FAIRFAX, Va. — Back in 1999 the team at ServarusRM decided they needed a tool to help their clients document falls, pressure ulcers and other risk-associated events that plagued the nursing home industry. In doing so they believed they could mitigate risk exposure and also help reduce insurance policy premiums. It was that vision that led them to enter the software business and develop an Electronic Risk Management Assistant – or ERMA – and roll it out to their entire customer base of policy holders.
In today’s tech savvy world an online Risk Management software tool might seem run of the mill, but remember that in 1997 the industry moved to PPS, and that most organizations still charted on paper and had not even heard the words Electronic Medical Record. ERMA was a trailblazer that provided a web-based tool to help Providers track and trend incidents that were occurring in their facilities. Whenever a resident is involved in an accident or incident or has a variance in the medication that they are to be taking, the details must be documented immediately and accurately. This data is used by QA and Risk Managers to determine the root causes and possible preventive actions that can be implemented.
Because ERMA was so effective and built to last, no significant revision has been developed until now. Today ERMA 2.0 will be unveiled and implemented into its long-standing client base. New additions to the ERMA family are in development for the Assisted Living and Home Care markets.
“Our Early Adopter customers who have all been using ERMA for many years helped us in the development of ERMA 2.0,” said Alan Zuccari, the President of Hamilton Insurance Agency. “Our customers have come to depend on the insight ERMA provides to them and even though many of them now use an EMR, they have not abandoned ERMA and use it every day. In fact, in this new environment of Value-Based Care, ACOs, and Revenue Cycle Management, the benefits that ERMA provides are more important today than they were in 1999,” Zuccari went on to say.
“It’s true that our customers are more like partners after all these years,” said Kenita P. Hill, MSA, CPHRM, LNHA, who holds the title of Vice President of Operations for ServarusRM and is a fifteen-year veteran of the Company. “We have improved ERMA with a new look and feel or user interface, ERMA is easier to navigate with these more user-friendly features, but the big news is the customized company dashboard. We will be doing more with analytics in subsequent releases,” states Hill.
ERMA and QAPI
Nursing homes, hospitals, hospices and home health providers are mandated to have a Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program that requires health care entities to systematically examine the quality of care provided. A key component of QAPI is conducting performance improvement projects (PIPs) to assess and determine how systems can be improved to result in better patient/resident outcomes. ERMA can play a key role in your QAPI program by quantitatively identifying opportunities for improvement. It seamlessly pulls the data that is needed for effective root cause analysis, and validating outcomes from performance improvement projects (PIPs).
ERMA and the Nursing Staff
The Quality Assurance nurse at the facility evaluates and assumes the responsibility to review and monitor documentation in resident records to ensure quality of care and compliance with regulatory agencies and third-party payers. By monitoring incidents and documentation of their colleagues, they can ensure qualitative requirements are being met as specified by the facility, state or federal agency. QA nurses are often tasked with creating systems, sometimes using surveys or computer programs to audit incidents/events, compile and summarize data for presentation at monthly departmental meetings and quarterly meetings as needed or participate as appropriate in the facility Performance Improvement Plan in collaboration with the LNHA. In short, ERMA doesn’t replace existing tools, but enhances them.
ERMA (Electronic Risk Management Assistant) was designed to track and trend incidents occurring within each facility and aggregate that information across a spectrum that is easy to measure and understand. This allowed the organization to not only understand the individual facility but also to look across their entire continuum of services. Resident incident analysis and subsequent corrective actions that previously took months to identify were now being addressed in hours or days.
Since 1999, ERMA has evolved into a comprehensive quality assurance/risk management system that provides 24/7 risk management oversight along with an industry first 24/7 alert system that is customer defined to inform appropriate parties within minutes of occurrences based on severity. The ability to address issues quickly is paramount.
Launched in 1999, ServarusRM was born out of necessity to assist a long-term care organization that struggled with poor survey performances and was facing litigation issues. They needed to understand what their quality assurance process was missing. The new risk management software tool helped them manage the QA process, and allowed them to minimize their associated exposures and therefore their risks.
Since its inception, ServarusRM has continued to grow and blossom. SNF’s, ALF’s and CCRC’s have all contributed to the maturation of ERMA to include features such as unplanned hospital discharge monitoring, pharmacy issues, medical records requests, survey tracking, wound management/skin integrity and claims management to name just a few. ERMA’s easy to use system and innovative features enable staff to make the best decisions to improve overall quality of care provided.
ServarusRM also offers risk management services that include: on-site safety assessments, staff training and telephone consulting. Our team includes a certified health care risk manager, and account management support. With our products and services, ServarusRM provides comprehensive risk management solutions dedicated to improving quality of care while reducing the costs associated with preventable risks. http://servarusrm.com