staying organized with hh


Has 7 years experience.

hello all,

I'm new to the forum. I have been doing HH for a while now but just changed companies about 3 months ago. My previous company was all electronic and new company is all Paper, so i'm finding getting organized a bit of a challenge. I currently have a file folder for each patient with 485's and other information and then i have my patient list that the office prints me weekly (1 list with all pt demo's) but i still dont' feel organized. I then carry a binder with me that has blank notes, completed notes and my phone list and supplier list on it. I have a bag in my trunk that has misc extra supplies (caths, extra iv supplies, extra dressing supplies etc) I'm just used to having access to ALL of my patients records ( PT/OT notes etc) and also ALL orders, with this paper system people only turn notes/orders/communication memos into the office on mondays and then its a few days before the orders get distrubited and thus feeling lost. Any suggestions anyone has? I try to improve communication but things are hectic in the office (they truly need another nurse to work in the office) and i try to communicate with the PT/OT/ST/SW myself but often i'm not even told who is assigned..... Well i'm off to start my day. 8-9 patients to see today. I hope everyone has a great and safe day!

Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades. 1,037 Posts

My office is all paper also. I place on the facesheet who I am assigning for PT/OT, the CM RN name, along with any other ancillary services they may be getting. I either fax or put in the nurses box copy of the IE from PT/OT. I keep my calenders well documented and expect the nurses and the PT/OT to communicate with each other routinely. Also they each document frequencies and progress in the home folder. That's the first thing that is looked at when they enter the homes. I keep a skeleton file on all patients for important documentation or problems such as lost orders or improper filing. All paperwork/DVR's are brought in 3 times a week (MWF) and logged when recieved. No paperwork, no pay until they do. We also have weekly case conference as a team for at least 1 hour.


38,332 Posts

Keep a well-used day planner where you put info on all your pts in the "same place". Pencil in things that you anticipate, such as when you look for a completed/signed form and write in pen, for sure things, like appointments. Color code. Once you set up a system and start using it, you will get used to it in a short time, and it will be helping you to cut down on time spent looking all over or wondering where you and the pt info should be at any given point. Good luck.


Specializes in Quality Nurse Specialist, Health Coach. Has 6 years experience. 120 Posts

Wow, I'm glad my company is all on computer. It is nice to have everything at your fingertips without a pile of papers to keep organized. Good luck with the organization efforts! :smokin:


Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management. Has 20 years experience. 1,191 Posts

Here's the basics of my organization system which has worked well for me over the years.

1 large binder (2") separated into three sections:

*1st section has office-related info including current patient census, employee phone roster, daily log sheets, etc., list of hospital phone numbers, things I need to refer to on a daily basis.

*2nd section is for patient information, separated by tabbed dividers. Patients are in alphabetical order with last name and zip on the tabs. Each patient section in the following order: episode calendar, 485, referral information, page for notes (like spoke with PT/OT, has dr appt, called MD, etc), PT/INR tracking form (as applicable).

*3rd section has wound care products list, contact info for reps for DME companies, etc.

I would go through this binder on a weekly basis, usually Sunday afternoons, to make sure that my schedule as printed by the office was consistent with what was in my binder. Anything that didn't match was taken care of Monday morning.

In my trunk:

* the usual box of car stock with dressing supplies, foleys, etc.

* a box with hanging file folders with all my patient education materials organized by disease process and copies ready to give out

* another box with hanging file folders with all kinds of extra paperwork, including SOC/ROC, Recert, discharge folders, HHA care plans, visit notes, lab requestions, HHABNs, etc.

* a container with extra pens, pencils, staple remover, cello tape, correction tape, business cards, etc.

The binder would stay in the front seat with me during the day so that I could refer to it easily but it did not go into the patient's home. Every Sunday afternoon, I would go through the binder, get organized with whatever teaching needed to be done and pull those materials, place in the binder in that patient's section. Throughout the day, I kept a clipboard with my daily and weekly schedule on it as well as a blank piece of paper to make notes about supplies needed, "to do" notes, things to follow up on, etc. Sunday afternoons were also the time I used to do an inventory of my car stock, make sure that I had all supplies needed for the following week, and clean everything in my visit bag that needed to be cleaned, make sure that I had phlebotomy supplies that weren't expired, etc.

Home health does take some extra organization but once you are willing to invest in that time, the rest of your week will go much more smoothly.


198 Posts

KateRN1, do you use computers for visit notes, do you have to save each visit note or is it saved in a computer? I have a hanging folder box with pts folders that I put my visiting charting notes every week and the 485. I have a composition book where I write my weekly schedule and in the back I write my census with cert dates and account numbers and insurance. Since we write everything we have to keep all our visit notes. I am new to HH and have been trying different things to see what works best for me. Really like your system but don't think it would work for me since I need to keep all my notes by paper.


Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management. Has 20 years experience. 1,191 Posts

I have used both paper and computer charting and used the same basic system for both. I do not save copies of my notes, but I do save copies of my daily itineraries for tax purposes (but they get saved in a drawer in my desk at home). There is no reason that you need to keep copies of your full visit notes, but I recommend jotting a quick "note to self" about each visit and keep that with the rest of your patient's info in the tabbed section.

Once a patient is discharged, I save all my info and keep it in a file box so that if the patient is readmitted, I have the info from the previous episode of care.


198 Posts


Thank you for the info I think I will try this along with what I am doing and see which I like best. Right now my census is extremely low so I will work on this and see if it works for me.

Any other advise would be greatly appreciated.


Has 18 years experience. 33 Posts

I hope it works out for you. I must prefer being on computer. all that paper stuff just annoys me so I am lucky that way. any way you look at it, it's all WORK! but, i am good on computer so I am happy for now. (now, if I could just get out of my snowy driveway!!):heartbeat:redbeathe:redpinkhe