Author: Maxwell Healthcare Associates

Posted: February 28, 2023

A proper understanding of Forms and Pathways is essential for your agency to keep up with ever-changing regulations within the industry. Long-time MHA Consultant, Jodi Bourdin, outlines all things Forms and Pathways, highlighting transformative solutions to optimize your agency's documentational efforts. 





Host: Welcome to the MHA Corner Podcast where we discuss news and developments in the post-acute space. Today we have longtime MHA consultant Jodi Bourdin to talk about forms and pathways, she'll explain the types of issues and frustrations she's seeing in the industry and how MHA can rectify these problems with your forms and pathways.

Host: Hi Jodi, it's great to have you on the podcast, let's get right into it tell me more about your background and how long you've been here at MHA.

Jodi: Thank you and it's a pleasure to be speaking with you as well. So, I am a PT by trade. I have been a physical therapist since 1994 I have experience in acute care, outpatient, and inpatient, I've been a supervisor on a skilled nursing facility floor in an acute care hospital however my chosen career landed in the home care industry and I have been practicing in Home Health and Hospice environments for most of those years. I have over 18 years of experience working with the development and review of electronic forms and pathways as well as during that time QAPI, administrative level, I did teaching, training, mentoring for various disciplines, and support roles in the home care industry. I'm certified in Oasis and also, I am a CHAP-certified consultant and I’ve been with Maxwell Healthcare Associates since January 2018.

Host: And we're so glad to have you. As you know we're talking all things forms and pathways today and many in our audience know exactly what they are but for the sake of our conversation what are forms and pathways and why are they essential for our clinicians?

Jodi: Different software vendors may refer to it in different terms but there are certain expectations as to what a home health or Hospice visit is composed of. We all know that visiting staff needs to document pertinent subjective and objective information and administer appropriate patient care within their discipline-specific scope of practice according to the physician-approved plan of care as well as capture required regulatory documentation requirements. Assessment forms are the prompts or questions that staff see on their point of care or electronic devices when they are visiting the patient to capture appropriate documentation concerning the patient's assessment. Pathways are the electronic components that staff can select from to develop a plan of care orders and goals establish patient-specific interventions or treatment, provide details concerning those interventions, and serve as guidelines to help keep those patient-centered goals on track.

Host:  Excellent! Thank you so much for that explanation. Now, Jodi, you're on the ground and you see first-hand what clinicians have to go through what are some major problems that clinicians must overcome with their forms and pathways?

Jodi: So, in addition to all of the unique challenges that working in a home environment brings, that documentation burden on the home care industry is just tremendous with all of the various regulatory compliance requirements that are ever-changing. Agencies typically are very quick to add to an electronic database as they rightfully should and need to, however, many agencies tend to be a bit complacent in terms of regularly reviewing their electronic databases to see if something is perhaps outdated or no longer needed. Are there some items that could be consolidated as an example or perhaps just needs to be removed entirely? Because of that missing piece, electronic databases can become loaded with redundancies and this in turn can lead to inefficient productivity which is never a good thing, as well as some pretty frustrated staff both out in the visiting side of the world but on the back office side as well, those reviewers that have to go through all of this information that may or may not be pertinent to patient care needs.

Host:  Now that sounds frustrating even for a non-clinician so what can clinicians do? What are some potential solutions that can address these issues and how can MHA step in to rectify these issues?

Jodi: Home Health and Hospice agencies really should regularly review their electronic software to assure that everything is appropriate and of course ensure that all regulatory compliance needs are encaptured with the onset of a new year and the inevitable regulatory changes such as: on the home health side this year with the onset of OASIS E and expansion of Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP). Now is a fantastic time to consider a review of end-user electronic documentation prompts, this is to assure that all updated compliance needs are being met of course but also simultaneously a good review to see if there's anything that is unnecessary, I call it software baggage. Is there anything that can be removed to help ease that burden for your field staff? So what MHA can do is partner with an agency to provide a thorough review of current assessment forms and pathways now this is done by subject matter experts in the home health and Hospice environment these are people like myself that have clinical experience as well as really understand the need for efficiency coupled with documentation accuracy. Not only do you receive customized specific recommendations for areas of suggested improvement, but also if desired we can make those agencies agreed-upon changes for the agency and that essentially frees up administrative staff to be able to focus on other important items of the day. We can in addition to that provide backup support to the changes and also provide training at whatever level that the agency feels is needed in other words do we need to train administrative staff or do we need to train the field staff for you so we can provide that as well so consider letting MHA perform an electronic software review for your agency and sooner rather than later because it is so vital all the changes that have been going on. We do customize every review according to specific agency needs and desires while making sure that your regulatory requirement prompts are up to speed as well. Give us a call, contact us, phone us, fax us, and I assure you, you won't be disappointed with the end result.

Host: Excellent, thank you so much, Jodi, for your time your insights, and of course for joining me here today on the podcast.

Jodi:  Thank you so much, it's been a pleasure.

Host:  Thanks for listening to the MHA Corner Podcast. Want to learn more about our forms and pathways solution, help desk, and tech-enabled solutions, contact us at [email protected]