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My Vision for the Future of Tech in Post-Acute Healthcare

My wife, Heather, was the inspiration for Forcura. Six years ago she was working at a home health agency. As part of her job, she had to onboard patients who were leaving hospital settings. She loved working with those in need, helping them get the right care at home. She hated the actual processes, though. The paperwork and bureaucracy. The inefficiencies.

It was 2012, and despite the fact that the world was caught up in the digital transformation, a big part of her job was still manual. She spent too much time faxing documents and physically running from the agency’s intake office to her car to the patient’s hospital. It was slow going – and the redundant and time-consuming tasks often meant there was a lag between patient discharge and the start of care.

I started my company with the vision that healthcare should have the same level of productivity that other verticals enjoy. Technology is a big enabler, and how my team and I solved Heather’s problem. Forcura released its Intake & Referral Management module in 2014. Our web-based application enabled a more streamlined and efficient intake process – and got Heather and others in a similar role away from the fax machine and off the highway. It reduced document processing time by 60 percent and helped care providers gain instant insights for real-time decision-making. We released three other tools: Document Tracking, Scan Capture, and Secure Messaging.

These applications changed the face of home healthcare, but we were not the only ones embracing digital transformation. Around the same time we were developing our tools, the U.S. Government announced a federal mandate for the use of electronic health records (EHRs). This transformed healthcare. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion of disruptive healthcare devices and applications. Sensors, wearables, telemedicine, telehealth apps, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and internet-connected prosthetics are just some of the new tools that healthcare providers and agencies have at their fingertips. But there’s still one problem to solve: interoperability.

No matter which next-gen technology a provider organization is using, it’s been nearly impossible to tie it together with another technology. It’s a problem that’s even more pronounced at home health and hospice organizations, which may have older legacy technology, a lack of a dedicated IT department, as well as the time and capital needed to do custom integration.  

Which brings me to my vision and Forcura’s latest initiative. We have developed a standard information platform that will help agencies take patient and device data and combine it without having to do any heavy lifting. You may have already heard about it; Forcura Connect, a framework for standardizing interoperability and integration between home health and hospice organizations, physicians, EHRs, and other supporting technology vendors. A framework that creates full connectivity across multiple EHRs.

forcura-connect-graphic-01-1

Forcura Connect is built on industry standards, but we’ve done a lot of proprietary work as well. The solution integrates all of Forcura’s apps as well as other vendor technology solutions with EHR platforms, becoming the foundation for easy, secure information sharing. Finally, care providers will have patient data all together in one place. This means agencies can provide more informed care and enable better patient outcomes. It also makes it easier for everyone involved to achieve the home health Conditions of Participation (CoP) standards, communicate with the patient and his or her family members and document the required consent and acknowledgment necessary.

And last but certainly not least, from a business perspective, agencies achieve greater back-office integration so reimbursement is faster and easier. Case in point: We know that most agencies with one full-time medical records employee are managing an average of 250 patients daily. Using our platform, the ratio can go as high as one employee to 800 patients. We do it by helping people eliminate all the busy work of scanning, compliance management, and documentation. And like everything we do, we’re doing it with the highest regard for HIPAA requirements and IT guidelines.

We’re also making it easy for home health and hospice organizations to implement the solution by launching a certification program. So far, we’ve had some of the best consulting companies in the industry start our program. We’re glad because we want these experts – who own the people and process side of integration – to help our customers move forward.

It would have been hard to imagine how far the industry would come when we first started talking about automating intake, but that’s where technology has taken us, as an industry and why I truly believe that it’s only when we leverage all of the innovations happening in the industry that everyone wins – the providers, the patients, and their family members. And that’s really the true definition of digital transformation success.

- Craig Mandeville, Founder & CEO

Craig is an innovative executive and serial entrepreneur with over 18 years of sales, operations, and product management experience for several successful start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Forcura and is known as a healthcare industry innovator. Connect with Craig on LinkedIn.

 

Topics: Innovation & Interoperability in Healthcare

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