Outcomes Driven by Clinical Respiratory Software and Analytics

Published in Respiratory & Sleep on June 28, 2022

Zach GanttBy Zach Gantt, RRT, FAARC, CEO, Encore Healthcare 

Patient outcomes are rapidly emerging as a powerful growth strategy. In fact, with large referrals and payers, they’re becoming a requirement. Collecting patient-focused measures and transforming that data into clinical metrics is the key to success in the respiratory DME model going forward. Elite DMEs combine compliance information with Nexus Clinical Respiratory Software to go “beyond the box” and become high-value strategic partners with their referral base.

with large referrals and payers, they're becoming a requirement

Healthcare delivery in the U.S. is evolving with emerging managed care chronic disease initiatives, accountable care organizations, and other value-driven care models. Hospitals want to act like a complete system to maintain every penny of the healthcare dollar spent. Physician groups can drive quality and revenue with aligned home providers. And payers are struggling to understand how to effectively manage patients in the home, especially the 12% that drive 60% of the spending.

The intersection of these trends for chronic respiratory disease patients is in the home. Implementing Nexus Clinical Respiratory software and Encore TeleRespiratory Services transitions the DME from being known as the equipment supplier to a full home-based pulmonary service partner. Nexus creates unique opportunities for the provider to succeed in outcomes-based models by keeping patients out of the hospital, tracking symptoms and physician interventions, and demonstrating improvement in key metrics. The question comes down to: How do you “own the home” and execute before your competition beats you to the strategy?

reduced readmissions by 60%

Nexus Clinical Respiratory Management Software

Respiratory management software is the new model the industry is moving toward. The key to a successful transition to these models is adding sophisticated clinical metrics on top of excellent compliance results. These clinical metrics measure goal performance, objective data, and—sometimes most importantly—subjective data like self-management skills or symptom management.

These goals and metrics need to be translated into patient language and need to communicate progress in an overall plan of care. For respiratory therapists, asking “how do you feel” questions at the point of care isn't enough. They must collect scaled answers via software to standardize them and to understand the changes from initial visits to ongoing visits. Software also enables patient answers to be tied to actions and instructions and to prompt physician interventions. Additionally, a database can be used to analyze results and identify hidden relationships that drive better outcomes.

asking "how do you feel" questions isn't enough

Oxygen TeleRespiratory Program

DME providers have an existing population of oxygen and nebulizer patients who will eventually need advanced therapies like noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and airway clearance devices. Due to reimbursement cuts over the years, these oxygen and nebulizer patients are just provided with equipment and never clinically managed.

Encore’s TeleRespiratory Services combine the support of a respiratory navigator-staffed call center that assesses patients with the integration of sophisticated Nexus outcome algorithms to manage the disease progression. The data algorithms from these brief and continual clinical calls measure patient engagement, identify gaps in care for physician follow-up, and detect increased clinical impairments that lead to advanced therapies such as NIV and high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO).

The patient experience includes training instructions and educational videos, and suggests appropriate physician interventions. Advanced therapy identification is based upon:

  • Hospitalization history
  • Current or prior lab testing
  • Ongoing dyspnea and other symptoms
  • Continual respiratory infections
  • Airway clearance issues

These key criteria support a higher level of outcomes that are documented, trended, and compiled into objective physician reports.

DMEs now have cost-effective and standardized means to identify risk, manage symptoms in partnership with their physicians, and document the progression to advanced therapies. Data shows that up to 20% of COPD patients will become hypercapnic and need some form of ventilation and up to 30% of stage 3 or 4 COPD patients have undiagnosed bronchiectasis needing airway clearance devices like HFCWO.

Summary

Traditional expectations of DME services are focused on therapy compliance and basic equipment education—that's the starting point. Value-based models demand a provider move from product-centered care to patient-centered care.


VGM Playbook Growing Your Business With Data and TechnologyThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Growing Your Business With Data and Technology. To read more articles like this, download your copy of the playbook today


TAGS

  1. business development
  2. outcomes
  3. respiratory
  4. software

From Our Experts

Meet Direct Supply® – Bringing Innovation to the HME Industry thumbnail Meet Direct Supply® – Bringing Innovation to the HME Industry In today's episode, Dave Lyman, Senior Vice President of Sales for VGM & Associates talks with our vendor partner, Direct Supply. Dave and Nick Bush, Director of Business Development for Direct Supply, discuss supply chain reliability, creating outrageous customer service, and the importance of innovation and technology. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Launches New Selection and Sizing Tools in the F&P myMask™ App thumbnail Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Launches New Selection and Sizing Tools in the F&P myMask™ App The updated F&P myMask App* now offers mask selection and sizing in addition to the existing step-by-step education and support video content. VGM & Associates Announces Boone Lockard as VP, Clinical Services thumbnail VGM & Associates Announces Boone Lockard as VP, Clinical Services VGM & Associates is excited to announce that Boone Lockard, CRT, has been promoted to VP of Clinical Services. The Case for Outsourcing CPAP Resupply Order Fulfillment thumbnail The Case for Outsourcing CPAP Resupply Order Fulfillment From cost savings to technological integration, there are a number of compelling reasons why outsourcing CPAP resupply order fulfillment can be a game-changing solution for providers. Breathing Life into Healthcare - Celebrating Respiratory Care Week thumbnail Breathing Life into Healthcare - Celebrating Respiratory Care Week Respiratory Care Week takes place Oct. 22-28, 2023, and the focus shifts to bringing attention to the invaluable contributions of respiratory therapists (RTs) and specialists. Boost Efficiency and Preserve Assets: Streamlining Repairs with Outsourcing and Tracking thumbnail Boost Efficiency and Preserve Assets: Streamlining Repairs with Outsourcing and Tracking Your business can alleviate the burden of maintenance and repairs on respiratory equipment and also substantially reduce the loss of high value assets each year through outsourcing. Partnership for Positive Outcomes with MedSouth and Encore thumbnail Partnership for Positive Outcomes with MedSouth and Encore Boone Lockard, Director of VGM Respiratory, talks with Encore Healthcare and MedSouth Inc. about their partnership and the positive outcomes MedSouth Inc. has seen using Encore's Nexus Software and Program. Breathing Easy at Home: Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of Home Mechanical Ventilation thumbnail Breathing Easy at Home: Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of Home Mechanical Ventilation Home mechanical ventilation (HMV) has revolutionized the way respiratory care is delivered, enabling patients to receive vital support in the comfort of their own homes.