Speech and Hearing Center Reduces Therapy Documentation Turnaround Time

April 24, 2009 · Posted in Documentation, Speech Therapy · Comment 

Since using Chart Links speech therapy documentation software, Columbus Speech & Hearing Center has virtually eliminated redundant data entry and reduced clinical documentation turnaround time from two weeks down to a few days. This increased efficiency has enabled the Center to add clinicians while decreasing its clerical staff.

Completing and filing clinical documentation posed challenges for the Center before it began using Chart Links. For proper billing, every patient encounter needs to be documented with a progress note. However, progress notes often got lost, were illegible or didn’t get completed in a timely fashion. With Chart Links, clinicians are able to easily complete the progress notes within the system, and business managers can use the system to monitor the status of progress notes before backlogs get out of control.

Similarly, evaluation and treatment documents used to be handwritten by clinicians and sent to word processors to type. The manual process used to take two to three weeks to complete and included typing the notes, clarifying illegible or unclear notes, as well incorporating one to two revisions before the document was finalized. Now, clinicians can enter their evaluation and treatment notes directly into the system, and – once again – business managers can track the status of the process along the way. “Now it’s very easy for the department director to go into the system and see who hasn’t done their evaluation reports or their treatment reports, which helps us avoid major backlogs and helps to ensure we remain compliant with our accreditation and quality standards,” says Karen Deeter, director of operations at the Center.

The increased productivity and efficiency facilitated by Chart Links has enabled the organization to add clinicians, while decreasing the size of its clerical staff.

The Center is realizing the benefits of moving away from paper-based processes. “Chart Links is helping us transition toward the use of electronic documentation throughout our practice, and has substantially reduced the hassles of tracking and filing paper-based documents,” said Dawn Gleason, president and CEO of the Center. “We are now entering electronic audiology files into the system, and we’re able to scan in the historical patient records for the patients who we see on an ongoing basis. Overall, Chart Links has helped us improve our workflow and reduce administrative tasks.”

Based in Columbus, Ohio, the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center serves nearly 10,000 people across Ohio. Center services include: audiology and hearing aid services; speech-language and occupational therapy; as well as the Comprehensive Program for the Deaf, a job placement program for adults who are hard-of-hearing or deaf. The Center collaborates with numerous other agencies and community organizations in a full-time program of education, testing, evaluation, therapy and vocational counseling at the Center, throughout Central Ohio, and across the state.

Read more about our speech therapy documentation software.

Read the full case study on Columbus Speech & Hearing Center.

Ann W. Kummer to Speak about Speech Therapy Software at ASHA

November 18, 2008 · Posted in Compliance, Documentation, Scheduling, Speech Therapy, Workflow · Comment 

We’re happy to announce that Ann Kummer, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA-F, will speak at the 2008 Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention on November 22, 2008 in Chicago, IL from 8-9am. The presentation, entitled “It’s Not IF You’ll Computerize, It’s WHEN and HOW,” will cover 10 things that speech-language pathology (SLP) clinics should consider when evaluating speech therapy software to automate their documentation and administration. Dr. Kummer is the Senior Director of Speech Pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

“More than a decade ago, we embarked upon a mission to reduce the documentation and administrative demands within our organization,” says Dr. Kummer.  “Today, we leverage information technology to automate our processes, streamline workflow, reduce billing errors, increase coding compliance, and improve the quality, consistency and turn-around time of our documentation.”

In 1995, Dr. Kummer chose Chart Links Rehab Software to meet the unique documentation needs of a speech pathology department that couldn’t be met with a generic clinical documentation or electronic medical records system. Within a year of launching the system, the Speech Pathology Department at Cincinnati Children’s started realizing the benefits of automation, which included:

  • 1-2 hours of increased billed time per week per full-time equivalent therapist
  • Increased reimbursement resulting from consistent processes
  • Decreased support staff costs
  • Improved net revenues
  • Improved staff and patient satisfaction

The cost reductions in computerizing the documentation and administrative processes continue to deliver a financial return to the organization each year.

Dr. Kummer’s department has been computerized with Chart Links Rehab Software since 1995. She is the author of Business Practices: A Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists published by ASHA.  She is also the author of Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies: Effects on Speech and Resonance published by Delmar Cengage Learning, 2 Edition (July, 2007).

To learn more about Chart Links’ Rehab Software, visit booth #962 at the American Speech-Language-Pathology Association (ASHA) Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois on November 20-22, 2008, call 888.369.0707, or visit our website.

Appointment Reminders for Speech Therapy

August 13, 2008 · Posted in Scheduling · Comment 

ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists wrote about how Chart Links Integrates Reminders into Therapy Software.  This functionality will allow speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and audiologists to reduce patient no-shows.  The software, based on patient preferences, will notify the patient of their scheduled appointment either by email, telephone, or text message (SMS).

Version 5 to Launch in June

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.

California Pacific Medical Center Implements Chart Links Software

April 9, 2008 · Posted in Documentation, Workflow · Comment 

To gain greater efficiency and increased regulatory compliance, outpatient rehabilitation facilities across four campuses of California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health Affiliate in San Francisco, have implemented Chart Links electronic documentation software.

“Our partnership with Chart Links helps fulfill the vision of allowing clinicians in our physical, occupational, hand and speech therapy programs to document electronically,” says Tami Chin, Director of Rehabilitation at California Pacific.  “The software streamlines operations and electronically prompts our therapists — during patient documentation — to ensure greater compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking.  These elements are essential to running an efficient and profitable department.”

Chart Links Rehabilitation Software automates the therapist’s documentation of daily progress notes including evaluations, plans of care, flow sheets, patient education, and charge capture.  By automating this and other aspects of the patient management process, rehabilitation facilities realize greater efficiencies in the areas of turnaround time, physician approvals and therapist productivity.  The software also helps to reduce overdue documentation and ensure greater compliance with regulatory requirements.

“Large multi-campus institutions like California Pacific cannot afford to remain paper-based,” says Ron Miller, M.D., Chart Links President and Chief Medical Officer.  “Computerized scheduling, documentation, compliance and workflow management enable strong management teams — like the one at California Pacific — to improve operational and financial inefficiencies.  In addition, our solution is driven by major accreditation and rehabilitation professional standards to help ensure regulatory compliance.”

To read about more customers, like California Pacific Medical Center, that use Chart Links Rehabilitation Software, visit the customer page of our website.

Article: Chart Links Improves Workflow

February 23, 2008 · Posted in Documentation, Scheduling, Workflow · Comment 

Karen Deeter, Director of Operations at the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center, was recently published in ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists, Vol. 18, Issue 8 in an article entitled “Chart Links Improves Workflow.”

The article covers how Columbus Speech & Hearing Center searched for and implemented a system, Chart Links Rehabilitation Software, that specifically met their needs for speech and hearing clinical documentation and workflow management.

Columbus Speech & Hearing Center serves nearly 10,000 people annually. The center provides audiology and hearing aid services, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, a Comprehensive Program for the Deaf, and job placement for adults with disabilities, including those who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind.

For more information about how Chart Links creates workflow efficiencies for Columbus Speech & Hearing, read their full case study.

Article: Documentation & Workflow, A Case for Computerization

January 5, 2008 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Ann W. Kummer, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA-F, was published in ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists.  The article is entitled “Documentation & Workflow: A Case for Computerization.”

The article is about how today’s health care providers – who face pressures of increased documentation and communication requirements, increased compliance issues, and business-related issues like obtaining authorizations — can leverage information technology to automate processes, streamline workflow, reduce billing errors, increase coding compliance, and improve the quality, consistency and turn-around time of patient documentation. 

Ann Kummer, PhD, is the senior director of the Division of Speech Pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

To learn how the Division of Speech Pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) used Chart Links Rehabilitation Software to reduce its documentation and administrative demands, read their case study.