Technology, often progressing faster than practical implementation allows, is crucial to any health care organization’s success. As advanced as we think we are technologically, the home health care arena is just beginning a true cultural shift from provider to patient-centered care.
As we design workflows incorporating new technology solutions, we must consider the fluid nature of home care teams. Patient needs, and associated technology support platforms, will vary based on health condition, disease stage, and socio- economic factors. The home health space typically presents other unique challenges, chiefly, the geographic spread of in-home caregivers and their ability for real-time interface across the care organization while working in patients’ homes. Putting the right mobile tool set in the field is vital.
Mobile tools put patient needs first since home care services can be immediately documented for the careteam, even when performed by field staff in isolated geographies.
HealthPartners, an integrated health care system that includes three separate Home Care and Hospice agencies, set out to enhance operational efficiency, investing in a seamless technology platform across the enterprise. Using a unified electronic medical record improves patient care when home caregivers can interact with patients as part of a cohesive healthcare system and positively impacts the organization’s bottom line.
Operational/Technological Partnership Launched
The HealthPartners Home Care Operations and Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) leadership teams reviewed and reshaped the future of this investment in unified technology. Formulating a comprehensive refresh strategy that reflected current and projected future workflows. Together, a detailed hardware replacement timetable was determined.
Beginning with the basics, company- owned smartphones were issued to home care/hospice staff. The phones – provisioned with predetermined apps – gave staff anytime access to the tools required to best do their jobs, manage patient well-being, and increase compatibility with each other. For instance, TigerConnect, among our selected mobile software applications, enables HIPAA-secure text among clinicians, making field staff more agile while mitigating potential security threats to patient data.