RiverStone Health and RLDatix
RiverStone Health is a public health entity in Yellowstone county and south-central Montana that provides a community health center, home care, hospice, WIC, maternal child health and environmental health services. RiverStone Health is a small organization, with only 400 employees and 40 different programs. In October, 2016, the organization identified that its original paper reporting system was critically fragmented and needed the help of an electronic safety management system.
RiverStone Health’s quest to find an electronic patient safety solution began with a crucial need: to improve tracking and reporting on incidents and safety issues facing the organization. RiverStone Health’s regulatory board requested that the organization research solutions that would allow them to review incidents on an organizational level to assist in identifying educational and interventional needs. Judy Stewart, Vice President of Organizational Innovation at RiverStone Health, was highly involved with the organization’s search for a solution. Stewart works closely with RiverStone Health’s safety committee, risk managers and compliance officer, giving her crucial insight when RiverStone Health began vetting vendors. Four factors impacted leadership’s decision-making process: user-friendliness to front line staff, the ability to customize the solution, ease of reporting and cost. Additionally, Judy says that the software was highly recommended from the two hospital systems located near RiverStone Health, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent’s Healthcare.
Once RLDatix was selected, RiverStone Health was able to start using the RL6 software quickly as its out-of-the-box functionality is meant specifically for smaller hospitals. While hospitals and health systems of all sizes can use RL6, its standardized implementation and workflow allow smaller organizations, such as RiverStone Health, to get up and running quickly without the need for extensive training and IT involvement.
Solving a Silo Problem with A Cohesive Solution
Before implementing RL6, RiverStone Health struggled with a manual system of reporting incidents. “People had paper incident reporting systems that were kept in individual binders in somebody’s office. We had no way to know what was happening across the organization and no consistent method of reporting,” says Stewart. For Riverstone Health, RLDatix was the cohesive solution they needed to transform their once siloed tracking and reporting processes. “The analytics side of the software is huge for us because we never had that before– we had no way of looking at our incidents organizationally because they were siloed into individual programs. This is really the first time that we have some significant data, which allows us to run comprehensive reports,” Stewart says.
“The analytics side of the software is huge for us because we never had that before– we had no way of looking at our incidents organizationally because they were siloed into individual programs. This is really the first time that we have some significant data, which allows us to run comprehensive reports,” Stewart says.
Since implementation, RiverStone Health has incorporated RLDatix software training into its orientation for all new employees. In addition to the software helping to improve reporting for each of the 40 programs within RiverStone Health, it has also become an accessible repository for all documents related to an incident. Stewart says that having a central location where information is stored has helped maintain consistency within the organization and provides an easy way for people to access important information when they need it.
Using RLDatix as a Multi-Departmental Tool
Stewart recalls a specific example of how RL6 assisted RiverStone Health in solving a medication management issue. RiverStone Health used the medication form to run a report to identify every instance where the pharmacy did not send the correct medication or the correct dosage to their hospice patients. This customized report allowed RiverStone Health to go to their pharmacy with solid data and negotiate a new plan of action, resulting in improved medication accuracy and a better overall experience for their residents. “Our organization has so many different programs, ranging from homecare and hospice to public health and a community health center. We recognize our uniqueness makes it difficult for any “out of the box” product to 100% meet our needs, but this form works well.”
When RiverStone Health began transitioning its EMR system to a web-based version, the organization identified that many sections in a record did not exactly match the previous version, requiring staff to search, and potentially never find, the correct field. RiverStone Health also identified that some sections did not exist and others did not have the correct drop down information. Additionally, some sections that were supposed to replicate in other areas of the EMR did not replicate correctly. After RiverStone Health used RLDatix to collect the necessary data on these issues, RiverStone Health could confidently approach the EMR vendor with data to outline the problem.
The Future of RLDatix at RiverStone Health
After implementing RL6 to report and track incidents, RiverStone Health has experienced the benefit of taking a data driven approach to solving problems. A once siloed organization has become more unified in its approach to collecting data and improving how the organization handles patient safety. Stewart says that with RLDatix, RiverStone Health has realized that it is possible to have an organizational response to an issue that is positive, well managed and addresses all areas of the organization.
Stewart says that with RLDatix, RiverStone Health has realized that it is possible to have an organizational response to an issue that is positive, well managed and addresses all areas of the organization.
Stewart says that RiverStone Health staff members are approaching her with new ways RL6 can be utilized to help with other data needs within the organization. “By educating staff to complete the form for a certain type of an incident, we can use the data we capture in a couple of different ways. I think it’s very exciting that people are starting to say this is a great way to gather, track and find trends in the data we’re collecting,” says Stewart.
RiverStone Health’s journey to RLDatix is a key example of a healthcare organization taking initiative to implement crucial safety improvements throughout its organization, making important changes that ultimately support patient safety.
“It’s cost efficient, meets our needs for reporting, and we have been able to make some changes to the product that make it uniquely usable for us. It’s also user-friendly, so we are very pleased with it,” Stewart says.
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