Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG) logs 60 to 100 patient referrals a day, mostly from well-established hospital partners who want to pair newly discharged patients with home-based health services.
With a network of 1,500 clinicians in New Jersey and Mid-Central Ohio, VNAHG is in growth mode. It wants to add more referral sources to its roster, like skilled nursing homes and sub-acute rehab facilities. And it wants to streamline the intake process so nurses can start caring for patients faster.
To help meet its goals, VNAHG joined PreparedHealth’s enTouch network, a HIPAA-compliant platform designed to coordinate communication among a patient’s healthcare team and efficiently manage patients as they move through different points of care.
Training for enTouch is underway; VNAHG expects to launch a six-month pilot program in December. Four members of the intake team will lead the pilot, which may expand to include the business development group.
With enTouch, VNAHG can quickly accept digital referrals from hundreds of network partners and electronically receive and share all required documentation. It can become a preferred partner by meeting requirements set by hospitals and other providers. And, it can use data from the network to measure performance.
“The access to new referral sources that are part of the enTouch network is a huge benefit to us,” says Mark Bublitz, project manager at VNAHG’s Connected Health Institute, which develops and tests technologies designed to improve patient care. “It gives us a foot in the door and opens up a very easy line of communication.”
Another benefit, he says, is a seamless transfer of patient information.
“We get all of the documentation for a referral right off the bat. We don’t have to reach out again for missing pieces before we can connect with a patient,” he says. “To confirm that information is complete and patients are in full compliance, then to reach and schedule a visit, there’s not a large window for turnaround. This process makes it seamless so we can get out and start caring for our patients faster.”
And if a patient’s referral is delayed due to an extended hospital stay, that information is communicated to the network.
Bublitz says they’ll measure success with enTouch with an uptick in referrals and admissions from new partners, as well as staff satisfaction with the platform.
“We’d like to see more of our providers join the network,” he says. “The goal is not to have to hop through multiple systems.”
Learn more about Visiting Nurse Association Health Group
Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group is the largest independent, nonprofit provider of home-based health services in New Jersey and Mid-Central Ohio. Founded over 105 years ago with a mission to care for the community, today VNA Health Group helps individuals and families achieve their best level of health and well-being by providing high quality, compassionate home health, hospice, palliative and community-based care and offers private-pay personal care services. A full range of primary care services are available through the VNACJ Community Health Centers. Currently, VNA Health Group employs nearly 2,500 people and cares for over 150,000 individuals and families annually with a special focus on vulnerable populations such as children, older adults and those with serious and disabling chronic illness. Our unique partnership model with health systems leverages our clinical and technical resources to operate VNA of Central Jersey Home Care and Hospice, Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Nurses, VNA of Englewood, Barnabas Home Health Care and Hospice, Visiting Physician Services, and Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio.