Choice and Suncoast Solutions Create Largest Quality Benchmarking Group

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Hospices to receive Hospice Item Set benchmarked results ahead of CMS public reporting

Suncoast Solutions

Suncoast Solutions

We are really excited about expanding our network to all Suncoast Solutions clients. - Dr. David Casarett

CHOICE (Coalition of Hospices Organized to Investigate Comparative Effectiveness), a quality improvement benchmarking network, will soon have the largest patient-level, multi-hospice dataset to date. “We are really excited about expanding our network to all Suncoast Solutions clients because this will provide a deeper understanding of our industry and help so many hospices further improve their business and quality operations,” says Dr. David Casarett, Director of Hospice and Palliative Care at the University of Pennsylvania and Principal Investigator of CHOICE. What was once only available to a handful of Solutions EMR clients, CHOICE involvement and benchmarking results are now an option for all Solutions clients, at no additional charge.

CHOICE is known for comparative effectiveness research (CER) contributions toward the examination of hospice patient outcomes and identifying best practices. For the past 5 years, CHOICE has worked with hospice organizations around the country documenting through Suncoast Solutions, a leading hospice and home care software vendor, to securely extract 160,000 patient medical records and turn their data into detailed, functional metrics. Expanding this network to all Solutions clients will prove to be simple and almost imperceptible to participating hospices. Dr. Casarett explained, “Partnering with Suncoast Solutions has made it possible to map data elements and import information into a common format quickly and efficiently. We are able to use existing data in the software to provide clinically relevant results and gain insight without intruding on patients, who are always at the center of our minds.”

Eugenia Smither, VP of Compliance and Quality Improvement for Hospice of the Blue Grass, has always used comparative effectiveness evaluation to identify best practices and is looking forward to increasing the data comparison pool. “This really has the potential to change some of our operational decisions. The fact that it is being provided to clients at no extra cost will allow all organizations to participate, which broadens the spectrum of data collected,” stated Mrs. Smither.

Suncoast Solutions CEO Jay Hill adds, “We understand how important quality benchmarking is to our customer base, especially when regulatory scrutiny is at an all time high. We have the most dedicated clients and we thought this was a great way to show our appreciation and how devoted we are to them.”

Through the Solutions EMR, CHOICE participant hospices will have access to their own data and results. They will be able to generate reports that summarize their agency’s results, how they are performing relative to all hospices in the network, relative to a subset of similar programs and subsets of patient groups (i.e. nursing home residents). Benchmarking results can be adjusted for patient characteristics, such as diagnosis and site of care, to account for between-hospice differences in patient populations. Initial benchmarking results will be shared with all Solutions clients during the annual Suncoast Solutions Users Conference in February 2015. These will include Hospice Item Set (HIS) results, visit frequency (first and last 7 days), and outcomes of care (e.g. discharge, revocation).

Dr. Casarett is focused on assessing variations, trends, and the impact processes of care have on outcomes, but he has even higher hopes for the future of CHOICE. “We hope that by expanding CHOICE we’ll become a true ‘learning healthcare system,’ providing clinical decision support directly through the Solutions software. This expansion is the first big step in that direction. “

Everyone involved is excited about the CHOICE project’s bright future. “The ability for Suncoast Solutions clients to compare key metrics and quality data with other hospices across the nation at no associated cost is an immense, and unexpected, bonus. We’re excited for all possibilities of this endeavor,” concluded Mrs. Smither.

About Suncoast Solutions
Hospice and home health care providers rely on the unrivaled Suncoast Solutions software to manage their care programs with integrated EMR, reporting, financial and business intelligence tools. Based in Clearwater, Florida, Suncoast Solutions professionals have been dedicated to partnering with hospice and home care agencies exclusively since 1999.

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