How Swift Skin and Wound technology increased the efficiency of their wound care program
A small, but powerful INTERNAL wound care team
Forte Health Services’ quality team focuses on promoting patient dignity and independence.
Forte Health Services is a for-profit, locally owned and operating in-home care provider serving 34 counties primarily in south Texas. Based in San Antonio, they focus on providing skilled nursing care or continued therapy to adult and senior patients in the comfort of their own home. Forte is licensed through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and holds a Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) accreditation. This home health agency is Medicare and Medicaid certified and strives to offer premier quality services that focus on patient rights.
Forte Health Services initially thought their wound care program was running smoothly and efficiently. With a team of six registered nurses (RN), eight licensed vocational nurses (LVN), and four administrative/support staff, Forte has a small, but experienced team. That team is responsible for seeing approximately 150 patients weekly, 30-50% of which are wound care patients. To keep the team running efficiently, it was difficult to provide continuous education, engage the team, and find the time to do so within their daily operations. At the time, Forte was not actively looking for a new technology. However, they didn’t realize that they lacked visibility into their wound population and were spending a great deal of extra resources to treat their patients.
Wound care patients required RN follow-up assessments every 2-weeks to monitor the status of a wound, the rest of the care was administered through routine weekly LVN visits. The LVN seeing the patient regularly, contacted the RN and the office for discussions pertaining to the patient, such as progress and wound status. The RN visit lasted about 45 minutes, including wound measurements using the ruler method, and the entire process relied heavily on human expertise and wound descriptions, which can falter. The RN visits and evaluations were time-consuming and costly. Although the nurses were doing great work, they did not have supporting data that they needed, which made everything take longer than it needed to.
In only 6 weeks Forte Health Services was able to implement Skin and WoundTechnology, and get it up and running. It took only 6 hours to train staff on how to use the new technology.
With Swift technology, Forte is capable of getting key data that can be turned into actionable insights from the dashboard. Skin and Wound also helps partially automate and standardize documentation which reduces human error and inaccuracies. Forte is now able to track healing rates, monitor risk, drive compliance, and set internal benchmarks, all from within the Swift Dashboard. These metrics provide a level of business visibility that they didn’t have before. Their entire team now has easy access to data that is comprehensive, complete, and consistent.
Forte no longer has to do bi-weekly wound care follow-up RN visits because now wound care is digitally captured at bedside by the LVN, and oversight is done remotely. There is no more commuting time for the RN to be on-site at the patient’s house, they just quickly open up the patient dashboard and have all the data at their fingertips. This one change alone is saving Forte $1,379 in weekly labor costs, amounting to $71,718 annually. Not only are there financial savings but they have freed up the time of their staff and reduced supply costs.
The use of technology to deliver efficient wound care is beneficial to a company of any size. For a smaller company like Forte, it has given them the ability to handle complex cases other agencies may shy away from. The real-time dashboard and data insights have improved efficiency within the company and ensure quality of care. Implementing Skin and Wound helped Forte address gaps in their services that they had not realized existed.
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