Patagonia Health Expands EHR for Home Visit Intervention Tracking

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About Fuller Harvey

Fuller is a creative consultant who is bringing her passion for connective, encouraging, and practical communication to Patagonia Health. She considers her greatest strength to be creating an adhesive environment where individuals are valued, supported and celebrated for the contributions they bring to the “team table” and where all communication -both within and without the company – has positive purpose and impact.

Patagonia Health Expands EHR for Home Visit Intervention Tracking

Home Intervention Tracking in EHR System

Patagonia Health enhances its electronic health record (EHR) software by improving functionality for Home Visit intervention tracking and documentation. Home Visits, used by both public health and behavioral health agencies, create specialized needs for the providing agency.

Intervention Tracking with Enhanced Usability

According to Patagonia Health Chief Enterprise Architect, John Ramsey, the software improvements enhance usability for both on-site documentation and after-visit reporting. “A home visit is very unlike a clinic environment,” Ramsey notes. “Additionally, the necessary documentation varies greatly from state to state and agency to agency.”

Patient Interventions and the information gathered during home visits can now be managed and modified within Progress Notes. The enhancement makes the user experience more streamlined, eliminating double data entry. According to Ramsey, “Users make the modifications to the interventions, and the information gets stored in both places:  Patient Interventions and Progress Notes.”

Custom Reports for Home Visits

Further, Patagonia Health continues to develop customized forms to assist public health and behavioral health agencies. These reports allow staff to pull data from patient records easily. The ability to demonstrate procedures and care administered during a Home Visit is critical for agencies to provide supporting documentation for both grant and insurance funding.

Electronic health record software, which enhances the home visit, says Ramsey, “is good for the patient and good for reporting.”  

Expanding its public health and behavioral health EHR with Home Visit intervention tracking and documentation is evidence of Patagonia Health’s continued commitment to both its customers – and the clients they serve.

For more information, visit https://patagoniahealth.com, or email info@patagoniahealth.com.

Millennials’ Dark Side: Change-makers of Life Expectancy

Millennials' Life Expectancy

And now the Milliennial discussion takes a very hard and very dark turn … and leads us down a path toward a subject impacting nearly every sector of healthcare:  the opioid crisis.

Prepare to read the most startling sentence we have come across in a long time:

“US millennials are now dying at such high rates that it’s driven life expectancy in the country to decline for two years in a row, the first time that’s happened since the early 1960s. The primary cause for the trend is the opioid crisis … Not since 1995, at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, have death rates been so high among this group.”

-Dan Kopf; Web Article:  “The opioid crisis is driving up deaths of millennials in the U.S.”, QUARTZ, January 3, 2018

US life expectancy is on the decline for the first time in decades.  While we seem to be putting on a good show of getting healthier (protein shakes, work out clubs, organic produce sections, and diet mocktails flood our social media news feeds), these dark-and-getting-darker statistics should shake us to our “take-your-calcium-with-magnesium” infused bones.

The hard, dark truth of life expectancy declining is that death rates are rising at terrifying rates:

The upswing at the right side of the chart scarily does not appear to have a slowing or plateau in sight.  This “change-making” of the life expectancy rate is occurring primarily because of the soaring death rates of one generation particularly.  You guessed it:   Millennials.

While death rates for older generations are decreasing, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), death rates for those aged 25 – 34 rose 20.5% between 2015 and 2016.

From running out of space at morgues (Ohio) to skyrocketing costs of the transportation of corpses (West Virginia),  states are scrambling to get a grasp on the opioid crisis from every level.

Each and every death represents more than one victim and one body – it reveals an entire family in need of emotional and physical help.  Thus, the catastrophic effects of opioid misuse are exponential. The subsequent burden on behavioral health and public health is crushing.

When Governor John Kasich (OH) signed limits regarding the amount of opiates primary physicians and dentists can prescribe into law, he was quick to point out that healthcare providers and lawmakers cannot tackle this beast alone.  He said, ““We all need to stick our noses into somebody else’s business.”

At Patagonia Health we agree.  So, while it’s not light and happy, we’re facing the dark side of the opioid crisis.  We want to join our customers (and future customers) in walking and wrestling through the statistics.  We know the statistics are more than numbers:  they are the people and families you serve each and every day.

They are why you do your jobs.  Therefore, you are why WE do ours.

Bi-directional Lab Orders Interface

bi-directional lab orders interface

Patagonia Health users are now able to send bi-directional lab orders directly to LabCorp, the world’s leading health diagnostics company, with Patagonia Health’s new Lab Order Interface.

Order requisition information is created in the Patagonia Health EHR system and sent electronically to LabCorp. This feature increases operational efficiency and saves time and money by eliminating double data entry and reducing data entry errors.  The bi-directional feature allows users to retrieve reports and lab results directly via the EHR.  Report notifications are sent to the provider and results are added to the the patient record.

If you are a current user, you may sign up to add the Lab Order Interface feature to your system.

Training will be provided for this feature at your organization’s request.

For more information, contact info@patagoniahealth.com.

Rural Communities Grant Applications to Fund Opioid Response Deadline Approaching

Rural Communities Grant

July 30, 2018, is the closing date for applications for rural communities grant opportunities totaling $15,000,000 through the Health Resources and Services Administration.    Funding opportunity HRSA-18-116 will be awarded to 75 agencies.  Eligible agencies are “all domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit, entities, including faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations, who will serve rural communities at the highest risk for substance use disorder and who meet the RCORP-Planning specifications for the Applicant Organization and Consortium as described (on the Grants.gov website).”

This funding opportunity has no cost-sharing or matching requirements.  The grant falls under the “Discretionary” category and will expand the opportunities for successful applicant- agencies to implement critical resources, including electronic health records systems to accelerate response to the opioid epidemic.

As a caution, Grants.gov posts: 
“SAM.gov
 is experiencing high volume and delays.  If you have tried to create or update your SAM.gov registration but have not been able to complete the process, you may not be able to apply for a HRSA funding opportunity via Grants.gov in a timely manner prior to the application deadline.  If so, please email DGPwaivers@hrsa.gov.”

Millennials: Behavioral Health Change-makers

As we wind down our blog series spotlighting Millennials and the changes they are bringing to the healthcare arena, we are examining one more sector:  behavioral health.  We’ll do this across two blogs.  The first is classic Bad News/Good News examination of statistics regarding Millennials and mental health issues.

Our concluding article on Millennials will double as a springboard into our next series:  more discussion on the public and behavioral health crisis involving opioid abuse.  As Millennials are a key generation being afflicted by devastating addiction issues, they should have a prominent seat at the table for any coverage of the subject.

It’s profoundly clear: behavioral health agencies need to get their ducks in a row in order to ramp up service to Millennials.

The Bad News/Good News regarding Millennials and Mental Health

The Bad News is that Millennials are statistically revealing themselves to be both more likely than previous generations to be prone to anxiety and stress-related depression.  The Good News? They are also more likely to seek help and less likely to feel stigmatized by mental health diagnoses.

For a window in the minds of Millennials, one need look no further than the lyrics of the currently number one ranking song on Billboard’s Top 40 (Adult Pop Songs):

“Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons[i]

Falling too fast to prepare for this
Tripping in the world could be dangerous
Everybody circling, it’s vulturous
Negative, nepotist …

Hypocritical, egotistical
Don’t wanna be the parenthetical, hypothetical
Working onto something that I’m proud of, out of the box
An epoxy to the world and the vision we’ve lost
I’m an apostrophe
I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see
I’m just a product of the system, a catastrophe
And yet a masterpiece, and yet I’m half-diseased.

The lyrics point to an anxious generation – but one determined to work on “something that (they’re) proud of” and be the “epoxy”, healing change-agent, to a hurting, broken world, because there’s “more to see.”  They feel like a “masterpiece” – but yet they feel “half-diseased.”

Millennials and Mental Health

A recent Newsweek article (published on May 9, 2018) states:

“A survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that anxious feelings increased the most over the past year among baby boomers (between 54 and 72 years of age) in comparison to Generation Zers (38 to 53), and Millennials (20 to 37). However, Millennials continued to be the most anxious overall.”

A recent Newsweek article (published on May 9, 2018) states:

“A survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that anxious feelings increased the most over the past year among baby boomers (between 54 and 72 years of age) in comparison to Generation Zers (38 to 53), and Millennials (20 to 37). However, Millennials continued to be the most anxious overall.”

Services Behavioral Health Agencies can Implement for Milliennials:

Transportation assistance:

Millennials are wishy-washy on car ownership (and even are changing the norms regarding getting a driver’s license as a rite of passage), and are very Uber- and Lyft- savvy.  Behavioral Health agencies should consider getting connected with Uber Health or other transportation assistance services both to decrease no-show rates and increase the opportunity for success in any treatment program.

Electronic chart management:

Utilizing a cloud-based electronic health record platform helps behavioral health agencies successfully streamline charting and reporting capabilities for employees; it also leverages integrated care for head-to-toe/brain-to-heart treatment of clients. Also of significance, it presents a forward-thinking image to this forward-thinking generation.  (See previous blog posts as to why.)

Communication via smart phone technology:

Using an EHR with the option of a Communicator App which automatically sends reminders for appointments can make communicating with Millennials not only easy (and save clinic personnel hours), it also enable you to speak their lingo.

As Stephen Giunta, Ph.D., president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association notes, “The field is adapting to the next generation that’s coming its way,” Giunta says. “[But] the field doesn’t always adapt as fast as the generation does.”

Don’t let that be water off a duck’s back: get those ducks in a row.  

Other Articles in the Millennials Series:

Millennials and Healthcare – Get Ready!

Millennials: Technology Change-Makers

Millennials: Customer Service Change-makers

Millennials: How to Hire and How to Retain These HR Change-makers

Millennials’ Dark Side: Change-makers of Life Expectancy

 

[i] Songwriters: Benjamin Arthur McKee / Daniel Coulter Reynolds / Daniel James Platzman / Daniel Wayne Sermon / Joel Little

Whatever It Takes lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC