EHR Reporting – Data and Outcomes

As the industry shifts from volume to value-based service delivery, it’s becoming increasingly important for agencies to use their data to measure outcomes and evaluate their efforts on a continual basis. Foothold AWARDS software for human service providers offers powerful and flexible reporting tools to empower agencies with the data management and reporting capabilities they need to demonstrate their value to funders and credentialing bodies, no matter what changes occur in the future.

Outcomes Reporting – DataBridge, ReportBuilder, and ExportBuilder
AWARDS offers more than a hundred real-time reports geared specifically to Behavioral Healthcare and I/DD providers. AWARDS also has a DataBridge feature that allows an administrator to query the entire database and create ad-hoc reports at will. This feature offers incomparable access to real-time ad-hoc reporting.

ReportBuilder is a comprehensive report writer built into AWARDS that can be used to create custom reports on the fly using thousands of data tracking options in AWARDS. For each ReportBuilder there is also corresponding ExportBuilder functionality that enables users to export AWARDS data in a variety of file formats for use outside of AWARDS.

AWARDS helps providers assess population trends, outcomes and monitor agency operations. Features for reporting on outcomes include:

  • Assessment Data – Enter, update, and view data for charting timetable assessment events
  • Assessment Reports – Generate reports of information entered in FormBuilder forms
  • Census Report – Monitor census information through custom census reports
  • Daily Checklist Monthly Summary – View res hab/day hab summary reports
  • Dashboard – View at-a-glance graphs and tables of consumer and data entry counts and trends
  • Discharge Levels – View reports of outcome categories from consumer discharge records
  • FormBuilder – Configure custom assessment forms and run reports on data collected via those forms
  • Goal Outcomes Report – Assess goal outcomes through viewing read-only goal outcomes reports
  • Hospitalization – Monitor hospitalization rates through the viewing of hospitalization reports
  • Meaningful Use Dashboard – View objective and quality measure reports for Meaningful Use
  • Population Trends – Monitor population trends through the viewing of population trends reports
  • Services Utilization Reports – Monitor service utilization through the viewing of reports

AWARDS is fully featured human services software for I/DD and behavioral health service providers. We work with 1,000+ agencies to improve operational performance and help them to improve outcomes for the people they serve.

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AWARDS and Outcomes: The Future Is Now

by Alex Attinson, Integrations Manager

The United States health system is in the middle of a dynamic and difficult transformation to a model that rewards value, outcomes, and continuous quality improvement more than ever. This process is already affecting Behavioral Healthcare agencies and will impact how agencies provide services and how they’re compensated by payers. Working with our client agencies we see wide-ranging diversity in how programs are funded; from block grants, to fee-for-service, and now value-based payments (VBP). At Foothold Technology, our BillingBuilder remains a unique and powerful tool for generating claims based on documentation done in AWARDS, but we’re also hard at work to best position our customers, their programs, and AWARDS users into the revamped healthcare system.

At the system level in a fee-for-service environment, billing directly rewards volume and not necessarily value or quality, in part, because fee-for-service doesn’t assign responsibility for an individual’s care to a single provider or provider group. This isn’t to say that providers aren’t working extremely hard to provide services in a fee-for-service model, but the incentives aren’t always aligned to provide the services optimal for a good outcome. This is one area where Behavioral Healthcare providers are extremely well positioned to adapt to the new environment. Nearly all providers are operating as people-first providers and already do their best to provide care efficiently.

To help agencies thrive in this transitional period and beyond, Foothold Technology is embarking on a number of changes and enhancements in AWARDS, so our electronic record and EHR will be an integral tool for our customers. There is no single right way to report on a population for outcomes or for value-based payments. Instead, there are a number of different approaches to consider when thinking about outcomes reporting and understanding how an agency is serving its consumers. One example of this is the result of a Foothold Technology partnership with the NYU-McSilver Institute to create an innovative way for AWARDS agencies to assess their census, payer mix, and service delivery strategies so they can define and demonstrate performance as part of a process called Output to Outcomes. The thinking around this initiative centers on the belief that good outputs reporting will help program staff start to negotiate ways to improve outcomes. I’ve shared highlights of this partnership and initiative on our blog previously, which you can find here. At Foothold Expo 2017, we’ll have a session dedicated to this initiative.

Foothold is also in the process of certifying AWARDS as 2015 Certified Edition (the most current version), which has major links to interoperability and value-based payments. We know Medicare’s MIPS program will make extensive use of clinical quality measures, which are logic intensive reports that make extensive usage of coded EHR data. Medicare will use the results of these reports to determine which providers should receive performance bonuses and performance penalties. While Medicare is a Federal program, it is possible that other funders will adopt similar programs built around the quality measure framework. The 2015 Edition is also interoperability intensive, an existing area of strength for AWARDS. With a common specification set it should become easier for agencies to contribute to their Medicaid DSRIP project, which in turn will let their local health system start to use insights from population level data and contribute it back to the services level. This is the beginning of the development of a Learning Health System, which is ultimately where we’re going–a health system that uses data to increase the quality and experience of care and support and drive costs down over time.

For Foothold, we understand that this is the beginning of a larger process, and we look forward to making sure AWARDS continues to play a major role in helping Behavioral Healthcare providers provide high quality services to the communities they serve.

Harnessing AWARDS to Measure Program Success: BRC

The Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) operates 27 programs throughout the greater metropolitan area, and is a leading provider of housing and services to over 10,000 New Yorkers. With a constant eye towards improving and enhancing the services they provide, BRC wanted to better understand the outcomes of their programs and services. They selected the peer-reviewed Multnomah Community Ability Scale (MCAS-R) to help them embark on a pilot evaluation project.

As a long-time AWARDS user, BRC has over a decade’s worth of data available to them in their database, as well as an established agency-wide data quality and management process to ensure good data and reporting. As such, they chose to incorporate the MCAS-R into their AWARDS database via the AWARDS FormBuilder tool. Using both AWARDS ReportBuilders, as well as external analysis tools populated with AWARDS output, BRC was able to evaluate the effects of their program interventions. They succeeded in developing a system to allow for monitoring individual stability score fluctuations, providing customized levels of care based on scoring outcomes, and ultimately informing ongoing service plan development and targeted interventions based on outcomes.

By realizing the potential of their database and how the data can be documented and extracted, BRC was able to analyze behaviors and symptoms in a deeper context than only the diagnosis, and identify ways to develop the programming to meet tenants’ evolving needs. In fact, the pilot project was so successful that BRC is now working to expand the use of the tool at other residential program areas at the agency.

Using AWARDS to Audit Your Own Work

Most people’s first thought when discussing the benefits of an EHR is the ability to report on consumer information, and AWARDS has many features that will help you do just that. But at Foothold Technology, we know it’s equally as important for users to be able to audit their own data to assess what they might be missing and look ahead at upcoming due dates and deadlines. With easy to use features in AWARDS, agencies can meet their internal data quality needs without missing a beat and without additional audit management software.

AWARDS has several different features to help accomplish this:

  • The AWARDS Messages module is configured by many agencies to send automatic reminders about overdue events and missing documentation, as well as upcoming consent and entitlement expiration dates, events, assessments and more all contributing to successful audit management
  • AWARDS’ reporting functionality has many different ways to audit missing documentation including lapses in documentation, progress notes and electronic signatures, insurance and entitlements information, and hundreds of other data points related to demographics, medical and employment information.

We understand that working with consumers and recording data is an on-going process that keeps agency staff very busy. AWARDS is designed not only to make recording and reporting data as efficient as possible, but also to help agencies audit their work for data quality and completeness.

“I love the AWARDS Internal Audit Messages. It really helps me to keep track of staff deadlines. I check my messages daily and I recommend that all supervisors do as well since it is so helpful.”
– Andrea J. Calabrese, LMSW, CASAC, ICADC, Clinical Supervisor at Palladia

ReportBuilders and Electronic Signatures

Foothold Technology offers a broad selection of complimentary events that connect our users with the experts on our Client Services team. These events include trainings, discussion groups, demonstrations and seminars. One type of these events are called “Review and Refresh”, which are up to three hours of free training on important AWARDS features and functions. At the end of September we held a Review and Refresh event and discussed ReportBuilders and E-Signatures. In this R&R session we reviewed how to use the different settings and options in the ReportBuilders to create your own custom reports.

Some of the features that were highlighted included the report filters, the new “grouped on” options, summary tables, footers, and saved report formats. Attendees of the session were shown how the ReportBuilders can be used to create three different kinds of reports: listings, audits, and outcomes! Our list of ReportBuilders, keeps growing; here is the list of ALL of the ReportBuilders that currently exist in AWARDS:

  • Demographics Report
  • Medications ReportBuilder
  • Providers ReportBuilder
  • Job Placements ReportBuilder
  • Job Interviews ReportBuilder
  • Service Contacts ReportBuilder
  • Progress Notes ReportBuilder
  • Contacts Log ReportBuilder
  • Employees ReportBuilder
  • OASAS ReportBuilder
  • HMIS ReportBuilder

The second half of the session reviewed electronic signatures. We highlighted how to set the business rules, how to upload your signature image and how to sign a note. The attendees of this session also got a sneak peak of e-signatures on Service Plans! We hope that the attendees learned some new tips and tricks on reporting and think about using e-signatures at their agencies.

It’s Clean Up Time: Getting Rid of Bad Data in AWARDS

by Sarah Galena, Implementation Consultant 

No matter how long you have been using AWARDS, how tech-savvy your staff is, or how well you implemented internal procedures, there will always be human error when it comes to data entry.  As the saying goes, “Garbage in, Garbage out!” So the question is:  How can you clean up your data?

The first step in data clean up is to know the areas in AWARDS that need cleaning up.   The best way to find errors in your data is to take advantage of the many reports in AWARDS.  In July, Foothold Technology hosted a Building on the Basics workshop that  focused on the reports you can use to help you ensure quality data and how to clean it up!  Here are three reports that were highlighted:

  • Run an Intake Report to find referrals that were created for clients that are either duplicates or have never been processed. (Click Intake/Admission, set to “Report” mode and select “All Unresolved Outcomes”).  In order to delete a referral, find the referral by searching for the client in the Intake/Admission module, and click the client’s name to open the referral form. On the bottom of the page, click the “DELETE REFERRAL” button.
  • Residential Programs need to make sure that the correct clients are in the correct units/beds. Run the Housing Reports often to ensure that the right people are living in the right beds. (Click Housing, select the program, choose your date range, click continue and select the different sorting options).  Submit any errors you find to the Help Desk.
  • The Demographics Report is also a great way to ensure quality in your data.  Use the filtering options to see data that has not been entered (by setting the filters to ‘blank’).  Create your QA reports and save them so that you can run them on an ongoing basis.   To access this report, click Profile, then Demographics Report.

The Zip Code Lesson

by Laura Marshall, Senior Customer Success Manager

At our Users Conference last June, I facilitated a panel titled “Data by Design”.  The aim of the session was to expose attendees to a wide variety of reports in AWARDS and to provide them with the opportunity to hear from several of our clients who use various reporting features in AWARDS rigorously to support agency growth and health.

One of my panelists was Larry Grubler, CEO of Transitional Services of New York, Inc., an organization based in Queens, NY that provides a variety of mental health services to the community.  In his role as CEO, Larry does a lot of fundraising and advocacy work, and because of that he talks to politicians regularly.  In his presentation at the conference, he spoke about the importance of being able to look at data via zip code, and how, using the demographics report in AWARDS, he is able to build reports that tell him all sorts of things about the population his agency serves by zip code—race, income, education levels, types of mental illness, entitlements, etc.  With that kind of data at his fingertips, he is well equipped to advocate for the needs of his client community—with numbers to back up ideas.

I was struck by this because the reporting example Larry gave is in fact quite simple.  There are no gymnastics needed to get these numbers, and running these reports takes a minute or less if you are familiar with AWARDS.  Yet the result—good data in, good data out—is a powerful and effective tool that you can use to advocate for those who need it most.

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