OVERLAND PARK, Kan., (August 7, 2019)—Cantex Continuing Care Network (Cantex) and Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries (Diakon), together with Netsmart, have announced the successful launch of an industry breakthrough solution, Netsmart Referral Manager. This solution has increased the number of processed referrals, driven operation efficiencies and established a competitive edge for Cantex and Diakon among other senior living providers in a value-based care landscape.

Referral processes that fail to utilize automation and technology can be tedious and time-consuming, resulting in inefficiencies and even medical errors. In addition to accepting electronic referrals, the Netsmart Referral Manager solution automates the referral process, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes and manual data entry. A recent report by MatrixCare/Brightree and Porter Research stated that 60% of referring providers said they would switch to a new post-acute care provider if that organization were able to accept electronic referrals.

Cantex and Diakon implemented Referral Manager throughout their entire network of provider facilities. Results have shown that qualified referrals increased, while the time required to process those referrals decreased by 73%.

Diakon has been using the web-based solution in the community to give staff access to essential information that enables them to process referrals from anywhere, in real-time, on the Referral Manager shared platform. This approach enabled Diakon to maintain a 95% occupancy rate compared to the industry average of 82% and grew their census significantly.

“We have been able to remove a lot of the cumbersome documentation which has allowed us to become more seamless with our work,” said Deanna Ziemba, Diakon senior vice president. “The visibility and ease of documenting and viewing are pain-free for our staff. Referral Manager is so user-friendly, intuitive and provides a view of the status of the referral at any given moment. We can breeze through forms and notes, whittling down our referral process. Considering that kind of time savings combined with the ability to look and dig into referrals with enhanced visibility and insight—the impact it has made on our referral operations is substantial!”

Referral Manager can be used as a standalone solution or can be integrated into any existing EHR such as Netsmart myUnity. Referral Manager drives growth by combining various referral networks into a single solution and delivering a big-picture view into a patient’s journey between care settings. Electronic sharing of data cuts referral time in half. It offers instant, meaningful results in a clinically driven view, allowing providers to make fully informed acceptance or denial decisions and includes electronic referral receipt acknowledgment. Additionally, Netsmart is demonstrating how the new 360X standards support the automation of closed-loop referrals, helping to streamline the ways primary care providers (PCPs) are informed and how they can track consumers as they see specialists outside of a primary care setting.

“As providers focus on managing their patients through the various venues of care, they are exposing the need for capabilities that are not traditionally part of electronic health records—things like sophisticated automation and rules to manage their referral processes, CRM-like capabilities that track the long view of patients, and consumer and family engagement tools to foster communication between caregivers and the people they serve,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. “We are excited to work with pioneers like Cantex and Diakon to create new solutions to fill these voids. Being able to leverage our interoperability network that now facilitates over 13 million interactions every month serves as a solid foundation to build advanced capabilities into a highly labor-intensive process like what managing referrals is today for most community-based providers. Referral Manager is one of many applications we are working on with our clients to help them better manage their patient populations and meet the increasing needs of value-based care models.”

Organizations who can quickly receive and process patient referrals have the ability to build a consistent and strong census with the desired resident mix to help them reach their operational and financial goals. Referral Manager helps providers remain competitive and overcome the administrative and communication burdens that accompany a manual approach to referrals.

“Building relationships and demonstrating value are vital in today’s integrated care environment, and Referral Manager allows us to achieve success in both,” said Cantex CEO Robin Underhill. “Having instant access to essential referral and intake information allows us to expedite processes which help to increase credibility with our acute care partners, patients and family members. It’s a win for everyone involved.”

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