Case Study: Stellar Senior Living

Quick Transition of EHR Platforms after New Acquisitions

About the Organization

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Organization Name:
Stellar Senior Living

Main Contributor:

Megan James,
Director of Health Services

Organization Type:

Assisted Living

Organization Description:
Stellar Senior Living operates 14 communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington and offers comfortable living, curated activities, and world-class care to over 1,500 residents. As a family-owned and operated business, Stellar is deeply involved in each community
and take pride in offering a world-class experience to every resident.

Project Description

Stellar Senior Living was already using ECP Assisted Living software at 14 communities in seven states. Stellar acquired two new communities in two different states and planned to transition these communities to ECP. Implementing ECP software allowed them to onboard the new employees quickly, roll out existing Stellar processes and procedures, all while representing the existing Stellar Senior Living culture. One key feature of the implementation was the Stellar Senior Living custom assessment tool previously developed in ECP, which is approved in each of the states in which Stellar operates.

Implementation Approach

During the acquisition process, Stellar Senior Living started to prepare for the transition to ECP. Both communities used proprietary software and multiple systems that they would not have access to once the sale was completed or management transition.

Stellar prepared for both transitions by creating a Stellar implementation team of administrative staff, nurses, and medication technicians. The team would be onsite during the transition to help with data migration, new data entry, training, and guidance during the first few days using the system. The implementation team created checklists and a timeline for each community to follow. Stellar prepared staff to document on paper for 1–3 days while the transition was completed. The day of the transition, they gathered care plans, medication lists, and records to prepare the pharmacy partners and team. First, the Stellar implementation team worked on medication details, then care plan, and finally assessment updates.

Using the train-the-trainer method, Stellar scheduled group trainings with the care teams and medication aides. For administrative staff, they scheduled individual training sessions. These trainings were done on site during the transition days. With ECP’s easy-to-use interface, onboarding team members has been easier for the Stellar team overall. With clear buttons and identifying factors, ECP’s user-friendly software allows staff of all ages and skill levels to navigate effectively throughout the system. This saves training time and allows Stellar to focus directly on policies and procedures.

The first step was implementing the eMAR portion. ECP’s live interface syncs to the pharmacy software to ensure live updates and changes are sent to the community in real time. These updates allow medication changes to be communicated and updated more effectively. The pharmacy interface allowed the communities to go live with the medication orders in one day. While part of the implementation team worked on training and helping the Med Aides go live with medications, the other part of the team worked on completing the customized, state-approved assessment — which automatically creates the resident care plans.

Pharmacy-workflow

As the new Stellar communities went live with both the eMAR and EHR, alerts to reduce missed charting, reports, and audits were immediately available to administration and staff. The Stellar implementation team was available during the first 72 hours of shifts to answer questions and help team members feel comfortable documenting in the new all-in-one system. Additionally, the community teams were introduced to ECP’s Incident and Investigation Reports. The intelligent workflows allow teams to initiate reports in the same system so documentation can be related to the reporting. With that added benefit, less time is spent gathering information and more time is spent on responding to incidents.

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After one day at one community, and three days at a much larger community, the Stellar Senior Living teams were able to go live with both of ECP’s eMAR and EHR. The implementation identified differences in service levels to improve billing oversight and save the teams a lot of time they would have otherwise spent on redundant documentation.

Outcomes

  • Staff satisfaction increased 95% as redundant documentation was reduced by moving from multiple systems to one. The streamlined processes gave team members more time to focus on quality documentation and spending time with the people they care for.
  • Moving the newly acquired communities to ECP, the same system as the rest of Stellar’s communities, allowed for a seamless transition, as well as better clinical and business outcomes post-acquisition.
  • Care Plans and Billing aligned within the first week as staff communicated the differences between the care plans and care being provided. Assessment updates immediately impacted the care plan which improved care transitions and allowed the operations team to have better insight on resident service levels and acuity.
  • ECP’s user-friendly interface minimized the time it took for employee onboarding. Stellar used ECP reports to create accountability and empower teams to identify opportunities for improvement and retraining.
  • Relationships and continuity of care improved. The implementation encouraged teamwork and communication to ensure policy and procedure reflected current practice.
  • A variety of reports, with flexible reporting options, allow both administration and operations teams to investigate trends to identify opportunities for improvement and risk management.
Challenges and Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Moving from multiple systems to ECP’s all-in-one platform took coordination and planning. Determine team priorities and expectations to create checklists and timelines. During an acquisition, it can be difficult to prepare without access to documentation and systems prior to the sale being complete. If the previous owners or management team allows introductions prior to the sale, more time can be spent preparing for the transition.
  • Technology issues temporarily delayed the implementation team’s ability to prepare assessments and care plans. Those experiences allowed Stellar to train on redundancy methods and troubleshooting practices.
Lessons Learned/Advice to Share with Others

  • Prior to implementing ECP, care staff were providing cares that were not represented in service plans. Having the care team in the same system as the nursing and administration team, allowed Stellar Senior Living to use the ECP transition to engage in conversations about what was happening and what was expected to align service levels to resident acuity. Having accurate service plans gave the teams peace as they prepared for the state survey process.
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  • One owner allowed Stellar to work with their employees prior to the acquisition, which allowed more time for the new team to become familiar with the system and more time for the Stellar implementation team to prepare for the transition. It is extremely beneficial to the community to have more time to prepare for the transition. Check with the previous owner to see if they are willing to let introductions happen early to minimize the impact to the teams and residents.
Summary

Stellar Senior Living was able to quickly transition their newly acquired communities to ECP’s Assisted Living platform within the first week of ownership. They were able to optimize operations oversight, the ability to manage medications, incidents, and resident acuity in one system. Overall, using ECP at their assisted living communities has helped with the continuity of care and quality of life for their residents.

As seen in LeadingAge CAST