Providers and insurers have a financial stake in keeping patients out of the hospital. To do so, they need accurate, up-to-date patient information and the ability to quickly share that data with different members of their team. Not only does this take the right software, but also the right device.
With the use of telemonitoring in the home healthcare sector, organizations can now capture previously inaccessible in-home patient data with the help of tablet-equipped home health aides; which has produced an annual savings of $3,000 per member. To keep at-risk patients healthy while minimizing costs, healthcare providers need to take a team-based approach on how to effectively use this new technology and achieve both goals.
Look at a typical routine example of an aide’s day: The home health aides will visit patients who have chronic diseases to capture biometric data and record their observations. They must then communicate this data with care managers, who coordinate any necessary medical intervention. Because each care manager remotely oversees more than 100 patients, they need accurate and immediate information from the health aides who interact with these individuals on a regular basis.
Without a complete picture of each patient’s symptoms and condition, it’s hard for care managers to make good decisions and respond to potential health threats before there’s a real problem. With the daunting task of making sure all necessary information is communicated back in a timely manner, implementing the proper program on an easy-to-use mobile device is key for all members in the process to do their job efficiently and effectively while also improving patient engagement scores and helping the organization save money.
Organizations need to invest in the proper software and cloud-based applications that will facilitate communication between a patient’s entire care team on the proper device that has a highly secure architecture and is also easy-to-use for consumers and employees.
Both of these items together will make it easier for aides to record patient behaviors, mental and physical state, vital signs and medication adherence in real-time.
A case study involved more than 350 participants over a year’s time and with that many people, the vendor was able to provide mobile devices on a large-scale deployment. When deciding to choose a phone or larger device, a 9.6’ tablets with front and back facing cameras were chosen. The larger tablet screens made it easier to navigate the icon-based software and view images better. Cameras are essential for clinical photography and documentation.
1. Real-time data: In the past, care managers had to wait for health aides to finish their rounds and upload patient data after appointments. Now aides can use designated tablets to enter data from each patient’s bedside. Care managers have real-time access to this information, enabling them to intervene more quickly when members need additional support.
2. Actionable alerts: The software is customized for each disease and individual, and sends alerts to care managers when data is outside healthy parameters for a specific patient or when there are negative trends. So far, the system is generating an average of two alerts per member per month. Because the device offers actionable alerts, care managers are able to respond quickly to patients at the point of care.
3. Empowered employees: Health aides are the company’s first line of defense, and the telemonitoring technology helps them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
4. Client satisfaction: Organizations’ patient engagement and overall customer satisfaction moves in a more positive trend since they can now offer better care and disease management education.
5. Decreased hospitalizations: Once the implementation of the solution on the device is complete and being used, overtime, insurers start to report an average of seven prevented hospitalizations per month across a population of 200 to 250 patients.