Spotlight Series Article, Sponsored by Welligent
Headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, Grafton Integrated Health Network is a multi-state behavioral health care organization that serves children and adults with complex intellectual, autism spectrum, and/or psychiatric needs. As described recently in part one of the six-part OPEN MINDS Spotlight Series, Leading With A Bit Of Audacity – Building The Grafton Foundation Of Care, Grafton Integrated Health Network followed an innovative path to quality care through investment in the technology required to capture, compile, and analyze their clients’ data, accurately measure their progress towards their goals, and ultimately track the effectiveness of their treatment. The technology Grafton used to unlock greater data-driven strategies was a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) platform designed by Welligent.
Scott Zeiter, Grafton Integrated Health Network’s Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, believes “Welligent…allows us to compile, manage, and interpret data to track our performance, and ultimately informs our clinical and organizational decisions.”
At the 2019 OPEN MINDS Strategy & Innovation Institute Welligent-sponsored session, Grafton’s Journey Into Measurable Patient Success, Mr. Zeiter and Jeremy Ulderich, Director of Educational Consulting, discussed their captured insights and altered perceptions into the development of a measurement-based care system using EHR capabilities. As part two of the six-part OPEN MINDS Spotlight Series, this article will share their findings and how important it is to stay relevant and prepared as the industry landscape continues to change.
“All the data needed to quantify outcomes and performance was buried on paper,” said Mr. Zeiter. “As the process was quite cumbersome, it cried out for automation. There has to be an app for that! Apparently, there wasn’t. So, in usual form, we engaged a software development firm to make one.”
“We had heaps of data and needed to translate that data to inform administration and withstand an audit,” added Mr. Ulderich.
Mr. Ulderich commented that organizational change is not easy. The transition from paper to EHR is a monumental undertaking. “It required training, and training, and training. Not just the new staff, but the veterans as well.” The new changes also required accountability measurements and the creation and dissemination of monthly goal mastery reports. These reports focused on the initiative, keeping leadership up-to-speed on key performance indicators.
“As with many healthcare organizations,” stated Mr. Zeiter, “we came to a time in which we decided our current electronic health record was not serving us anymore. So, we went shopping. And while we were at it, we decided to try to clean up our act a bit.” Grafton decided to refresh, asking questions such as: What is our foundation of care? What do our key stakeholders want (i.e., payers, legislators, parents)? What are our intervention objectives? Are we utilizing our behavior data tracking capabilities to facilitate the best outcomes possible for those we serve?
Mr. Zeiter noted that “Welligent reporting allows us to bring everyone to the same foundation of data, track progress, and run fidelity checks of the data.” Furthermore:
- All staff are coming at their clients from the same perspective
- Potent training framework for direct care staff; potent teaching opportunity for clinicians
- The data is given to direct care; They truly have a voice on the clinical team
- Real time data is available for all staff, reducing question about how a child is truly doing in these areas
- Decision support
He also stated that Welligent had done everything it can possibly do to make it user-friendly. One example Mr. Zeiter gave was from a direct care staff member in a residential facility, who said this is a great system and makes their life so much easier. “So it really is that user friendly…It’s stable…It’s secure and I can get around in it without having to learn it.”
Mr. Zeiter did highlight that, though they’ve made great progress, there are continuing challenges to contend with, such as:
- Fidelity to empirically based treatment models – just because they say they are doing it, doesn’t mean they are doing it
- Data Fidelity – if the direct care staff don’t collect it, the stakeholders will get a very slanted picture of progress
- Unless truly individualized with the client’s own strengths and affinities, it could become a cookie cutter recitation of tried and true clinician techniques, not a living consumer-driven plan
Though these challenges exist across all EHR systems, Mr. Zeiter did highlight that “big data equals big analytics. We’ll be able to uncover causations that inform more precise treatments that will drive improved outcomes. We’ll capture all the data and we’ll find the correlations. We’re confident that Welligent will get us there.”
Founded in 2001, Welligent is a fast-growing EHR software development firm and vendor that provides a fully integrated, cloud-based EHR platform and mobile apps to help you work smarter. We have complete solutions that can streamline your practice management, clinical documentation, revenue cycle and more.
As a partner, we take the time to understand your needs and your organization’s workflows to simplify your EHR experience from decision point through implementation – and beyond. With high-touch support teams focused on you, you can focus on the people in your care.
Together we can better serve behavioral health, human services, public health, foster care, I/DD, and student health communities across the country.
Grafton Integrated Health Network is a multi-state behavioral health care organization serving children, adolescents, and adults with complex behavioral health challenges.
With nearly 60 years of clinical experience and data in behavioral health and intellectual disabilities, Grafton is uniquely qualified to deliver improved outcomes. We often take – and, based on clearly defined indicators, are successful with – the most challenging clients, many of whom have a co-occurring diagnosis.
Grafton collaborates with communities, families and other health care organizations to provide the best possible care and achieve better outcomes.