Equicare: Ready for clinical use within 60 days, guaranteed.

At Equicare we’ve always worked hard to meet your timelines.  Now, we guarantee it.

60 days, guaranteed

We’re committed to making our installation process quick and painless so you can get on with working with your patients.   Our 60 day guarantee means that if we can’t get your system ready for clinical use in 60 days, you’ll get a year of free support.  Ready to put us to the test?  Great!  Get in touch to finalize your contract and get your installation started.

Still have questions?  We’ve answered some of your questions below.  Contact us anytime to learn more.

What does Equicare do in that 60 day period?
We’ll configure the software and OIS interfaces to meet your needs, analyze your workflows to identify how Equicare can integrate into your daily operations, review your needs for clinical content, and provide training.  To complete this process we’ll ask your team to participate in a few meetings, and provide us with the info we need to set up the software for your organization.

When does the 60 days start?
Every Equicare installation begins with a kick off meeting.  We’ll start the 60 day count from that day.

Is my team involved in the install process?
Yes, to qualify for the guarantee, you have to meet all project milestones that are assigned to your team. During the kickoff meeting we will review all milestones with your team and make sure that they all make sense. If you hit your milestones, but we miss the 60 day window, you get a free year of support.

We need to go live sooner than 60 days.  Can you meet a shorter deadline?
Most of the time, yes!  If you need to go live in less than 60 days, contact us and let us know your timeline.  Usually we can accommodate your needs, and move even faster than 60 days.

Isn’t the first year of support free already?
You’re right, the first year of support is included in your warranty. If we don’t make our 60 day commitment, you’ll get a second year at no cost too.

What’s included in the free support year?
If we miss the 60 day install deadline, your year of support will include all aspects of our regular customer care program.  This includes:

  • Live support: from 6am to 7pm Pacific, business days
  • Maintenance releases: these ensure your system has the latest fixes for software and security issues as soon as they are available
  • Software upgrades: we include updates to existing modules; as well as brand new features and functionality
  • Clinical Content Updates:  we update a library of follow-up templates , questionnaires and educational material
  •  Installation of all new releases: our customer support team will install all updates and upgrades to minimize interruptions of your system.

 

Create a survivorship care plan in less than 5 minutes

Is it really possible to create a survivorship care plan that includes all of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations in less than 5 minutes?  The answer from Equicare is an emphatic YES.   With the right tools you can prepare a comprehensive care plan that includes a treatment summary, targeted educational materials, scheduled questionnaires, a long term follow-up plan, care team contact info and more.

How do we compile all that data so quickly?  The key is in the interfaces we create between EQUICARE CS and your hospital information systems. By pulling existing patient data into the system, you eliminate manual data entry to very quickly prepare a patient specific care plan, which can be printed for patients and PCPs, and online through a patient portal.

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Demo: Create a survivorship care plan in less than 5 minutes

If you want to see exactly how it works, just play the video below, where we walk through all the steps in care plan creation in just over 3 minutes

Learn more about EQUICARE CS or contact us for a live demo of the software.

Welcome Randy Hemingway, Sales Manager, Northeast

Randy HemingwayPlease join us in welcoming Randy Hemingway to the Equicare team!  Randy has enjoyed an incredibly varied career in the field of oncology including roles as Director of Oncology, Dosimetrist, and Sales Manager.  He’s worked all over the world, delivering health technologies and we’re thrilled he’s now going to support healthcare providers in the Northeast.  Get to know Randy a little better here:

What was your first job?|
My very first job was in a butcher shop.  I really liked it because I got to interact with customers, and also learned what makes a great steak. I got pretty good at it, and in high school I even judged meat competitions! 

What are you most proud of in your career so far?
I’ve worked in International sales for over 14 years, and I’ve had the chance to introduce new healthcare technologies to Latin America, Europe, Asia, and South America.  It’s been incredibly enlightening for me to see how different each health system is, and yet how each shares common ground: a basic desire to provide best care for their patients.  While it’s been eye opening for me personally, it’s also been extremely rewarding to see how the technologies I’ve introduced change the operation of healthcare organizations, and ultimately improve the care patients receive.  Making a difference like that is something I’m very proud of.

What are you most looking forward to working on at Equicare?
I notice that while health technology is improving, we have tended to lose focus on the patient as a whole person.  In the US especially, we often treat immediate symptoms and localized problems first, which means we miss a lot of the dietary, emotional and psycho-social aspects of care.  At Equicare, we’re bringing in a continuum of care to oncology, and considering the patient’s needs in full.  This brings the patient to the center of care, which is very different from anything I’ve ever done.  This is really a monumental step for the healthcare providers, who have a more complete picture of their patient’s health, and for the patient, who can finally take a more active role in their health, confident they’re being treated like a complete person!  The fact that I have the chance to introduce these changes to the healthcare industry through Equicare is very exciting.

What do you think of the state of the Healthcare IT industry and its future?
I think that as a rule, we’ve seen a trend towards the generalization of healthcare IT, where technology comes top down from large, enterprise level systems.  While this has obvious administrative benefits, we often lose out on patient care – it’s just impossible for one of these large systems to meet the needs of oncology patients specifically.  What Equicare is doing, and what I think will become a trend, is to work from the bottom up, with a system ideal for treating specific patients, while also integrating into the larger hospital IT systems. Adding these specialized services will be a significant milestone improving relationships between patient, family, clinicians and PCPs.

The ability to track patients throughout their care is increasingly key to success.   This will be most significant in reducing the number of patients that drop between treatments, and never receive follow up.  Knowing where patients are in the process, addressing problems that arise, and sharing this information not only with other specialists, but also with the patient, again puts the patient back in the center of care.

Finally – the internet has completely changed the way we view our health.  Many patients, especially younger ones, will go online and do their own health research before even coming into a clinic.  While this  generally leads to a better educated patient population, we can’t control what kind of information patients are getting, or validate it’s accuracy.  I hope products like Equicare, which include up to date, clinical education can bridge the gap, so we can educate patients with information they can trust.

How have you seen technology improve the lives of those suffering from long term conditions or illnesses?
Specifically in oncology, I’ve seen amazing improvements in localized radiation therapy.  The ability to localize treatment has not only improved cure rates but dramatically reduced toxicities and secondary malignancies. I’ve also seen major improvements in information technology that enable us as a community to learn from our history so that we don’t repeat our mistakes.  The improvements in treatment and the increased availability of  information have enabled the healthcare community to see pretty dramatic improvements in health outcomes for cancer patients.

Now that we’re in the beginning stages of public healthcare in the US, I hope we don’t lose out on these improvements by generalizing treatment recommendations. Patients still have unique needs, and a one size fits all health system doesn’t address these issues.

What are you reading right now?
This might be boring, but mostly I read journals, and especially the Red Journal. Well that, and LOTS of emails!

You need to go on holiday tomorrow- where would you go?.
Paris and anywhere in Latin America are favorites, but if i had a choice to go anywhere, and the world were safer place I’d love to travel to Kathmandu, which is somewhere I’ve never been.

What would you eat for your last meal on earth?
I think I’ve come full circle to my first job: I’d definitely chose Filet mignon.

We’re pleased to have Randy and his expertise on our team. Want to get in touch about oncology care or the finer aspects of butchery? Please contact Randy at randy.hemingway@equicarehealth.com

 

Finding the ROI in Survivorship

Based on our experience, most oncology healthcare providers believe in the value of navigation and survivorship, and most patients appreciate having access to it. These services can help providers ensure patients receive the long-term care they need, and help patients play a more active role in their health. The Institute of Medicine has been advocating survivorship since their 2005 “Lost in Transition” paper, and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has now changed their accreditation requirements to include survivorship planning.

So why isn’t everyone doing it?  One of the most common obstacles organizations face is cost.  Managing a large-scale survivorship program usually requires the use of new electronic tools, and often hiring dedicated staff members. For many organizations, the investment is hard to justify, especially in a time of shrinking budgets.

What many organizations don’t realize is that survivorship & navigation can actually deliver a return on investment, often within a few years of implementation. We are now pleased to introduce a Pro-forma tool that calculates what we expect this return to be. For example, take a look at the 5-year return from 2 fictitious, though typical, organizations below.

This tool was developed in partnership with American Medical Accounting & Consulting Inc (AMAC), one of the leading firms in the radiation oncology industry. Based on this reimbursement data, and information about the size, make-up and growth projections of an organization, we can calculate an expected 5-year ROI to help justify an initial investment. Although the data above is fictitious, it represents the real return organizations can expect to realize when using an electronic survivorship product like EQUICARE CS.

Don’t believe us?  Let us prove it!  Contact us to learn more about where these numbers come from and get an ROI calculation specific to your organization.

More questions?  We’ll try to answer some below:

  1. What’s the difference between incremental net income and ROI?
    The ROI is simply the difference between the total revenue and expenses of managing a survivorship program. The incremental net income is the difference between the ROI an organization realizes when using an electronic tool like ECS, and the ROI from running a manual survivorship program. This is an important figure to present when considering whether to introduce an electronic tool, or attempt a manual program.
  2. What is a manual survivorship program?
    In the table above, we reference a manual survivorship program – this is how we describe programs that are run using paper or excel spreadsheets. While it’s possible to run a program like this, it’s less efficient, and for some organizations, particularly free-standing clinics like the one in the example above, actually causes the organization to lose money.
  3. Where does the revenue come from?The major sources of revenue are from:
    • Increased rates of patient attendance at reimbursable follow-up appointments
    • Increased Nurse Navigator efficiency – fewer FTEs can manage the same (or more) patients
    • For hospitals with imaging – we include revenue from additional in imaging studies, which may have been lost without survivorship & navigation
  4. Do you include staff salaries in this calculation?
    Yes, we use your current size and plans for the growth of the program to estimate the number of nurse navigators (or other dedicated employees) required to manage the program now and in the years to come.  This is included in the expense calculation.

ECS for Clinical Trials

EQUICARE CS (ECS) was original designed for cancer survivorship, but it’s powerful enough to support a wide variety of other applications, including, as we recently discovered, Clinical Trials.  How can you use a tool aimed at survivorship for clinical trials?

Well, during a recent product management meeting, the team got into this discussion about clinical trials because one of our newly installed customers was looking for organizational support for a trial.  Once we started talking about it, we quickly realized that ECS could easily be used to support clinical trials. So much of clinical trials work is keeping track of stuff – medical tests, appointments, data submissions etc. ECS was designed to help the clinician keep track of survivorship tasks, and clinical trials are like survivorship but with another level of detail – specific to clinical trials people

Read more

Workflow Analysis – Why do we do it?

The EQUICARE CS installation and support program includes a full analysis of your clinical workflow, conducted to ensure survivorship, navigation, and patient engagement tools  are incorporated into your daily operations effectively.  Finding a workflow that works for your organization important to the success of your  programs; and in fact, we think it’s so important that we employ a full time Workflow Specialist.  Meet Tricia Cox, former Nurse Navigator and ECS user, and current Clinical Workflow Specialist at Equicare.

Every organization is different, so Tricia works with each customer to develop workflow solutions that work for their unique needs.  What does that look like?  Tricia describes the process and how it can help below…

What does a workflow specialist do for customers?

I work with clients to determine what is working and what is not within their current workflow.  Usually that means I find processes that need to be added to benefit patients for navigation and/or survivorship care.  Many facilities are trying to incorporate new standards of care for distress screening or survivorship care, but others are trying to improve current models of care.  The ultimate goal is to improve the patient care process within the facility.

Do you have any examples of how a Workflow analysis helps customers?

Yes, I’ve got lots!

When one site began using the software, the nurse navigator was using check marks on paper to figure out her patient contacts.  She then entered her data into an excel spreadsheet to meet reporting guidelines for her administrative team.  After taking a look at her needs, I showed her how to use the report capabilities within our software and was able to generate excel spreadsheets and reports automatically—freeing her time to see more patients.

Another site self-identified workflow problems and so I went out for a site visit after they had been running for several months.  Upon visiting the facility, we mutually determined some workflow enhancements, like a centrally located print station and the consolidation of efforts between team members.  Often care providers are entrenched in their systems and find it difficult to see the problems, although they know they exist!

When does a workflow analysis usually occur?

I typically get involved with an institution or center once ECS has been purchased and decisions on implementation are being made.  We start this process with something called Kick off, and this is usually when the nuances of the software are presented.  I like to get involved as early as possible to better understand who is involved with patient care, what their roles are and how they currently impact their patients.  We have frequent calls/web interactions as we go over workflow.  I can go on site early in the process if we cannot figure out the workflow process via web calls, otherwise we can wait and have an on site visit closer to going live or after going live.  Ultimately the timing is driven by customer needs.

Why does Equicare feel so strongly about the value of Workflow Analysis?

This analysis makes a BIG difference to customers, usually by identifying ways to save time on administrative tasks, leaving more time to focus on patient care.  Planning  workflow is one of the tasks that may be overlooked by busy organizations, but taking the time to find out the most efficient was of using the software ultimately benefits not just the organization but the patients, by enabling more regular contact and follow up.

And from my perspective – I just love problem solving!  Every site is slightly different and so is their workflow, which is very appealing from a problem solving perspective. Each site uses software features differently and working to see what works best for each site is very gratifying. Ultimately, if we work to improve patient care and patient experience, everyone wins.

Please contact us to learn more about conducting a workflow analysis in your organization.

Equicare’s Movember team – the Mid-month update

Our team of Mo-bros has been furiously growing facial hair this month, courageously sprouting mustaches to support men’s health through Movember.  Two weeks ago they looked like this, but at the midway point in November we can officially report back – the mustaches have arrived.

Make sure our team isn’t mustachioed in vain – please donate to Movember  and support men’s health this month.  Click here to learn more about Movember,  or view our team page here.

Equicare's Movember team at the mid-way mark
Getting serious about men’s health

Welcome Heather Krengel, Sales Manager, Southeastern USA

logy to improve outcomes for patient.  She will manage the Southeastern USA sales region, and we’re thrilled to have her on board.

In addition to her extensive professional and clinical qualifications, we also learned that Heather has experience in lawn maintenance and a sweet tooth for coconut cake – we think she’ll fit right in here.  Get to know her here:

What was your first job?
Well there were no child labor laws back then…… I helped my brother mow grass and haul hay during a Mississippi summer (bad idea). He stiffed me a few times and I soon found that working in the local grocery store was much cooler!

What are you most proud of in your career so far?
My background is clinical Oncology. So definitely the fact that I have been able to help folks through some of the most difficult times in their lives with care, compassion, laughter, and grace. You can earn stripes on a resume, but nothing takes the place of holding the hand of a person who has reached the end stage of their life. Learning how to do that has given me a certain freedom in life.

What are you most looking forward to working on at Equicare?
I can’t wait to help educate cancer care sites on how to build strong successful navigation and survivorship programs that will serve them and their patients well for years to come. There is a clear, growing need for both of these right now, and folks need to know how it can be done well from the get-go.

What do you think of the state of the Healthcare IT industry  and how it relates to oncology?
The Oncology industry is booming! With the aging of the “baby boomers” and even the generation that followed, we are starting to need more and more health care. Thankfully there are more choices in treatments and technologies and increasing numbers of places in which to be treated. Healthcare IT is absolutely vital in order to link technologies together with sites and services to help give the patient the most beneficial outcome. It’s not “one stop shopping” any longer. Healthcare IT must be able to connect various networks together in order to follow and track that patient for best practices and outcomes. I’m so thankful to represent one of the software companies that can do just that.

How have you seen technology improve the lives of those suffering from long term conditions or illnesses?
I am a huge believer in early detection! Whether it be through genetic testing, age appropriate examinations, or preventive care, we could not have seen the survivorship and wellness numbers expand the way they have over the last couple of decades without the advances in technology. I have seen adults that were diagnosed with colon cancer or breast cancer who were able to spare their children the same fate due to a simple blood test – that’s the kind of technology that I can get excited about.

What are you reading right now?
The Boys in the Boat

You need to go on holiday tomorrow- where would you go?
New Zealand. I hear the hiking and people are amazing.

What would you eat for your last meal on earth?
That one is easy, my mother’s homemade coconut cake. Probably the entire thing.

Want to get in touch with Heather to discuss your survivorship and navigation program needs  (or just share your magic advice for managing a three year old)?  Heather will be be happy to hear from you at heather.krengel@equicarehealth.com

CASE STUDY: Phelps County Regional Medical Center Installs ECS

“Equicare brings us the Navigation and Survivorship functionality we were looking for, and enables us to keep in closer, more regular contact with our patients to improve quality of care”

Carol Walter, MSN, RN
Nurse Navigator, Oncology Services, PCRMC

pdfDownload the PCRMC Case Study (pdf)

Background

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) offers excellence in integrated cancer services, with a cancer care team comprised of highly skilled physicians and medical professionals who specialize in an array of cancer treatment fields, and treat a wide variety of cancers. The center, a hospital owned outpatient radiation and medical oncology services provider, is accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) and is currently in a growth phase, adding a new cancer center to its care network. Read more

CASE STUDY: Southside Regional Medical Center Installs ECS

“EQUICARE CS is incredibly intuitive and user friendly.  The great service and easy-to-use interface has made implementing ECS at Southside extremely easy, and we’re very pleased with the results.”
Lori McNulty, RN,
Oncology Nurse Navigator, SRMC

pdfDownload the SRMC Case Study (pdf)

BACKGROUND

Southside Regional Medical CenterThe Cancer Center at Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) offers advanced technology for treating a wide range of cancers and is fully accredited with Commendation by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC). SRMC has a busy radiation therapy center that diagnoses nearly 500 new cases of cancer each year. In 2012 the center introduced a medical oncology program, added a full time Nurse Navigator to their team, and began seeking a software tool that would enable the provision of organized navigation and survivorship care for their patients. Additionally, as the next phase of CoC  accreditation requires that cancer centers have a formal plan for the delivery of continuum of care services (which include navigation, psychosocial distress screening and survivorship  programs), SRMC wanted to be proactive in providing these programs to maintain their  accreditation.

Initially using a paper based system to track patient navigation, SRMC was seeking a  software solution that would provide the tools necessary for the Navigator to centrally track patients in both Radiation and Medical Oncology. SRMC was also looking to provide  long term survivorship care plans, distress assessments, questionnaires, and educational materials for their patients. SRMC wanted to ensure that all of the information collected  through the system would be available to the full care team, including care providers working externally. Finally, with a rapidly growing cancer program, SRMC also wanted to ensure that  their selected solution was scalable, intuitive and easy to use, with minimal administrative overhead.

SOLUTION

Southside Cancer center selected EQUICARE CS (ECS) as their navigation and survivorship  tool in March 2012 and went live with the system three months later in June 2012. The installation process began with a kick off meeting at which members of both the Equicare and SRMC teams discussed and agreed upon IT needs, workflows and other system configurations, and was followed by routinely scheduled status meetings to ensure the process went smoothly. SRMC’s Nurse Navigator is the primary system user and administrator, but ECS is also used by infusion nurses, social workers interns and others.

SRMC analyzed their workflows and use cases prior to installation and as a result, were able to launch with customizations specific to their organization including unique documentation, specific categorization and display of various assessments, and several custom fields. Equicare provided training, suggestions, and back-end development, but with the configurable design of ECS, the SRMC team was able to  perform many configurations on their own.  SRMC ramped up their Navigation program over a period of time and as of April 2013 all patients requiring Navigation were entered using ECS.

SRMC’s nurse navigator  uses the system to track referrals and patient appointments, distribute and collect responses to distress screening assessments, add notes to patient records, assess pain, provide nutritional and educational information, and track the financial resources that are sourced for patients. The system is also used to generate a variety of reports including system utilization and user time tracking, referrals assessment, changes in patient distress over time, patient outcomes, and navigational summaries. SRMC uses the survivorship functionality in ECS to provide their radiation oncology patients with long term survivorship care plans that include treatment summaries, care team information, follow-up plans, and educational information specific to each patient. This printed plan is generated through ECS by the radiation therapy RN, and then provided to patients at the one month follow up appointment after radiation completion.

Results

EQUICARE CS meets the needs of SRMC by providing organizational, clinical, and administrative benefits, as well as enabling their maintenance of accreditation compliance. By taking advantage of the navigation features in ECS, the center can include more patients in their navigation program, and by providing survivorship care plans and distress assessments they may also improve the quality of care for patients. With EQUICARE CS, Southside is on track to provide full navigation, psychosocial distress screening, and survivorship programs in  order to meet the next phase of CoC accreditation requirements.

Through ECS, SRMC’s Nurse Navigator has the tools to become more efficient in tracking referrals, appointments and assessments, and the center can therefore include more patients in the navigation program. The number of patients included in the Navigation program has approximately doubled since ECS was implemented. Additionally, Equicare’s navigation tools provide the center with a centralized way to store and access documents, patient details, and care team information, which ensures that accurate data is available to all members of  the care team, regardless of their physical location. As the center continues to grow, they will also have the capability to easily scale their  program to include more campuses and care team members.

By providing patients with distress assessments and questionnaires that can be completed prior to their appointments, SRMC minimizes the time patients spend waiting in the clinic, which may improve satisfaction with care. Additionally, through analysis of patient responses, SRMC now provides feedback to patients in distress, and aggregates population data to determine points of care where the patient experience can be improved. SRMC’s provision of long term care plans in printed format can also improve patient care by reducing the distress patients may feel at the end of treatment, which is often a time of uncertainty

Prior to ECS implementation, the generation of printed care plans was prohibitively time-consuming, and so this information was shared with patients orally. Through ECS survivorship care plans are now provided to 100% of Radiation Oncology patients, many of whom have provided positive feedback to the center on the content of these plans. Additionally, the inclusion of targeted educational material in these plans ensures patients are aware of side and late effects of treatment, and provides suggestions for health and nutritional activities that can improve outcomes.

As a busy and growing cancer center, it was important for SRMC to minimize the administrative overhead involved in implementing a new tool like ECS. The Equicare project team fixed issues as they arose, and also added feature requests to the product road map to ensure future releases better meet SRMC (and other customer) needs. ECS was intuitive and easy for SRMC’s team to learn, and the software has rapidly become an integral part of their cancer program.

SRMC sought out a care coordination solution to improve the quality of care for patients, and thereby maintain CoC accreditation; with ECS, the center is on track to do both. Not only do the tools in ECS provide functionality to improve the patient experience and meet CoC requirements for continuum of care, but the reports generated by ECS make providing information to auditors faster and easier. Additionally, by documenting Navigator time, and the benefits to patients, SRMC can rapidly evaluate and rationalize the investment in a Navigation program.

ABOUT SOUTHSIDE REGIONAL  MEDICAL CENTER

Southside Regional Medical CenterSouthside Regional Medical Center is a 300-bed, general acute care hospital located in central Virginia. The hospital has more than 1,500 employees and the medical staff is comprised of nearly 340 physicians representing more than 35 specialties.  The 420,000 square foot facility is situated on a 50-acre campus and offers the latest technology in order to serve more than 200,000 local residents. SRMC offers a full array of comprehensive outpatient services on its main campus and boasts five satellite outpatient centers: Southside Regional Renal Services (Petersburg), Southside Behavioral Health Services (Petersburg), Southside Rehabilitation Services (Petersburg and Colonial Heights), and Colonial Heights Imaging, a full service diagnostic imaging center (Colonial Heights).  The hospital is also home to three professional schools: Southside Regional Medical Center School of Nursing, School of Radiation Sciences, and School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. A new cancer center will open on campus, adjacent to the hospital in January, 2014. For more information, please visit: www.srmconline.com

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