4 ways non-medical home care must use technology
This article originally appeared in www.carelinx.com Carelinx is part of the Europ Assistance Group.
The Amazon-ifcation of the healthcare industry is increasing pressure for health system leaders to use technology to meet consumer expectations. Healthcare incumbents are seeing new technology entrants like Uber, Google, and Amazon. Patients have come to expect an on-demand business model and convenient delivery of services at a time and in a place that works best for them.
There is some question about whether these pressures will force health delivery systems to enact operational change sooner rather than later, but there is no question that change is inevitable. Health systems should look to services that will adapt to these changes easily, such as non-skilled home care. To get a quick competitive edge, health system leaders should focus on these four ways to integrate technology into non-skilled home care services:
Door-to-door transit services are a burgeoning cottage industry in the healthcare market. Companies like Lyft are partnering up with home care companies to broker rides for patients to their physician appointments. Forward-thinking home care services must be using these kinds of services to get patients where they need to be to receive the care they need.
But tech-enabled rides don’t have to be limited to rides to the hospital. More and more, a person’s health is being viewed in the lens of their zip code, including whether an individual has reasonable access to healthy food or social activities. Home care organizations can use technology platforms to provide patients rides to all kinds of health- and wellness-related errands: the grocery store, church, pharmacies, and more. Health needs come in all shapes and sizes; so do rides that affect patient outcomes.
Patients have a wide variety of health service needs, but one that’s undeniable is the need for caregivers who understand and connect with the patient on a fundamental level. Therefore, connecting the right patient with the right caregivers who provide the right services is critical when mapping out a patient’s journey.
Technology plays a crucial role in this effort. Robust analytics that examine real-time data can take patient’s preferences – e.g., are they more comfortable with a physician who is the same sex as they are? – and their care needs into account. This kind of system is necessary to pinpoint the best caregiver in a given location and scenario.
Throughout the patient’s care journey, there could, and likely will, be multiple caregivers assisting a patient. Caregivers need to know what services and observations were made during previous encounters. Unstructured data have notoriously been a burden during the patient handoff process for providers trying to make sense of the patient’s care, and it’s no different for non-skilled caregivers.
Technology platforms that aggregate and pull together this data in a sensible manner are alleviating the time and burden for caregivers to tame the administrative beast. Now, they can get to the job in front of them quickly and confidently, providing the best care with the most knowledge.
Between the number of medications a patient is on and the complex cadence of when to take those medications, it can get confusing. Patients sometimes misunderstand their medication schedule, or can be erratic in their adherence, leading to increased unnecessary utilization, readmissions, health complications, and more. However, half the battle is having someone there to oversee a patient’s practices during their care period.
Technology for non-skilled care should support this process. For home care professionals, medication alerts and reminders provide a built-in system to hedge off worries about one less thing. These tools also help establish a routine for patients, promoting medication adherence.
Technologically advanced non-medical home care partners
Whether it’s to enhance a current service offering or build a new one, good partners in home care combine the best technology with access to expanded, nationwide caregivers. CareLinx does just that. We believe technology should be embedded across the entire continuum of care – including non-skilled home care. Supporting our partners, caregivers, and patients and their families with technology adapted to this channel of care helps catch potential problems early, and lowers the cost of care. See what else we can do.