connect a Voice operating team as well as an investor has allowed me to scratch this operational itch that I have had for some time now. It is a real thrill to compare my digital wish list from the 90’s with realities of what Connect a Voice is today.
Time Sheets and Billing Sheets
I remember the days trying to operationalize the pick up of 100 time sheets and billing all over Franklin County. Or 350 time sheets and billing sheets across the state of Ohio. Our managers would start Sunday evening and switch off who would be responsible each pay period to do this marathon. As agencies moved to weekly billing to help with cash flow this ritual occurred even more.
Today, using Connect A Voice, the promise of single entry of information, and instant access on a daily let along weekly, or bi-weekly basis is delivered. We had one of our customers put together a Return on Investment (ROI) of $60,000 associated with mileage, and labor to drive paper information into the office so it could be entered again directly into the billing system.
Taking medication is a fairly regular occurrence for many people, but when managing someone’s medications that can prevent a seizure, or assure blood pressure is stable, or prevent blood clots, it gets real very quick regarding how important your procedures around getting medication, managing that medication and assisting in the taking of that medication can be. Often times the best we could do was to make sure we had a trained manager monitor this process and participate in the steps as much as possible, but in some cases we had to rely on the staff who were present to pick up medications and even fill out medication administration records.
Staff now are able to have an electronic medication administration record that can be updated and monitored by management or nurses through the Admin portal. The record is intently available on their mobile device once they log into a shift. Reminders are even able to be created that alert direct support professionals of a pending medication that needs taken.
Information is at a premium when someone gets injured or an unusual event occurs. The back and forth communication and documentation requirements can be overwhelming and there is a need for written information and reporting to regulatory agencies. The challenge with getting a written document often created the need to pick up completed documents and sometimes, after review, require additional written documentation and clarification.
Connect a Voice brings this last challenge into focus by creating an instant sharing of narrative, secure images and the ability to as additional written statements easily if more information is needed.
The Digital Wish list doesn’t make the work we do any less reliant on good, well trained people who have opted to make supporting and serving people their life’s work. But being able to address compliance and communicate more effectively and efficiently makes it easier for our attention to be about care.