Friday, December 23, 2016

Assisted Living Software for Maryland

A gift, just in time for Christmas, for assisted living providers in the state of Maryland. PALs now includes the forms required by the state of Maryland including, but in no means limited to, the following:

Manager's Assessment
Level of Care Scoring Tool
Comprehensive Nursing Assessment
45-Day Nursing Assessment
Weekly Care Notes
Fire Drill Form

PALs is the most feature rich software available for assisted living providers. A BEST VALUE using the formula: Features / Cost ($5 per active resident).

Download your FREE TRIAL today.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Labor Challenges in Assisted Living

The Senior Living Executive magazine, in their September / October 2016 issue, highlighted “The biggest threat to the senior living industry over the next 12 months and beyond will be labor; its costs, supply and quality.”

PALs can help you manage through this period by utilizing the following features:

Labor Costs – see blogs below related to shift productivity. PALs will track service hours and staff hours to compute both shift and staff productivity. By using this information when developing the staff work schedule, staffing costs can be managed without compromising resident care.

Labor Supply – again, by managing the shift productivity, you can get more “bang for the buck” and “right size” your staffing. You don’t need as many staff if you use your current staff more efficiently.

Labor Quality – PALs will keep track of staff evaluations and training, and along with acknowledging individual staff productivity and attendance tracking, you will know your “top performers” and be able to acknowledge and reward them appropriately, thus improving staff retention and quality, while building a community culture of excellence.

Worried about your labor challenge – call us to learn about the PALs Advantage.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Shift Report - Old School

I had an interesting call from a long time user. She wanted PALs to create a Shift Report for paper-pencil entry!

As a developer, I am always trying to provide more automation, think eMAR, eSAR and Electronic Health Record. But now I'm asked to make a simple form to be complete by pencil. I offered to give staff the option of computer input, but no, she wanted it to be paper based and simply 3-hole punched in put in a 3-ring binder.

Specifically, she wanted one page per resident per week; with room for all three shifts to make entries, and room on the bottom for general comments.


The above form was quickly created and added to PALs. Thank you for this idea, even though it wasn't very technically challenging, if it helps a user, it is good for PALs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Staff Productivity in Assisted Living

We have blogged before  on Shift Productivity and how PALs will calculate this based on the Staff Work Schedule. The simple formula is to divide the direct care hours by the hours in the shift. For example, 6 direct care hours in an 8 hours shift is: 6/8 = .75 * 100 = 75% shift productivity. The direct care hours are “planned” based on the service plan, not the actual hours of care provided.

Shift Productivity example

While the above is fine, it reflects the “Planned” Shift Productivity. What about the “Actual” Shift Productivity meaning what are the actual direct care hours and actual hours worked and by whom? We recently added a new Assisted Living community, and they asked this question. Could PALs calculate, not the Planned Shift Productivity, but the productivity for the staff person working based on actual time spent with the resident and payroll hours?

Since PALs has a built in Time Clock and eSAR (electronic Service Administration Record, similar to the eMAR), we were already setup to gather the data needed for an actual staff productivity report. So by accumulating the time spent with each resident when the staff person clicked on “Done” for a service, summed for all services actually provided and dividing it by the actual time as document from the Time Clock data, the following report was generated.

Staff Productivity example

PALs prides itself on following our users lead, and is thankful for this suggestion.

PS: By factoring in the “Productivity” when pricing your services, you can ensure profitability since you know your staff costs per hour, overhead and ROI. See our blog on “7 steps to Profits” for more information.

Friday, November 20, 2015

MN Comprehensive Home Care Software

PALs has simplified it's setup for Minnesota Home Care provides licensed under the Comprehensive Home Care rules.

PALs contains a unique User-Defined Assessment component. We have added templates, to meet the requirements for this new home care rule. Users can edit these components to make it "theirs".

New Templates Added include:

1. Baseline RN Assessment to guide individual client assessment as required to be completed within 5 days of initiation of home care services by a RN and In-Person in the client's residence.

2. Medication Assistance Assessment - To determine if client need's Medication Management Plan.

3. Medication/ Treatment /Therapy Management Plan - must be completed prior to providing medication management services by a RN in a Face-to-Face meeting. Complete Annually thereafter. PALs will print a report showing when this assessment is next due.

4. Monitoring and Reassessment - must be completed within 14 days after initiation of services then every 90 days thereafter. PALs will print a report showing when this assessment is next due. This report will (optionally) integrate supervision done under Plan Supervision and Progress Notes form.

5. Vulnerable Adult - Complete prior to service plan, then as needed or at Change of Condition.

6. Incident Report - for quality management purposes, and links to "Complaint Report" in PALs QI Projects component.

7. Employee Performance Appraisal - To document Annual Training and print report showing dates next due.

8. Supervision of Unlicensed Personnel (ULP) - must be supervised by an RN within 30 days after the individual begins work and thereafter as needed based on performance. This requirement also applies to staff that have not performed delegated tasks for one year.

Using the above is easy as 1-2-3.

1. select the TEMPLATE
2. select either a Client or Staff
3. complete the template using predefined choices, or enter free text.



In addition to printing a report showing dates due for re-assessment, PALs will also display a "Nursing Alert" as due dates come closer.

For more information, a demo, or a free trial, call 877-724-7257 or go to www.PALsSoftware.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Medication Management Oversight for Mn User

At PALs we take great pleasure in responding to users requests and doing so promptly.

Yesterday, a Minnesota user requested a change after a consultant recommended new language on the MAR to ensure compliance with Minnesota's new licensing rules related to Medication Management.

Within an hour after the request, the changes were made; and since PALs is conveniently hosted on the web for access anytime & anyplace, the next time the user logged-in the changes were visible.

Just another day at the office!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

eMAR - Narcotic Documentation requires "Witnessed By"

PALs has recently enhanced its eMAR to require an additional "witnessed by" signature when administrating narcotic medications.

To learn more, or for an online trial and/or demo - please visit us at: www.PALsSoftware.com

Friday, October 24, 2014

Centrally Stored Medication Record

Why Texas again?

I had another assisted Living community call with a request to have the report, "Centrally Stored Medication Record" customized to include refill and expiration date. As I reviewed other states, there is variation on the requirements, although I'd say minor variations (meaning surveyors could easily accept it).

Anyway, PALs added a "comment" field that can be customized by any user, in any state, to fill a field and have it print on the report.

Click HERE to see the Centrally Stored Medication Record and visit our website at www.PALsSoftware.com for more information.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Texas Medication Profile

I had a call from a PALs user in Texas last week stating, "the surveyors are here and they want a specific format for the Medication Profile." "Can you help and how soon?"

I was happy to help, and had the revised format completed in less than 30 minutes. The surveyors wanted, not sure they "needed", all the information in one place, and that one place was the Medication Profile. So the "amount_received", "pharmacy_name", and "Issue_Date" for each medication was added to the profile.

Because PALs is hosted on "The Cloud", changes can be easily and quickly made, and seen on all devices.

For a free test drive of PALs, just give us a call at 218-724-6067

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Minnesota Assisted Living (Home Care) Licensing Changes

During the 2013 Session, the Mn Legislature passed new law that changes the way assisted living providers are licensed. The current “Classes” of licenses (i.e. Class A,B,C,F) will be replaced by two types of home care licenses: either Basic or Comprehensive. Assisted Living home care providers may be licensed under either, depending on services offered. This new rule goes into effect July 1, 2014.

PALs has reviewed 2013 Mn Statute 144a.471, paragraph by paragraph, and identified how PALs not only supports this legislation, but puts systems in place to ensure compliance. This 16 page Word document is complemented by a 3-part video showing how to setup and use PALs to comply with these new rules.

To get a copy of this package, just call PALs at 218-724-7257 - or better yet, download our free trial at www.PALsSoftware.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Staff Scheduling in Assisted Living

PALs software has an even more robust and comprehensive staff scheduling component thanks to our users who offer suggestions.

 A user has recently requested a new report showing actual staffing costs based on individual staff salaries entered, rather than the average cost based on the staff person’s position, e.g. aide position = $12 per hour. This report is below.



To review; PALs puts a system in place to ensure profitable operations.

1. PALs has a  service pricing tool to compute your full cost of providing 15 minutes of service (includes staff salary, ROI, payroll fees, and Shift Productivity).

2. The cost of 15 minutes of “aide” time for example is easily figured from staff per hour salaries.

3. Shift Productivity = Total resident service hours / staffing hours from PALs scheduling component.  For example, a staff person working the AM_1 shift with 6 hours of direct care during an 8 hour shift has a 75% shift productivity (6/8=76%). The cost of the 25% non-productive time is added into pricing in step 1, so all your staffing cost is paid. This eliminates “service creep”, since staff providing additional time to residents, without reporting it, are working harder, but not costing more!

PALs will work through the above computations for you, so you can schedule staff to meet resident-needs and regulatory requirements, while ensuring profitability.

For more information on PALs, please visit our website and download our free trial.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Best Practices in Assisted Living: California

At PALs we are constantly looking for ways to better support practitioners in providing the highest quality of care. For this reason, I  googled, "Best Practice in Assisted Living" and came upon this report developed in California. Click HERE for link. This report, just released in February of 2014, compares California's regulations with 11 other states and makes recommendations.

Section II, Care Standards was of most interest to me. Here they talk about California's pre-admission appraisal. The appraisal is easily entered into PALs Assessment Templates for application to all residents. Based on this appraisal, and resident preferences, a service plan is personalized for each resident specifying services to be delivered, how they will be delivered (personalized for the resident), and related costs. This plan is to be reviewed at least annually, and when there is a change in the resident's condition.

PALs will assist the above, by developing this service plan for resident's signature and create the documentation forms and invoice. In addition, nursing notes will prompt staff when a plan review and physician orders are due.

Section III, Staff Training and Staffing Levels.

Looking at PALs resources in this area, PALs will document staff credentialing, staff training and will create a staff work schedule. Related reports will alert when staff training is due and if the work schedule does not include sufficient hours to cover resident service plans.

Section IV, Resident Rights talks about "person-centered" care, which is one of PALs three main themes: (1) Person-centered Care; (2) Regulatory Compliance; and (3) profitability (relates revenue to staffing costs and work schedules). More about these later.

PALs is well positioned to support not only California providers, but providers in all states in providing assisted living services to meet "Best Practices".