We introduced the Compliance Worklist feature with v4.5 and our users have been thrilled with the functionality. It’s powerful new toolset to meet your compliance goals with day to day tracking, and easy reporting. Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out a better way to name it. What is a Compliance Worklist and why should you care?
Take a look at this demo video to learn more about the great feature with the bad name:
Lung screening has become a hot topic since CMS and other private payers announced that they would reimburse care providers for lung screening services. This announcement is excellent news for the general public: lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the United States and screening can significantly improve outcomes by detecting lung cancer earlier when it is more treatable.
There are an estimated 8.7 million people eligible for lung screening in the US, which means providers will need to ramp up their screening programs to meet this need. EQUICARE CS includes a built in tool set to meet this specific need. Learn more about how we support lung screening in the demo video below.
The Commission on Cancer Annual Conference is an excellent event that provides CoC-accredited programs with a better understand how to achieve compliance with the CoC Standards as well as best practices in meeting the standards. The event format includes case studies from several accredited programs, including Equicare customer, Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC). Carol Walter delivered an excellent presentation describing PCRMC’s journey towards not only accreditation, but to providing patient centered Navigation.
We are proud to introduce significant improvements to EQUICARE CS and Active Patient Portal in release v4.5, and we’d like to share those improvements in a training webinar. In this session we’ll demonstrate features including major improvements to the Education Library, the addition of new features like Compliance Worklists, and updates to the treatment summary.
The upgrade is available to all Equicare customers in late May so please register for a training webinar to learn more. These identical sessions are geared towards existing Equicare users, but will also be helpful to new or prospective users, so please register now to learn more! Read more
Patient education is a crucial aspect of engaging patients along their cancer journey, but it can also be very time consuming and difficult to do well. As part of a project to improve this, we identified 4 major issues with the state of oncology education as we saw it:
High cost. Whether the cost is in the resources required to create educational material, or the financial expense of purchasing educational material, it can add up quickly.
Out of date or incomplete data. It’s hard to stay up to date when treatments change rapidly, especially when education is delivered in paper format.
Lack of patient specificity. A binder full of general oncology information may include everything the patient needs, but it’s not easy to wade through all that info to get to the relevant parts.
Problems with delivery. Paper based education is still common, and when electronic education is used, it’s often hard to track.
Through a partnership with the oncology education leaders at OncoLink, we’re ready to unveil the next wave of oncology patient education. A library of over 500 articles, including over 200 drug fact sheets, is now part of ECS and these materials are kept up to date by the OncoLink experts. Materials are easily assigned based on the patient’s diagnosis and stage of care, and can be delivered online through he portal, or printed along with the care plan. In addition to this comprehensive library, it’s now possible to add custom material to provide patients with information on local cancer resources.
This feature is available in the next release of Equicare’s software in spring 2016. Contact us to learn more about oncology education, and take a look at the video below for a preview of how it works.
Patient Electronic Access was one of the Meaningful use measures affected by the 2015 modified stage 2 rule changes. Under the new rules the 2 compliance measures are as follows:
At least 50% of patients must have timely online access to health information (for example, access to a patient portal)
Patients need to view, download or transmit (VDT) their health summary
In 2015/16 at least 1 patient must VDT
In 2017, at least 5% of patients must VDT
Equicare’s products continue to support Meaningful Use Patient Electronic Access, and we’ll show you what this looks like in the demo video below. We’ll summarize the patient and provider workflows, show you the MU dashboards, and also share a preview of the Meaningful Use targeted action list, a feature available in April 2015 for all Equicare customers.
Please contact us for more information about how Equicare supports Meaningful Use.
Meaningful Use: Patient Electronic Access
For more information about how Equicare interfaces with ARIA to meet Meaningful Use, please view this webinar, produced in partnership with Varian Medical Systems.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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