University Health Implements Cutting-Edge Technology to Facilitate Safe, Prompt Patient Care Transitions
Shreveport and Monroe, LA. (March 11, 2015) – Ensocare, in partnership with Louisiana’s
University Health System hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, launched its fully automated Ensocare Transition discharge solution in February.
The Ensocare team worked with dishcarge planners at University Health (in blue) during the Transition implementation to ensure all staff was fully trained on the new patient discharge solution.
Ensocare is a world-class provider of care coordination solutions, and helps hospitals nationwide achieve the strategic priorities of providing high-quality and ongoing continuity of care for patients, while reducing readmissions and length of stay. Ensocare's online solution suite facilitates care transitions and engages patients and families through its web-based technology and an industry-leading, no-cost network of more than 100,000 post-acute care providers. Ensocare Transition integrates with existing electronic health record systems such as Epic, used by University Health, to further streamline and simplify the transfer of vital information from acute to post-acute facilities.
“We were using a manual process for transitioning patients from the hospital to the next level of care and with the volume our case managers were handling, there was a great deal of inherent fragmentation and process inefficiency,” said Nancy Nicholson, RN, CCM, and director of case management for University Health (UH). “The addition of this new technology will allow our discharge planners to place patients in the right care setting the first time, which is the ultimate goal of all our planners,” she added.
Ensocare Transition automates the discharge process, eliminating cumbersome and inefficient clerical tasks that detract from patient care and oversight. For example, a system once reliant on fax technology for sending clinical and medical records is now able to accommodate the secure, online transmission of critical medical information, ensuring a patient’s treatment plan arrives at the next place of care before they do. The technology also greatly decreases the time in which patients wait to be accepted in post-acute settings such as skilled nursing care. Using the prior manual discharge methods, University Health experienced an average wait time of 24 hours or more for a patient to be accepted to a suitable post-acute setting. Using Transition, the average wait time from discharge-to-placement decreased to an average of just 24 minutes.
“This is definitely going to change the way I do my job – in a good way!” remarked Jana Henry, a UH discharge planning specialist. Backed by University Health’s new investment in the automated discharge system, Henry and her colleagues are not only able to get patients to the next level of care more efficiently, they are also able to spend more time focusing on high-risk patients, or those who need the most attention during the risky transition process. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), patients being discharged from the hospital who have a clear understanding of their after-hospital care instructions, including how to take their medicines and when to make follow-up appointments, are 30 percent less likely to be readmitted or visit the emergency department than patients who lack this information.
Area post-acute providers are also excited for the enabling technology that links them directly to University Health’s latest investment to cutting-edge discharge management. According to Dee Kohler, Ensocare’s director of client operations, of the approximate 350 post-acute providers in the region, 96% were already onboard and willing to accept patient referrals from University Health using the new automated system on the first day of its implementation. The Ensocare model allows post-acute providers to participate in the referral network at no cost, creating an environment where planners can quickly filter facilities that meet specific patient needs and provide options for patients and families as they transition to a new care setting. The system also takes into account a patient’s personal and social preferences, which results in more successful placement from the beginning, increased patient satisfaction and outcomes.
About University Health
University Health is the proud clinical partner of the distinguished LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine. As an academic hospital, University Health upholds a strong commitment to state-of-the art treatment, clinical research, and community education and prevention programs.
University Health Shreveport is home to state-designated Centers of Excellence including the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and a Center of Excellence in Arthritis and Rheumatology. On the main campus is an accredited Children’s Hospital, a regional Burn Center and a Trauma Center serving communities across North Louisiana, East Texas and Southwest Arkansas. University Health Shreveport is one of only six hospitals in the nation affiliated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
University Health Conway is also provides a 24-hour trauma center and is home to health care providers committed to improving the health of all local citizens. Profits are reinvested in our communities, allowing preservation of the safety net mission, along with facility and technology improvements.
Ensocare provides care coordination solutions, risk stratification and readmissions analytics to help manage patient care transitions, shorten length of stay and reduce readmissions. Ensocare’s solutions unite patients, families and healthcare organizations to ensure that patients get the right care at the right time after discharge.