That’s how Matthew Calone, Director of Business Operations of Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare in Glendale, Colorado, explains life before they connected to the CommonWell Health Alliance network. Solace provides in-home pediatric nursing, occupational, physical and speech therapy services for more than 4,000 children in Colorado—a critical service that can be done much more efficiently now that they can tap into records from the more than 22,000 CommonWell ConnectedTM provider organizations nationwide.
Prior to connecting, there were multiple faxes and the constant need for Solace staff to “nag” physician offices to provide necessary patient health data. Matthew explained they would get the data eventually, but it usually involved a patchwork of parents trying to piece together bits of their child’s health history and pediatricians’ offices faxing what data they had after the initial consultation had already taken place.
Not ideal when, for example, a child is seeing a clinician for speech therapy for the first time, and they don’t have any data about the child’s recent lingual frenectomy—a procedure to remove the tissue connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth, which can help correct certain speech problems.
Having that type of information at the clinician’s fingertips before the visit can save time and simplify the initial consultation, allowing the clinician to focus on making the parent and child as comfortable as possible as they create the best care plan for moving forward.
From the end user point of view, the best part is the additional data is accessible to clinicians within their MatrixCare Home Health & Hospice electronic health record on the tablet they always use – no additional logins or programs needed. They can access and review the additional data before the consult, and Solace can avoid countless calls and faxes that used to be typical when obtaining needed patient data.
Solace has been using CommonWell services for nearly a year now. The enhanced access to clinical data has improved the efficiency for staff throughout Solace:
- The nursing team can obtain information on allergies and medications ahead of the initial consult.
- Clinicians can view documents from different patient encounters—whether it is with their pediatrician, a specialist, or a recent hospital visit—before or during patient consults rather than after.
- Administration staff now have access to diagnosis codes needed for billing and reimbursement purposes.
Matthew describes these welcomed changes as “only the beginning.” He expects continual improvement as his organization continues to shift to true value-based care.
At the end of day, Matthew says the ultimate goal is to “help patients and their parents and/or caregivers not feel bothered or discouraged during the process. CommonWell is one simple way to help us achieve that goal.”