Group Functionality with Care Management Software: What It Is and Why You Should Use It
Group Functionality with Care Management Software: What It Is and Why You Should Use It Blog Feature
Russ Godek

By: Russ Godek on February 15th, 2021

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Group Functionality with Care Management Software: What It Is and Why You Should Use It

Are you a large healthcare provider or a company managing patients for multiple providers or groups and find it hard to effectively deliver a high level of patient care?

Managing care for multiple patient populations can be a headache if you’re using your Electronic Health Record (EHR) or a low-quality software solution.

Workflows can be cumbersome and confusing, lowering productivity and ultimately resulting in less profit for your practice. Even worse, you could risk a HIPAA violation if you aren’t careful.

A high-quality care management software can alleviate this concern with group functionality.

Group functionality gives users the ability to manage multiple client instances within one customer-software relationship.

For example, say you’re a large hospital system that manages 3 hospitals. Finding software that allows for group functionality allows you to silo each of those 3 hospitals into separate “sites” where you can decide which of your users has access to each site.

Having worked with over 500 healthcare providers across the country, we have seen how valuable this functionality can be. The large hospital systems and distributors using our software love the flexibility and customization of group functionality as it greatly improves their processes and workflows.

In this article, we’ll go in-depth to the various ways multiple client instances can provide value and what types of providers can benefit most from group functionality.

Who Can Benefit the Most From Group Functionality?

Group functionality’s value will largely depend on how your organization is managed.

In general, there are two obvious benefactors to group functionality: large hospital systems and distributors.

Large Hospital Systems

These hospital groups can include several or more hospitals.

Since these hospital systems may not be able to share patient information with each other, they would stand to benefit most from the workflow optimization achieved with group functionality. 

Hospital systems may be on different EHR instances or unable to share Personal Health Information (PHI) between sites. 

Group functionality allows the users who are managing patients at multiple sites to have full or partial access, while granting single access to the end-user at the hospital. 

Distributors

Distributors are businesses that employ care managers and partner with healthcare providers to manage the care of their patient populations.

The patient population is usually contacted by care managers within a call center employed by the distributor. There are also instances where the distributor will place a care manager at the customer site.

Medicare allows care management services to be subcontracted to care management companies within the United States. Healthcare providers will utilize these distributors if they do not wish to provide care management services themselves.

The reasoning for that is that providers may simply not have the time or resources to do these programs themselves, and that’s where the distributor fills the gap. 

Distributors will manage their customer’s patient population on their behalf, thus helping improve patient health outcomes as well as increasing MACRA and other quality improvement scores. Providers can also take advantage of the high reimbursement rates of these programs while not having to do the program in-house.

A care management solution with group functionality is paramount for a distributor so they can easily manage multiple customers. This will also allow users at the site to access their care management patient data as needed without the distributor having to worry about seeing PHI that is not theirs.

How Group Functionality Provides Value

There are two primary ways that group functionality can provide value: by improving workflows and keeping your organization compliant with HIPAA.

The biggest day-to-day benefit that most organizations will see by utilizing group functionality is the improvement of their workflows.

Improving Workflows

To better understand how group functionality aids workflows, we’ll walk through two examples. The first example will look at how a large hospital system could improve workflows.

Large Hospital System Workflow Improvement

Let’s say we have a hospital system named ABC that includes 5 different hospitals.

By utilizing a software solution that includes group functionality, ABC can have 5 separate software sites, allowing for a clear delineation between them.

This means that the staff and admin users for Hospital 1 can have their own site, only seeing the patient information for their patient population.

The 5 hospitals within ABC may have vastly different internal workflows and processes. With group functionality, they can tailor their sites to manage care more effectively within their established workflows.

Distributors Managing Workflows

For the second example, we have a client managing care management programs on behalf of multiple provider groups. 

Usually, this type of client has a call center with care managers engaging patients on the provider’s behalf, logging time, notes, and updating various care plans and assessments. In this case, multiple software solution instances will be created.

For instance, the client may only want a specific care manager to manage one, multiple, or all care management programs for their customers.

Group functionality allows you to grant this type of access to specific care managers. Some high-quality software solutions will even allow group users to toggle between customer sites with a single sign-on.

Additionally, the client may also want the providers and clinicians themselves to have access to the care management software site. With group functionality, you can ensure that those providers and clinicians can only access the site pertaining to their patient population.

Staying HIPAA Compliant

To protect PHI and stay HIPAA compliant, you'll need a new software instance for each provider or group that you’ll work with. It’s crucial that you only grant user access to those who should see care management patient data. 

Care management programs work best when providers are engaged in these programs, actively observing care plans and any updates provided by the group managing their program.

It’s important that providers and other users at the provider’s site have access to their care management software, even though it’s actively managed by another group. Making sure these end users are seeing only their patient data is paramount to staying HIPAA compliant. 

Group functionality within a software solution gives companies the peace of mind that PHI is only being shared with those that should have access to it.

Is Group Functionality Right For You?

As we’ve stated, large hospital systems and distributors stand to benefit the most from group functionality.

That doesn’t mean other healthcare providers are unable to utilize this feature. Perhaps a smaller provider’s internal workflows and staffing require a more siloed approach; in that instance, group functionality could be of use.

Ultimately, the purpose of group functionality is two-fold:

  • To improve the workflows of care management delivery
  • Stay HIPAA compliant

ThoroughCare's care management software includes easy-to-use group functionality, allowing providers and distributors to achieve all the results mentioned above.

With our group functionality features, users have extensive customization options to adapt our solution to their workflows.

Businesses using ThoroughCare have the ability to create new users, assign security level clearances, set default customer users, manage practice patient/user notifications, define patient reading alerts for each practice, set practice reading frequency, and more.

If you’re interested in learning more about ThoroughCare’s care management software and our extensive feature set, or have questions about Medicare’s care management programs, watch our video demos.

Are you ready to get started with the most intuitive care management software on the market? Schedule a live demo of ThoroughCare’s solution today.