Workflow management software enables more than 40 therapists in four locations to manage therapy documentation, scheduling, referrals, insurance authorizations, charges and more.
Electronic therapy documentation and scheduling software from Chart Links is now being used by more than 40 therapists in four locations at Scottsdale Healthcare, a community-based non-profit healthcare system in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services is a leading provider of therapy related to orthopedics and sports medicine, balance and vestibular disorders, swallowing and voice disorders, pediatrics, geriatric disability, neurological disorders, work-related injuries and total joint replacement, as well as hand therapy, aquatic physical therapy and audiology evaluation. In 2010, approximately 5,300 evaluations and 42,000 visits were processed across four Scottsdale Healthcare locations.
“We chose Chart Links due to the flexibility of its clinical documentation design,” said Therapy Services Manager Melinda Richardson, PT, MA. “We see patients of all ages across a variety of rehabilitation disciplines, so we require a high level of specificity in our therapy documentation to individualize patient care. Our clinicians didn’t feel that the fixed templates offered by other products allowed for easy modifications based on patient need. With Chart Links, we got the flexible documentation we needed without sacrificing compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking.”
Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.
“Electronic access to our patient records has made us much more efficient,” said Richardson. “Before Chart Links, we used transcription along with handwritten documentation and had a scheduling system that was separate from our billing system. We were constantly handling and hunting down paper charts, and were tracking and reporting information manually. The electronic integration of Chart Links into our existing systems makes for a more productive and seamless management of information from start to finish. We’ve eliminated our transcription costs and resources, and we document in less time. We’ve also cut out labor and paper intensive processes like chart management, faxing and manual charge entry.”
Chart Links is capable of interfacing in a Health Level 7 (HL7) format to inbound Admission/Discharge/ Transfer (ADT) for patient registration data and to outbound billing systems. Interfaces also exist for inbound scheduling, outbound scheduling, outbound results, and customized ADT or billing, among others.
“Moving forward, we are poised for sharing information electronically across care settings, for example, with home health systems or accountable care organizations,” Richardson said. “It’s that kind of connectivity that will enable healthcare as a whole to deliver a higher quality of care with less administrative cost.”
About Chart Links, LLC
For more than 16 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visit http://www.chartlinks.com
About Scottsdale Healthcare
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. Arizona’s first and only multihospital health system to earn Magnet recognition for its nursing care, Scottsdale Healthcare is a leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit shc.org. For information on Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services, visit http://www.shc.org/therapy/
Chart Links, a provider of rehabilitation workflow management software, announces the implementation of its electronic therapy documentation and scheduling by 15 therapists at Tuomey Healthcare System’s Outpatient Rehab Services.
Rehab Services is a leading provider of outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, developmental pediatrics, audiology and speech therapy in South Carolina. Located in the Tuomey Medical Park, Rehab Services includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapy assistants, certified athletic trainers, therapy technicians and administrative staff. The facility treats 150-200 patients per day.
“We researched systems for about a year,” says Jerry Shadbolt, M.Ed., ATC and Outpatient Clinical Manager. “We found Chart Links to be the most user-friendly and modifiable to meet our needs. Our goal was to make our clinicians as efficient and productive as possible by ridding ourselves of the paper. Chart Links is a flexible program offering us a variety of documentation templates — from pediatrics to ortho to spine.”
Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence, and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.
“From a management perspective,” says Shadbolt, “Chart Links keeps our clinicians compliant and accountable. We now have fewer incomplete documents at the end of the day. And, when it comes to reporting, there will be less of a ‘beastly effort’ to gather data and measure productivity. Overall, I give the product a high grade.”
Affiliated with 301-bed hospital Tuomey Regional Medical Center, Rehab Services has also implemented an interface from MEDITECH, the hospital’s information system, to Chart Links. Components of the interface include registration and billing data.
“Management of authorizations is one area that has greatly improved,” says Renee Brown, Office Manager. “We used to depend on the manual tracking efforts of our therapists and staff. Now, authorizations are automatically tracked in the system.”
About Chart Links, LLC
For over 15 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visithttp://www.chartlinks.com
About Tuomey Healthcare System’s Rehab Services
Tuomey’s Rehab Services team works every day to deliver personalized rehabilitation plans to help patients optimize their potential for good health. With an on-site physician, complete range of rehab services, world-class equipment and a team of rehab specialists, the rehab program is recognized as the finest and most comprehensive in the region. Tuomey rehab programs include physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, developmental pediatrics, audiology and speech therapy. For more information, go to http://www.tuomey.com/facilities/tuomeymedicalpark.aspx
MMCH Rehabilitation Center chooses Chart Links for niche-specific solution and hospital information system interface capabilities
Margaret Mary Community Hospital (www.mmch.org) in Batesville, Indiana, runs an off-site Outpatient Rehabilitation Center that handles more than 15,000 patient visits annually. The rehab facility employs 21 therapists providing physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Other services include work conditioning, sports medicine, balance, lymphedema, low vision and pediatric therapies. Aquatic therapy is offered at the local YMCA.
The rehab center had been using the hospital’s information system for documentation and billing and a manual, paper-based system for scheduling. Although the hospital system allowed some modification to accommodate documentation of the center’s special services, rehab center managers began to look for an end-to-end, niche-specific software solution that would assure documentation accuracy, improve workflow, save time, streamline scheduling and generally make life easier for a totally rehab-focused facility.
“We reviewed several different software options before narrowing our search to three companies,” said Carmen Pride, physical therapy manager and project manager on the search team. “After conducting extensive web demos and then comprehensive on-site demos of the three product finalists, we chose Chart Links. They definitely stood out and we especially liked the way their application looked.”
“We wanted to continue to use our primary EMR as the central point for our patients’ summary of care and billing records,” said Donna Nobbe, information systems director. “Therefore, our requirements for this project included a series of interfaces. Chart Links had experience doing this work with our hospital EMR vendor and provided valuable interface documentation.”
The MMCH Rehabilitation Center launched Chart Links in January 2009. “I totally expected the first day of ‘go live’ to be really crazy and haywire,” remarked Pride. “We sat in a room waiting to problem solve and expecting to help steer people through a hectic transition. But no problems came! That first day – and since – everything with the Chart Links system has been smooth and seamless. I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Chart Links solution exceeds rehab center’s expectations
MMCH has realized a full range of benefits, well beyond expectations:
Insurance reimbursement is significantly faster. Before, it took an average of 90 days until bills were sent out. Now, the timeframe is under 30 days. “This was made possible by the customized interface Chart Links created for us,” noted Pride. “Our billing is still distributed through Hospital’s primary EMR, but the Chart Links solution has streamlined and accelerated the process. We get our insurance monies in the door much more quickly now.”
Compliant documentation is more accurate and worry-free.
“We’re billing now with far less anxiety about errors because of Chart Links,” said Pride. “CCI edits, for example, have improved. Chart Links automatically notifies you of CCI edits so we don’t have to catch them on the backside or lose payments because we billed two procedures instead of one. Chart Links is our first line of defense, letting us know immediately if there’s a problem.”
Scheduling is more organized, streamlined and accurate.
Prior to Chart Links, the MMCH rehab facility scheduled manually with an appointment book (referred to as ‘the Bible’) which often resulted in confusion and error. “It was very unorganized,” said Pride. “There were too many therapists and not enough spaces to write in. Patients sometimes showed up when we didn’t expect them.”
The Chart Links solution has not only streamlined the scheduling process and cleaned up the errors but has also made the process completely user-friendly and intuitive. Unlike the other complicated-looking schedulers the rehab center management had considered, the Chart Links scheduler appears on the screen exactly like a book, a format the staff was very comfortable with. “The Chart Links scheduler was so easy to use and get used to that the staff abandoned ‘the Bible’ on day two of go-live rather than the six months they thought they would need to transition,” remarked Pride.
The workflow of the application makes sense, reflecting the way a therapist works and reports.
“Everything on the screen is organized and logical,” said Pride. “It’s Windows based operating system is a superior advantage. Print Preview, for example, depicts what the chart note will actually look like, a huge improvement over what we had. Even the range of motion measurements come out neater and, therefore, easier to read by the physician. Everything just looks better and flows better.”
The Chart Links Analytics option is a huge time-saver.
“With Analytics, you can look at specific programs and find out which ones are doing well or not,” noted Pride about the Chart Links ad-hoc reporting tool. “You can pull anything out of the system you want and analyze the data. Where month-end statistics would take an enormous amount of time to assemble with our old manual system, now we can run a report almost instantly.”
Customer service has been superb right from the start.
“Another major selling-point of Chart Links is their depth of rehab knowledge and their willingness and eagerness to share that expertise with us,” noted Pride. “We get very few vendors who have given us the customer service that Chart Links does,” said Trisha Prickel, manager of information system services. “They have responded to help desk questions at night and have been available to check the system after hours. I have been very impressed.”
Jim Hammer, COO of Chart Links, was invited again this year to participate in a software roundtable interview with editor of Physcal Therapy Products, Arati Murti. Here are a few of the questions and answers that were exchanged in the January 2010 edition:
PT Products: Budgets are tight in today’s economy; what are practice managers focused on in terms of software features/needs?
Jim Hammer: They’re focused on what really counts-features that provide a tangible return on investment: Compliance in coding and charting that will reduce payor denials and audits; reduce lost charges and increase revenue opportunity; Denial and revenue cycle management that will increase cash flow; and Automation of manual workflow processes (like referral and plan of care management) to create operational efficiencies and reduce labor costs.
PT Products: In what features/business areas can managers save money/time? (What software features can be used differently or combined?)
Jim Hammer: By using software to reduce the phone calls and faxing associated with physician approval of therapist-generated plans of care, both time and money can be saved. At one of our hospital-affiliated outpatient centers, both therapists and physicians were documenting electronically. However, the authorization process between the two systems required manual intervention with printing, sorting, bundling, faxing, scanning, and data input. Chart Links created a real-time interface to eliminate the manual paper chase in the workflow. By eliminating backlogs of unauthorized paper plans of care, the client has delivered quicker continuity of care (time) and has reduced billing delays (money).
PT Products: What’s the most challenging business “bottleneck” that you hear of from your customers, and how can software help avoid that situation?
Jim Hammer: Plan of care authorization management is still a manually burdensome and paper-laden process in our industry. Time is lost making phone calls, printing, signing, faxing, and waiting for paper forms to be authorized. With a Health Level 7 (HL7) interface and workflow automation, this process can be transformed into the electronic age to avoid the unnecessary paper chase.
PT Products: In terms of software needs in 2010, what are the important differences in concerns for hospitals/facilities versus private practices?
Jim Hammer: Data exchange. Hospital-affiliated outpatient rehabilitation centers must focus on how they will connect to the hospital information system and to local area referring physicians via Health Level 7 (HL7) interfaces. Standards and definition around health information exchange will be critical in the coming year.
Chart Links is happy to announce the implementation of its therapy documentation and scheduling system by a team of 19 physical, occupational and speech therapists at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center of Margaret Mary Community Hospital (MMCH), a not-for-profit critical access hospital providing inpatient and outpatient services in Batesville, IN.
The hospital provides a broad scope of services including 24-hour emergency, family-centered maternity, outpatient rehabilitation, home health, hospice and oncology. The MMCH Outpatient Rehabilitation Center provides speech, occupational and physical therapies. Other Rehab Services include vestibular therapy, work conditioning, aquatic therapy, sports medicine, lymphedema therapy, driver’s assessment, and a wheel chair clinic.
The software implementation includes functionality for electronic therapy documentation, cross-discipline therapy scheduling, referral and insurance authorization management, charges and more. It also includes inbound admission/discharge/transfer (ADT) and outbound billing and results interfaces to the Meditech hospital information system.
“We chose Chart Links due to its adaptability for both inpatient and outpatient therapy documentation,” says Carmen Pride, PT, Manager of Physical Therapy at MMCH and project lead for the system implementation. “As we become experts using the system, the time therapists spend documenting will go down and the quality time therapists spend with patients will go up. That will result in better patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction levels.”
Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visit. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, plans of care, progress notes, patient education, and clinical correspondence. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.
To learn more about Chart Links Rehabilitation Software, visit http://www.chartlinks.com.
Chart Links will exhibit at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting on February 9-12, 2009 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada at booth #654.
The Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) focuses on programming designed by all 18 of the APTA’s specialty sections. The event brings together more than 7,000 physical therapy professionals from around the nation for 5 days of programming, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall filled with products and services.
Stop by to see John Rea or Robert Stafford at booth #654nd learn about our therapy documentation software. Our rehab software streamlines the daily clinical and administrative tasks in an outpatient setting:
- Therapy Scheduling
- Patient Arrival Notification
- Referral Management
- Therapy Documentation (plan of care, progress notes, evaluations)
- Patient Education
- Regulatory Compliance
Learn more about our rehab software in general.
For a complete listing of tradeshows at which Chart Links will exhibit please view our tradeshow schedule.
The December issue of Rehab Management magazine (Vol. 21, No. 10) presents, on page 37, a business software matrix for rehab providers. The matrix, compiled by Rehab Management Associate Editor Judy O’Rourke, is aimed at helping providers make informed decisions when considering product purchases.
Chart Links is among over a dozen participating providers of therapy documentation and billing software.
The matrix is available for download in a pdf format at rehabpub.com.
Should you require any additional information about the Chart Links rehab software offering, please do not hesitate to contact us at 888.369.0707 so that we may help you navigate the differences between systems.
Also, please note that Chart Links offers a variety of other products and services aimed at rehab providers:
- physical therapy reimbursement tools
- therapy web design
- reporting and analytics
- therapy workflow analysis and consulting services
Chart Links has launched version 5 of its outpatient rehabilitation workflow management and clinical documentation product. The therapy software release includes features like flow sheet documentation, a fresh user interface, enhanced time tracking and patient appointment reminders.
“We’re proud to release technology that further enables medical rehabilitation practitioners to improve patient care, measure clinical outcomes and be more efficient,” says Ron Miller, M.D., President and Chief Medical Officer of Chart Links. “We’re committed to developing comprehensive solutions that meet the complex and cross-disciplinary workflows of outpatient rehab care.”
Chart Links Rehabilitation Software is used in charting patient progress for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and audiology. It handles the entire outpatient rehabilitation workflow including scheduling, insurance authorization, referral management, treatment documentation, charges, outcomes, reporting and compliance.
Read our press release about Version 5 of Chart Links Rehabilitation Software.
Chart Links is advancing its product offering. With a new management team in place and a renewed focus on software enhancement, our interface will be fresh, our workflow management capabilities broader, and our rehabilitation-specific content deeper.
The new version will better meet the demands scheduling, documenting patient care, driving revenue and reporting outcomes for multi-disciplinary therapy care in an outpatient setting.
Features of the new therapy software will include:
- flow sheet documentation
- a new user interface
- enhanced Medicare Time Tracking features
- automated patient appointment reminders
Watch for a release in the coming month.