Nurses in post-acute care facilities face many challenges: inadequate staffing, exhaustion, long hours and spending too much time at a computer. Add to that the complex process of managing referrals from hospitals to their facilities, and nurses are leaving the field in droves.
Adam Tobbe, RN, and Lee Jones, RN have worked in post-acute care for many years. They knew there had to be a better way to reduce the time of transferring a patient from the hospital setting to a post-acute facility.
The pair put their interest in technology to the test and created Referral-IQ, a SaaS platform that takes an hours-long, decades-old admissions procedure and streamlines it into an efficient, thorough and modern process.
Tobbe and Jones used Referral-IQ as the platform to form pac-IQ™, their company that was incubated within Guardian Healthcare, a post-acute care provider in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Guardian saw significant benefits from utilizing pac-IQ’s platform through improved census, admissions and referral volumes.
“Guardian Healthcare is proud to support pac-IQ,” said Michael Herald, CEO of Guardian Healthcare. “We believe in innovation and supporting companies that are dedicated to improving the post-acute care industry.”
Referral-IQ analyzes the patient’s clinical documentation to the facility’s standards and what barriers there would be to admission. Based on the facility’s information, the software can determine if placement at an alternate facility is more appropriate based on the clinical information provided.
“The industry likes to target a 15-minute response time for accepting a patient. Facilities cannot process all that information in that time. They are taking a gamble that their facility can care for that patient, and at times those decisions lead to poor patient care,” said Tobbe, chief operating officer.
Through the time studies performed by pac-IQ, a facility that is efficient in their review process takes 90 minutes to perform a review. Many facilities take four to five hours and some a few days to process the referral. With pac-IQ, all available information is delivered in an electronic format so the facility can review it and accept or deny the patient. The information contained in the packet is completely HIPAA compliant.
“Adam and I both have experience as bedside nurses. We realized that technology could be used to streamline and improve the admissions process,” said Jones, chief technology officer.
Referral-IQ allows the user to update a referral status from pending to accepted or denied. This starts the cascade of information back to the referral source, alerting them that the facility can accept the patient, their bed availability and the date they can accept the transfer.
“Fostering communication and transparency is at the foundation of what we do.” said Tasha O’Bryan, RN, vice president of client success. “As a nurse, I know the impact to staff and patients that broken processes can have.”
Referral-IQ is in the full development phase with plans to distribute to customers this summer. It will be distributed as a SaaS based solution through a customer web portal.
For more information on pac-IQ and Referral IQ, visit their website, pac-IQ.com.