Project Summary and Client Background
Changing the way a health care organization tracks time and patient care posed a significant challenge for Covenant Hospice. Along the way, they became more productive and compliant as well.
Covenant Hospice is widely recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive hospices in the nation, providing care for persons with life-limiting illnesses, their families, and their loved ones.
Covenant Hospice has grown through the years from a single office and a handful of caregivers, to over 15 locations with over 800 employees and thousands of volunteer workers. The simple task of managing, and ultimately paying this staff, was becoming unmanageable.
Covenant attempted to change from a manual timesheet process to a system using Optical Character Recognition technology to collect timesheet data and an in-house application to process the data. Data acquired from the OCR system was imported into the application and then over 80 business rules were applied to calculate employee time and mileage accurately. The problem was that this system was only being used in one of their locations and could not scale to the rest of the organization.
The Bit-Wizards solution initially consisted of three major steps. A fourth and fifth were added to adapt to the organization's changing environment. The first was to migrate the existing database into a redesigned and fully relational SQL Server 2000 database. The second was constructing a Windows Service that could import timesheet, employee, patient, and departmental information from the OCR interface and Great Plains (respectively) into the database.
Then, it was time to create a Windows application for Covenant's administrative and managerial staff to manage employee time and mileage. Covenant Hospice has a very diverse staff of chaplains, RNs, LPNs, social workers, hospice aides, volunteers, and doctors. As a result, their time tracking and payroll processes are very complex. A flexible, data driven, and rules-based system was created to handle the complexities of the time tracking, matrix collection, and payroll processes.
The workforce that makes up Covenant is both diverse and mobile, traveling to patients wherever they may be located across the 35 counties they serve. At Covenant's request, Bit-Wizards created an ASP.NET Web application to provide the diverse employee population the ability to both enter and manage their timesheet data via the Internet.
In the midst of the AccraTime implementation, Covenant implemented the Allscripts Homecare Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system formally known as MISYS. The data input of employee time and miles suddenly went from a combination of input methods to being input into a single full-fledged EMR system. Almost overnight the OCR system was obsolete and Bit-Wizards quickly responded to the change by creating a Windows application to import time and mileage information from the EMR system into AccraTime.
Finally, Bit-Wizards automated the generation of payroll export files for consumption by Great Plains. The AccraTime system accurately calculates employee time and miles for payroll purposes based on a matrix of business rules as it simultaneously allocates their salary to the correct cost centers based on how their work was coded.
The payroll department at Covenant Hospice is less stressed now and they no longer need to add personnel. Covenant Hospice has been able to eliminate the use of paper timesheets as well as meet and exceed the recent restrictions and regulations enforced by the Federal Government and HIPAA. The AccraTime Web application developed by Bit-Wizards enabled Covenant’s personnel to easily and accurately enter time records directly into AccraTime from any Internet-connected personal computer. The savings in time and data accuracy keeps Covenant Hospice enabled to continue providing quality care while maintaining compliance with government regulations.