Step One Child & Family Center Addiction Services, Inc. (Step One) is a New York State OASAS 822 Outpatient program that operates two free standing clinics in the Hudson Valley and an embedded program at the Northeast Center for Special Care, the largest post-acute rehabilitation facility for Traumatic Brain Injury.
Step One implemented eCR™ in 2013, and three years later began an internal quality assurance project that made them reflect on the differences of life before and after their adoption of eCR™. Nicholas Pappas, Administrative Director at Step One, sat down with TenEleven to talk about a couple of the major differences he noticed when his team decided to review and archive their old paper charts.
The front desk is a place where bottlenecks can occur. Prior to adopting eCR™, Step One checked people in with a pencil and 3 separate spreadsheet print outs. The front desk attendant would have to execute the following procedure for each client that arrived for treatment:
According to Pappas, “it was literally three different spreadsheets, and they would pencil in whatever the update was, then go onto the computer and update the spreadsheets for the next day’s printout. Try training someone to do that quickly!”
With the implementation of eCR™ Step One can now schedule and check in patients with an efficiency that ensures the front desk is no longer a bottleneck for their operation. It has also opened up the ability to see more clients. Said Pappas, “we have so many different groups starting at the same time. Now we are checking in people more efficiently, so we are doing a lot more group sessions, a lot more encounters, and seeing a lot more people than we were three years ago. A large part of that is instead of checking spreadsheets at the front desk, we are checking people in.”
In order to archive old paper charts to free up some office space, Pappas and Step One needed to go through all of them for a compliance check before filing them away. To hear Pappas talk about it it’s no small task; “The project is so big and crosses so many different people and so many different offices. It’s hours and hours of man time just moving stuff into another room, alphabetizing, sorting by number, making sure we having everything.”
There was a point in this quality assurance project that reached the records created since Step One’s adoption of eCR™ and that’s when Pappas really saw the difference. “Now we just run a couple of reports,” he said, “we don’t have to review our notes because the rules based functions in eCR™ have us doing that upfront as part of our billing. We run the Narrative Report to make sure that the note matches the procedure being billed.”
Part of providing the best service to their clients is quality assurance, and eCR™ has reduced the workload associated with quality checks. “Our quality assurance has been reduced from months to hours, and from 8 people to a single person,” according to Pappas. “With the new managed care carve in, we are going to need to dedicate people to new activities, so this time savings is important for us.”
At Step One compliance isn’t just a requirement. For Pappas and the rest of the management team it is something they take pride in, and eCR™ gives them the tools and the confidence to know they are always maintaining a superior commitment to regulatory requirements.
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TenEleven has customized eCR™ for a number of service types and levels of care for health and human services including mental health, addiction treatment, and family services. Whether its inpatient, outpatient, or Trauma Informed Care, eCR™ is built to fit.