For home-based healthcare providers, working remotely from laptops and tablets in and out of patient homes has become the standard for serving seriously ill patients and documenting their care. It’s a wonderful thing how modern technology has made it possible for conventional medicine to become more flexible and accessible, especially as the growth in our senior population accelerates.
However, many providers who serve rural communities often experience a variety of technical woes when it comes to trying to chart offline or without internet connectivity. “It is estimated that between 6-12% of Americans still do not have access to a quality broadband network,” according to an article by Brookings. While the conveniences and innovations of today’s tech are optimizing operations everywhere, shouldn’t we have better offline capabilities? In this blog post, we’re looking at the most common shortfalls providers experience with working offline and questions you should ask your software provider to ensure a successful outcome.
Three Common Shortfalls of Working Offline.
- Different User Interface. The first issue that creates frustrations and challenges for clinical staff is that some providers have an entirely different user interface for managing data capture offline. This means clinicians get used to working one way while connected on their laptop, but when they chart offline, everything looks different. This can cause documentation errors due to confusion and can even translate to delayed payments as it takes time to sort out and resolve these issues.
- Manual Data Sync.The next issue is two-fold. In most cases, clinicians have to manually sync their devices when coming back online so that the data pushes back to the cloud, updating the records for all to see. If the system does not prompt the user to do this, they may forget to allow time to pass, thus limiting access to relevant patient information. Additionally, if they accumulate more data by charting in offline mode for an extended period, it creates a bigger upload of information, making the sync take longer. This can impact the clinical team’s nights and weekends if they have to babysit a sync process outside of working hours to ensure the system gets updated. Clunky offline capabilities can seriously impact a clinician’s work/life balance and their job satisfaction.
- Data Lost during Sync.The last issue is losing data during a sync process. While most companies have figured out how to do this successfully, it seems to go without fail that there are issues that arise from this process. This can create additional burdens for clinical, administrative, and IT staff as they resolve the issue.
What is the solution?
If your organization has experienced these issues, you know how disruptive they can be. Consider asking software vendors these questions as you evaluate what working offline truly means within their solution.
- Is the user experience the same whether they are working online or offline?
- Is there a prompt for users to sync their data?
- Is the back office notified when there is data to be synced up?
- How long does the sync typically take?
- Has your company ever lost data in a syncing process?
At Curantis Solutions, we provide an end-to-end software solution for hospice and palliative care providers that includes offline capabilities. We prompt the clinician to sync their data, and the process is simple. It allows those working in rural areas the ability to work with ease and not experience any disruption when transitioning between online and offline modes.
See how easy life can be. Schedule a demo!