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 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

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".