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Tips for achieving OASIS-E efficiency and accuracy

When it comes to improving OASIS-E efficiency and accuracy for the agency clinician, education is always key. However, there are things that can be done to help streamline the process. In this blog, we share tips to use before the visit, upon arrival of the visit, and in the home — as well as best practices for OASIS-E success.

Preparing for OASIS-E before the home visit

Before the first visit ever happens, it’s best to have the referral information and discharge summary from the hospital or the nursing facility in place and available to the clinician. Having to go back to the referral sources for information is time consuming for everyone. It’s important to have it up front so the clinician has time to review it beforehand and knows what areas to ask questions on or where to dig for more information when they’re at the home with the patient.

It’s also helpful if the clinician calls the client personally before the visit to have them gather their medications, insurance cards, and discharge instructions from the hospital or rehab. It not only saves time for the clinician once they get to the home, but this phone call also helps with assessing the client — as they can determine whether the client understands who you are, if they are able to hear and understand you and what is being asked of them.

Preparing for OASIS-E upon arrival to the home

For clinicians providing care in the home, there are several factors to consider and questions to ask once they arrive at the visit:

  • When you arrive at the home, what is your first impression? 
  • Is it kept up? Are there safety issues? 
  • Is the client expecting that you’re even coming? 
  • How long did it take the client to get to the door? 
  • Did you observe them walking back to their chair after they answered the door — can they safely walk? 
  • Are they using any devices, did they forget to use their device, and are devices being used appropriately? 
  • Are they dressed with shoes and socks on? 
  • Are their buttons and zippers snapped appropriately? 

Preparing for OASIS-E once you’re in the home

Once you’re in the home, there are many things you can assess within the first 15 minutes of your arrival. Ask the client to show you around and look for these hints into their daily life:

  • As you’re looking into the bathroom, check to see if there are grab bars or other DME, and have them wash their hands or transfer on and off the toilet. 
  • While performing the skin check, are they able to button and unbutton their clothing?
  • Are they using the grab bars or are they hanging onto the towel racks? 
  • Do you see any incontinence supplies? 
  • Is the bathroom clean or are their odors? 
  • Do they need dressing aids? 
  • In the kitchen, ask them where they keep their medications and to retrieve them. 
  • Have them read their medication bottles to you and ask about what the meds are for and when they take them.

This rundown of the home will give you a lot of queuing into your OASIS answers. There is so much we can observe and evaluate just in a short period of time upon arrival to the home and having them show you around is the perfect opportunity to evaluate for any areas of concern. 

4 best practices for OASIS-E

  1. Free your work environment of distractions.

Cell phones, social media, and email notifications can take away focus. Turn them off when you enter the patient’s home and focus on your visit as much as possible. For the office staff and OASIS reviewers, set a timer for daily tasks to have effective time management and try not to multitask.

  1. Learn the guidance daily.

Spend time each day learning something related to OASIS coding guidance. Education is the key for both the clinician and reviewer — agencies can create tip sheets and tools for them. Learning the general conventions and the ADL and IADL item-specific conventions found in section one of the guidance manual will help immensely in answering your OASIS-E questions. Keep up with CMS’ quarterly Q&As. 

  1. Educate all involved parties.

Educate your intake team, your marketing staff, and your referral sources on understanding the need for more detailed information at the start of care and resumption of care. It’s also important to educate hospitals, physicians’ offices and skilled nursing facilities on why it’s important to obtain all needed documents with physician signatures.

  1. Be patient.

OASIS-E will take some people longer than others. So, if you’re struggling, spend time reading and educating yourself on the OASIS-E guidance, keep the guidance manual handy, or seek out other resources to have at your fingertips while you’re going through the OASIS.

We’re OASIS-E experts ready to help you successfully navigate this complex mandate. Connect with us today to learn how we can help.

Tressa Hronek

Tressa Hronek, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O, Supervisor, Coding Services Operations

Tressa is a Registered Nurse with specialized certifications as a Coding and Oasis Specialist. With a career spanning over 30 years in the healthcare field, she has gained experience in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, physician offices, nursing facilities, and her preferred area of focus, Home Health and Hospice. Tressa initially began her journey in Home Health as a field nurse and gradually advanced into managerial roles, eventually leading to her current position as the Coding Services Supervisor at HEALTHCAREfirst. Her outstanding leadership abilities, professionalism, and effective communication skills enable her to cultivate strong working relationships with agency directors and clinicians. Tressa's managerial expertise and industry knowledge make her a valuable resource for both clinicians and agencies. During her tenure at HEALTHCAREfirst, she has actively contributed to the training of Coders and Reviewers on the Coding Station. Additionally, she serves as a valuable source of information for clinicians regarding industry standards and regulatory requirements related to Coding and OASIS Reviews.

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