Korey Sixbury, President, Life Systems International
Every year in the U.S., one in four deaths can be attributed to cardiovascular disease. While numerous medical conditions can increase the risk of developing heart disease, an important factor that can help reduce this number is completing the continuum of cardiac care. Post any heart or lung treatment, patients are advised to enroll in a rehabilitation program where a customized plan of monitored exercises along with relevant guidance is provided to help resume normal activities as quickly and safely as possible. It is essential for hospitals to offer cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation because any cardiopulmonary care is incomplete without it. Besides, there is 45-52 percent reduction in hospital readmissions for patient attending rehab vs those who don’t. With a facility-based rehab program, patients see a significant reduction in mortality rates of up to 45 percent and experience improvements in key risk factors like lipids and blood pressure.
Despite all the benefits, cardiopulmonary rehab is still underutilized because, most often, there are only four to five hospital staff members available at each rehab center to delivery the prescribed care for over 16 patients. While the staff is watchful of each patient's exercise program, what constantly distracts them is the need to simultaneously update the clinical information on their IT systems. This is a prominent challenge for most hospitals today as they are unable to effectively run clinical patient care processes while also complying with the IT and cybersecurity requirements along with CMS reimbursement regulation. Uniquely addressing this challenge for hospitals is Life Systems International (LSI), offering technology solutions that not only handle patient vital sign monitoring but also easy to use clinical documentation. LSI has a streamlined system for both these needs while being specific and customizable to a client's patient care needs while keeping up with their internal IT requirements. “We monitor the vital signs for the rehab while carrying out the required clinical documentation, which makes our product unique because clients don’t have to use two separate technologies. You can use one technology from LSI that covers both ends of that spectrum,” asserts Korey Sixbury, president of LSI.
A Complete System for Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
In today’s dynamic healthcare environment, LSI leads the way in providing time-saving cardiopulmonary solutions. "We support cardiac and pulmonary rehab providers with the technology and resources they need to provide innovative, informative, and inspired care," says Sixbury. LSI's technology offers continuous vital sign monitoring through its ECG wireless transmitter which is integrated with its software application installed on the Trenscenter central station, a Windows-based system. The software automatically collects the data from the transmitter, and intuitively provides the patient's caregiver all the information they need to track and document from a Medicare/CMS compliance viewpoint. This data is interfaced with the hospital's EMR system as well. With LSI's system, caregivers can monitor the patient's psychological health and cardiac safety while effectively performing the necessary clinical documentation. The clinical documentation requirements include charting patients' vitals as well as creating and tracking an individualized treatment plan (ITP), which has to be signed and verified by the physicians at specific intervals. LSI’s technology helps caregivers do their jobs in an automated way, which saves them time and effort.
On the other hand, LSI enables the hospital administration to stay compliant with documentation and physician signatures. Once the caregivers have treated the patient, they can electronically sign using the system, allowing the hospital to stay compliant with their electronic medical record regulation. All these processes take place with multiple patients at a time. "We help optimize the patient to staff ratio by enabling caregivers to take care of a larger number of patients without missing out on any steps,” says Sixbury.
We provide a complete system to hospitals from patient monitoring to clinical documentation to reporting
To protect the patient data, the company has designed an in-application module, TC secure for audit trail logging and user access control. The module offers LDAP integration to keep up with the hospital's IT security program protocols while allowing caregivers to continuously monitor patients in rehab. Committed to security, LSI develops products that comply with the regulatory requirements of ISO and the FDA while meeting customer requirements through continuous improvement of its products, processes, and relationships. "Our enterprise-level interface solutions are revolutionary for the cardiac and pulmonary rehab industry. Our ability to integrate with the AACVPR national registries and find solutions for hospitals that want to track and analyze program performance measures throughout the continuum of care is unmatchable," states Sean Murphy, VP of Operations at LSI.
Alongside security, LSI's system is fortified with artifact rejection filtration to increase the accuracy of advanced arrhythmia detection. This way, the caregivers can rely on the system to identify untoward events. The system also helps identify a patient's irregular heart functioning that can prove dangerous when exercising without intervention. "We provide a complete system to hospitals from patient monitoring to clinical documentation to reporting," says Sixbury.
To implement their system, LSI typically manages projects with the client leading up to installation, followed by replacing their outdated technology with the company's system. LSI then trains the clinical and technical staff at the hospital on using the system, after which the system goes live for patient care. Within three to four days, the company helps clients replace their obsolete technology and install its systems with complete functionality, training, and integration with their EMR systems. Interestingly, clients can update their LSI system by adding new components, as their department grows or with changes in regulations, instead of getting a full system replacement. For instance, LSI's system operated on Windows 7 when Microsoft released that platform but when Microsoft upgraded to version 10, LSI immediately launched a version utilizing it. This way, clients simply do a stage one upgrade rather than replacing the whole system through lengthy capital equipment cycles.
What has truly garnered clients’ attention and partnership has been LSI’s consultative care approach through their staff of industry experienced consultants. LSI is able to bridge the huge disconnect between the clinical staff needs and hospital IT requirements. If you are an IT department doing a technology project in your rehabilitation department, you will benefit from working with a company that is experienced in both clinical rehab and hospital IT. Moreover, other areas like finance can also benefit from LSI’s solution with the billing and charges interface without interrupting their daily tasks.
"We monitor the vital signs for the rehab while carrying out the required clinical documentation, which makes our product unique because clients don’t have to use two separate technologies. You can use one technology from LSI that covers both ends of that spectrum"
Taking Rehabilitation a Step Ahead
Having been in the industry for more than 35 years, LSI continues to be an industry leader and has gained huge traction in the market due to the quality of its solutions. Success stories of several customers are a testament to its capabilities and commitment to offering innovative solutions. For instance, one of the major hospitals was using 10-year-old telemetry and patient monitoring equipment but had lacked effective clinical documentation. It was working on an old operating system and wasn't attached to the hospital's network. It would not interface with their Epic EMR, even if the hospital did put it on their network, and they were trying to stay compliant with the regulations. The rehab staff had to manually write ITP reports and track down the physician signatures that they require. This led to a lot of task duplication with inconsistent results and time wasted. When implementing LSI's system, the client went from carrying and faxing multipage ITPs throughout the organization to just giving their physicians the ability to review and sign the documentation from their own computers by accessing LSI’s application. It took away the need to either get the documentation in front of the physician who may not work directly in the department or ask the physician to come from somewhere else to sign it. Apart from avoiding wasted time and resources, it also prevents human error and unnecessary audits by interfacing the singed results right into the Epic EMR for permanent review and storage.
LSI recently moved its 30-year-old manufacturing facility from Tennessee to its corporate headquarters in Charlotte. "In order to gain our ISO 13485 certifications, we have set up a quality management system where quality is really the core value for every staff member in the building. This has proved to be incredible in terms of the quality and consistency of the product that we deliver to hospitals," says Sixbury.
In keeping with its efforts to unite rehabs and the IT departments of hospitals, LSI will continue creating enterprise-level interface solutions to revolutionize the cardiac and pulmonary rehab industry. "I believe value-based care comes into play and is achievable when we can track qualified diagnoses, referral rates, as well as patient adherence all the while facilitating an impactful patient care process monitoring for safety and improving patients’ lives. And this is where we will continue to adapt and stay ahead of the curve,” says Sixbury.