Outcomes systems gain JCAHO stamp of approval

Homecare Quality Management has verified that 19 of the 60 outcomes products that meet the initial criteria of the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations are designed for the home health market. (See entire list of 60, inserted in this issue.)

Here is a look at some of the systems and what they offer:

Outcome Concept System is both a clinical documentation system and a software program that measures outcomes in functional status, overall health status, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, patient and caregiver skills, patients’ knowledge of what they need to know to take care of themselves, psycho-social function, and patient satisfaction for all patients in home health.

The system is produced by Outcome Concept System of Gig Harbor, WA, which also operates the OCS-DS national outcomes database.

Agencies that submit their data to OCS-DS receive quarterly benchmarking reports that show their outcomes and costs compared to other organizations in their region and to all agencies in the national database.

The Microsoft Windows-based software program that is part of OCS allows the agency to create customized outcomes reports.

The full-blown system costs about $7,500, depending on agency size and number of sites.

For more information call: (206) 858-7492.

• The Visiting Nurse Service of Greater Woonsocket in Lincoln, RI, has developed five Outcomes Planners systems that encompass therapeutic nursing, which also includes hospice nursing; pediatrics, which includes maternal and child health services; psychiatric nursing, rehabilitation, and social work.

The entire Outcomes Planners system encompasses a total of 185 planners, which are critical pathways with outcomes targets listed for each disease state. The OASIS data set is included in all of the outcomes planners.

The company provides agencies with forms so they can measure the outcomes on paper. The data can be plugged into a database using Microsoft Excel and sent into the company to compare with the rest of the country.

VNS conducts regular audits on disease states and prepares regional, statewide, and individual reports allowing agencies to benchmark against themselves, other agencies, states, or regions.

The one-time cost of the basic therapeutic nursing package is $3,500 with discounts given to associations, based on the number of agencies that purchase the package. Add-on packages, such as the social work planner, are $1,500 each.

The price also includes inservice hours and ongoing telephone support.

For more information, call (401) 769-5670.

Homecare Data Bank from Healthcare Quality Management in Yuba City, CA, offers a variety of outcomes measurement systems that includes performance outcomes, clinical outcomes, health status outcomes, patient satisfaction, and the OASIS data set.

The performance outcomes are based on patient satisfaction and organizational performance measures. Clinical outcomes are measured on admission and discharge, and track the clinical results of the care being provided. The health status outcomes are measured by the patients. The OASIS data set was recently added to the outcomes package. Agencies can enter data in a Windows-based computer program or on paper.

Healthcare Quality Management collects data from its subscribers and compiles benchmarking reports that allow them to analyze their efficiency and effectiveness as compared to other agencies.

The company is in the process of developing a broader data bank that includes long-term care, outpatient care, and community-based care.

The basic package is $1,495 a year, which includes education, inservices, and training.

For more information, call (916) 755-1533.

Strategic HealthCare Programs, located in Santa Barbara, CA, is best known for its Infusion Therapy Module Online, an outcomes measuring system that combines the pediatric infusion outcomes measures of the National Pediatric Home Care Database of the Child Health Corp. of America, which also was approved by the Joint Commission, and Strategic HealthCare Program’s adult infusion therapy outcomes system. SHP and Child Health formed an alliance last fall to produce a product that tracks infusion therapy outcomes for all patient populations.

The company has recently introduced a module for respiratory care and durable medical equipment, and is at work on modules to measure outcomes in rehabilitation and home care nursing.

Agencies that sign up with Strategic HealthCare receive Lotus Notes software, which allows them to transmit their data electronically to the vendor’s national database. The software is available on disk or CD-ROM. A paper version of the outcomes measuring system allows agencies to mail forms in to Strategic HealthCare, where the data are scanned into the national database.

Other client services include an e-mail system, access to an on-line home care reference library, access to an Internet chat group for providers.

Strategic HealthCare’s full system costs $3,500 for the initial sign-up for the full system, and $2,000 a year thereafter for data management and report writing services.

For more information, call (800) 542-5125.