i-Sight Incident Reporting Software Helps NorthernBridges “Provide the Best Life Possible” For its Members
NorthernBridges is a long-term care organization that provides family care services to 11 counties in northwest Wisconsin. Founded in 2009, NorthernBridges has 150 employees who serve the organization’s 2,000 seniors and adults with physical or developmental disabilities, allowing them to live at home or in other community care settings. Members are made up of frail elders and physically or developmentally disabled individuals whose acuity levels and financial levels fall within the parameters of the program.
The organization aims to provide consistent, high quality care that allows people to live independently with dignity. The company’s mission to "provide the best life possible" for its members means that NorthernBridges helps them live in a cost-effective way, at home or in their communities, among family and friends.
A relatively new company, NorthernBridges was struggling to find an efficient way to collect, track and process information about its members. "We started, as an organization, with a lot of ad hoc systems for recording different types of information," says Greg Bortz, the company’s Manager of Technology Services. This was time-consuming and inefficient, he adds.
Care workers were using a database program to track critical incidents, such as falls and injuries, occurring among the company’s members and were encountering several problems with this system. One major drawback was that they had to return to the office in order to input information into the system, which was inefficient and caused delays in information processing.
With the database residing on a central server, the company was having integrity issues when transferring data across the network. This resulted in the decision to put separate databases on each local server. "This became a hindrance," says Bortz, "especially for a quality manager when it came time for him or her to review the incidents." It was clear that the system wasn’t working, and Bortz decided to look for a web-based system that would answer all the company’s needs.
Bortz needed to find an efficient system for tracking critical incidents, such as falls and injuries. "Given all our locations being spread out over a rather large geographical area, we needed a system that we could get at from just about anywhere. We needed to give our care managers a tool that was easier to access and easier to use."
He also needed a system that would enable meaningful reporting on the incidents to comply with requirements outlined in the company’s contract with the State of Wisconsin. "We’re required to report these incidents to them in a timely manner, so it was also a matter of being in compliance with them."
In addition to reporting as part of a compliance program, Bortz also wanted a system with advanced analytics that would help them to do root cause analysis and examine trends. "This would allow us to be more proactive in preventing and understanding some of these critical incidents that we were recording in the system," he says.
Armed with a must-have list, Bortz spent a month researching a new system for NorthernBridges. He conducted most of the research online and also talked to some of i-Sights’s clients and those of other vendors. "I looked at functionality that was available within the systems and, at the end of the day, the i-Sight product had the most flexibility in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish," he says.
Bortz decided on i-Sight Case Management software, the world’s most customizable software for case management, tracking incidents and reporting on results.
One of the biggest advantages of i-Sight, says Bortz, is the notification component. "Although our database system had some of that, i-Sight makes it so much easier. Being able to notify our quality manager whenever a critical incident is logged in the system is very important. We’re required by contract to have that notification component completed within 24 hours for critical incidents. And we have other timelines that contractually we need to uphold in terms of making sure things are completed within 30 days… So having the notification component and the e-mail ability are two major advantages that i-Sight offered. Also, being available 24-7, being web-based, was a very important component."
Bortz was also impressed with the customer service offered by i-Sight. "I felt that the support for the product would be there from the i-Sight staff. The ability to make the changes we needed to capture the data that we’re looking to capture was important to us, as well as the advantage of having multiple intake forms within the same system in case we want to use the system to capture different types of incidents in the future."
Bortz felt he was getting added value from the product with the possibility that he could use it for critical incidents now and have the ability to track different types of information in the future for minimal additional investment.
"I think i-Sight will improve the efficiency of our care management staff in terms of recording incidents," says Bortz. "Having a web-based system will allow them to be more real-time and work from home or any location that has internet access."
Bortz looks forward to the new system helping to improve the company’s quality program in general. "We’ll have the ability for a quality manager to more effectively review these incidents and do more analytics on them," he says. "Doing cause analysis will help us to be more proactive in preventing incidents, rather than reporting on them."
Prevention is a key factor in improving the quality of care overall. "If we can prevent people from falling, we’re saving money on services that we would need to put into their homes to help them recover from those incidents. Prevention improves the safety of our members and our goal is to keep our members safe and give them the best quality of life possible."
Bortz sees future possibilities for using i-Sight to integrate other areas of NorthernBridges, in addition to critical incident reporting. "We’re hoping, going forward, that i-Sight can be used to capture (more) provider integrity type issues as well. Instead of continually having different databases and different tools that we’re asking non-IT people to be trained on and understand, we would have one integrated system."Email this page Print this page