Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis

Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis ORDER NOW FOR CUSTOMIZED AND ORIGINAL ESSAY PAPERS ON Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis Analyze potential applications of an information technology system and marketing strategies and the impact of changes in regulations. Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis Prepare a 3-4 page, double-spaced paper (cite 3-4 reliable sources) that addresses the following scenario: Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis You are the Director of Continuing Care Services for St. Timothy’s Health Care System, a multilevel system consisting of an array of acute and long-term services. You have been given the task of developing an information system that will track clients over time and place. The system will be used for clinical, financial, and management purposes. • What basic components are essential to the system? • What challenges and barriers do you anticipate will be encountered in planning and implementing the system? • What are the first steps you will take to design the system? Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis • What recent external developments enhance and impede your project? Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis technology_in_long_term_care.docx CHAPTER 17 Technology in Long-Trm Care Learning Objectives After completing this chapter, readers will be able to: 1. Identify and define potential applications of an information technology system. 2. Discuss issues dealing with privacy and access to information. 3. Understand how technology can benefit long-term care providers, consumers, and the system as a whole. 4. Identify barriers to the successful use of information technology. 5. Identify and define options for acquiring and using information technology. ? Introduction As has been noted so often in previous chapters, the field of long-term care has changed rapidly in the past several decades and will continue to do so well into the foreseeable future. Providers have learned to adapt to payment systems such as the prospective payment system in government programs and capitation in managed care. They are also trying to keep up with changes in regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and those included in the Affordable Care Act. They are experiencing increased competition, both from within long-term care and from without. Finally, long-term care providers are finding new ways to provide high-quality care and are more willing than ever to work with government agencies and consumer advocates to ensure that quality. One very visible aspect of these changes is the increased use of and reliance on technology. Research shows that technology has the potential to play a critical role in launching a new model of geriatric care that “allows older people to live independently for as long as possible, supports family caregivers in the important work they do and gives healthcare providers the tools they need to deliver high-quality care at a reasonable cost” (Alwan & Nobel, 2008, p. 2). Computerized record keeping, electronic reporting to reimbursement and regulatory agencies, and integrated management information systems are becoming commonplace. Of perhaps more significance are the ways in which technology improves the quality of life of the consumers of long-term care. In this chapter, all of these technological tools and how they work are explored. Readers will not become technology experts, but the information in this chapter should raise awareness of the importance of technology, particularly health information technology (HIT), to the longterm care field. First, however, it should be noted that while hospitals have embraced HIT to improve their patient service, longterm care organizations have been slower to adopt technology (Hioban, 2013). This is in part because they have not had to, at least until relatively recently. Acute care, meaning hospitals and physician practices, rely much more heavily on high technology to treat their patients and to keep up with the vast amounts of information needed to fulfill their tasks. Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis Their patients are in and out of their systems more quickly and often require immediate results. Long-term care, on the other hand, deals with chronic illnesses and interacts with its consumers over a long period of time. Its focus is on caring, not curing. Another reason long-term care has not embraced technology as quickly or as completely as acute care is the investment cost. Although using technology actually saves money in most cases, the initial cost of investing in technology can be high. Long-term care providers often have not had the capital needed to make such an investment. Readers should not rush to the conclusion that long-term care providers are not using technology. Most are. They use electronic documentation in many ways to be more efficient in their operation and more effective in providing care. We discuss the types of programs they use as this chapter progresses. Although long-term care providers have not jumped on the technology bandwagon as speedily as have some other segments of the healthcare system, they are now doing so. It is clear that providers who ignore the benefits—and necessity—of technology jeopardize their very survival. As the field of long-term care has become ever more competitive, technology offers huge advantages to those using it over those who do not. Also, government programs are now requiring that reporting be electronic. Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis. The ways in which technology can be used in long-term care fall into two broad categories: applied technology and health information technology (HIT). ? Applied Technology Of the two ways in which technology can apply to long-term care, the first is applied technology. A primary goal of most long-term care services is maintaining or improving a person’s functional independence. Technology has much to offer in achieving that goal, although future developments will undoubtedly make the achievements of today look pretty basic. The Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) says: Aging-services technologies can be broadly defined as technologies that can influence the aging experience for seniors, including their quality of life, health outcomes, satisfaction and/or the quality of care they receive. These include technologies that can be used by seniors, caregivers (both professional and informal), health care providers and aging services providers to improve the quality of care, enhance the caregivers’ experience, efficiencies and cost-effectiveness. These technologies broadly include assistive, telemonitoring, telehealth, telemedicine, information, and communication technologies that intend to improve the aging or care experience. (Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST), 2011, p. 3) The Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) Health Information Technology (HIT) Collaborative says, “Emerging information, monitoring, diagnostic, communications, coordination and assistive technologies dramatically empower consumers and their caregivers to pursue personal health, wellness and independence goals” (LTPAC HIT Collaborative, 2012, p. 14). Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis A few of the ways technology can be applied to improve the functional status of individuals follow. Artificial Functioning For years, our society has taken for granted that some human functions can be improved or even replaced with artificial devices. Perhaps the most common is the electric wheelchair. Patients with virtually no physical range of motion can control such devices by blowing on a tube or, in some cases, even with eye movement. Artificial limbs and other prosthetics have come a long way as well, thanks to technology. They are lighter and have a much improved range of function, and much progress has been made in using sensors to send messages to the artificial limbs from the nervous system. However, that is just the beginning. Artificial functioning has become so sophisticated, it can support long-term care consumers in just about any task they need to undertake. For example, the controller of one such appliance will anticipate that an individual using a wheelchair is approaching a closed door, and it will recognize the door, identify the door handle, automatically move its robotic arm to grasp it, and then coordinate the movements of both the arm and chair to allow quick entry into a room. Remote Monitoring/Telehealth With remote monitoring, residents and their living spaces are outfitted with sensors to detect movement, monitor sleep quality, and collect other information about day-to-day activities. The information is transmitted via a secure Internet site to a registered nurse, who compares the data with a client’s usual patterns of daily living. With telehealth, the consumer measures his or her own vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate using equipment provided to him or her, and the information is sent electronically to a collection point where it is analyzed by a nurse (Connole, 2012). Emergency Notification Several systems that allow the elderly and other dependent individuals to live alone with the knowledge that they can reach help in an emergency are now readily available. Such systems usually involve a simple panic button worn on the body (e.g., as a necklace). Should that person need help, even if he or she falls and cannot get up, help can be reached with the mere pressing of a button. Other systems involve more active monitoring of the individual, prompting a response if a regular pattern of activity is broken. Fall detection, fall prevention, and location tracking technologies monitor patients in terms of their location, balance, and gait. Such devices allow caregivers and other parties to assess patient mobility and safety (Center for Technology and Aging, 2012). Devices of this type, although technologically quite simple, bring a great deal of peace of mind to both the consumers and their families. Telemedicine The American Telemedicine Association defines telemedicine as “the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status” (ATA, 2012). Telemedicine and telehealth are often used as interchangeable terms, covering a wide range of remote healthcare. Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis Telemedicine includes numerous forms of telecommunications technology including two-way video, email, and smartphones. Perhaps even more significant, according to the ATA, “patient consultations via video conferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education, consumer-focused wireless applications and nursing call centers, among other applications, are all considered part of telemedicine and telehealth” (ATA, 2012). Telemedicine involves providing some forms of care to consumers at locations remote from those delivering the care with the use of technology. Among the most common applications are remote monitoring of a consumer’s condition, conferencing among healthcare professionals, and consultation with specialists. Home health agencies are beginning to make good use of technology to monitor vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature) without having to actually visit an individual’s home. Some use television with Web cameras to see the consumer face to face. It is also a valuable tool in patient–client education. Telemedicine has been used for some time in enabling healthcare professionals to interact over distance. Hospitals and long-term care facilities can send diagnostic information such as X-rays, electrocardiograms, and laboratory tests to remote centers for interpretation. They are able to get input from specialists at major medical centers who would otherwise be unavailable to them. Healthcare professionals in several different locations can conference using telemedicine tools. These applications of technology, and many others like them, are capable of greatly improving the functional capacity of many long-term care consumers. However, these options are not used to their fullest potential, in part because many reimbursement sources do not cover them. There are also a number of regulatory and reimbursement issues that long-term care providers will need to overcome in order to see more widespread utilization of telemedicine. For example, while the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says that “States are encouraged to use the flexibility inherent in federal law to create innovative payment methodologies for services that incorporate telemedicine technology” (CMS, 2014), there is little uniformity in either the types of services covered or the extent of coverage. These obstacles have hindered widespread adoption of telehealth. They still exist, but there are signs of improvement, including less restrictive Medicare reimbursement rules (Pittman, 2013). As the value of these technologies becomes better known, we should see greater acceptance of them. When we combine a growing consumerism and preference for personal choice and control with the emergence of a wide array of technologies, that value becomes better recognized (LTPAC HIT Collaborative, 2012). ? Health Information Technology Although the types of applied technology just described are of utmost benefit and importance to individuals, the area in which technology does most for providers and for the overall system is HIT. The Alliance for Health Reform defines HIT as “Information processing using both computer hardware and software for the entry, storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information. Two common components of HIT are electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry” (Takvorian, 2007). Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis Indirectly, as the system and providers benefit through HIT, the consumers also benefit. HIT is simply the application of certain types of technology to the collection and use of information. All information systems, including health information systems, are built on the foundation of three processing phases: data input (data acquisition and verification), data management (data storage, classification, update, and computation), and data output (data retrieval and presentation Quality Management, 2013). Although such data can be collected and manipulated manually, use of technology makes it immeasurably faster and more accurate. Providers are beginning to participate in many of the nation’s health information exchange initiatives, and calls are being made to expand HIT meaningful-use incentives to long-term and postacute care (LTPAC HIT Collaborative, 2012). The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) issued a statement saying that it “strongly supports a high quality, safe, and efficient health care system. Health information technology (HIT) plays an integral role in the operation of such a system” (AHCA/NCAL, 2013). ? Clinical Applications There are many potential ways that HIT can improve the care that is delivered. It allows the provider organization to control and manage the care given, the records kept, and the scheduling of care elements. Some of the more common uses follow. Admission, Assessment, and Care Planning The process of accepting a consumer into any of the various forms of long-term care is of great importance because it creates a foundation on which all subsequent care is delivered; yet, historically, it has often been a process that was lengthy, confusing (at least to the consumer and family members), and time consuming. Worse, it was sometimes less than effective because information was not always obtained or coordinated among the members of the provider team. With the assistance of HIT, the process of intake and assessment can become more efficient, with fewer opportunities to miss (or misplace) vital information. Programs collect the vital data from different sources (e.g., referring organization, patient and family interviews, potential reimbursement sources) and collate it into a comprehensive, usable format. The medical history of the consumer can be made readily available as can eligibility for coverage by Medicare, Medicaid, or other insurance. The assessment information collected is used to develop an individual plan of care for each consumer. The information system simplifies the process of care planning by allowing staff to access a menu of predetermined care plan elements, selecting those that best meet the needs of the individual. Because several different specialists (physicians, therapists, nurses, social workers) are usually involved in care plan development, a centralized system integrates their individual contributions and produces a care plan for all to use. It also makes it easier to update the care plan as needed and ensures that all members of the provider team are working with the same information, avoiding many potential mistakes. For billing, electronic interaction between the provider and agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid provides quick and accurate coding to expedite the process. Medicare and Medicaid require that providers use a system of assigning a code to each consumer based on that person’s primary diagnosis.Norwich St Timothy HA4120D IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis A computerized information system allows the providers to quickly and correctly identify and assign the appropriate code. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also requires that certified skilled nursing providers (including subacute care providers) complete an assessment tool called a minimum data set (MDS) on each consumer served. An MDS is a data set composed of core elements and common definitions regarding care provided to residents of nursing facilities. The MDS includes standard demographic data for identification, such as resident name and birth date, and also contains data elements that describe the resident’s health status in areas such as customary routines, cognitive patterns, and disease diagnoses. All facilities certified to participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid are required by law to encode and transmit the information contained in the MDS to the state survey agency. The data are collected with a resident assessment instrument designated by the CMS; the state is subsequently required to transmit the data to them. Home healthcare providers certified by the CMS have a similar requirement, although a data collection instrument called the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) is used. In either case, a computerized information system makes it easy to transmit that information quickly and accurately. Many computerized systems are available, making it possible for a provider organization to find one that fits its particular circumstances and needs. Consumer Safety When each caregiver has access to the same integrated record, there is less opportunity for errors. One way technology can do this is with use of bar codes similar to those used in retail stores. Originally, bar codes were used to ensure accurate billing for procedures and supplies. However, providers have learned that bar codes can also help them avoid confusion and mistakes. Some healthcare providers have carried it to the point where each patient wears a wrist band with a bar code on it. When a caregiver administers a medication or begins a treatment procedure, the patient’s bar code is checked against the record. In long-term care, particularly in nursing facilities where many residents have some degree of cognitive impairment and cannot always be counted on to respond coherently or accurately, bar codes can eliminate many potential mistakes. Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis. The information system allows staff to schedule and track ancillary services such as therapies and consultations using a master schedule, avoiding time conflicts. It also tracks such services for billing to ensure that they are in keeping with the individual’s care plan. Record Keeping A computerized information system greatly simplifies other forms of record keeping. It allows providers to keep track of all clinical records in an organized manner, making them more readily available when needed. Most such systems have simple-to-use electronic recording processes, often allowing staff to check items off on a menu, eliminating much writing by hand. It also eliminates many errors caused by illegible handwriting. Professionals on the staff of the provider organization can enter care-related information from wherever they are: at the bedside, in a therapy setting, or even in a less formal setting that is more conducive to interacting with the consumer and/or family members (e.g., a lounge or dining area). The information is immediately entered into the central information database and is available to others needing to use it. Caregivers can see the resident’s care plan instantly either on a handheld device or by logging in at a terminal in or just outside of the resident’s room. This cuts down on errors such as medication errors and nearly eliminates missed treatments or other resident activities. One extension of this concept has gained a lot of popularity in home health care. Because home healthcare staff have most of their client interac … Assignment: IT System & Marketing Strategies Analysis Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100 Use the following coupon code : NURSING10

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