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Include Care Coordination in Your Next Home Care Technology Upgrade

It is my distinct pleasure to introduce Ken Accardi with Ankota software, who is our guest writer this week. I think you will find his article helpful and thought provoking. This is good advice from an expert in the know. Enjoy!

When you acquire technology for your home care organization, you need to consider a five year life for the technology. As such, it’s necessary to anticipate how care delivery will change in that timeframe and choose technology that prepares you for the future. Some changes in your care delivery operations are merely evolutionary changes. Examples of this are new OASIS forms and new coding rules. While I’m not implying that these aren’t difficult changes, they don’t represent the need for a fundamental shift in the technology systems that you use. By contrast, other changes are revolutionary and may require fundamental shifts in your technology needs.

The need for coordinated care can drive the need for a fundamental technology shift. Today we all try to coordinate care, but in the near future care coordination will be mandatory. This is due to the necessity of sharing electronic medical records, mandates to lower readmission rates, the need to communicate with family caregivers and other family members, and incentives to lower the cost of care, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

You should anticipate the need to share care plans, meds, and visit results with hospitals, primary care givers, home health aides, geriatric care managers and other specialists involved in a care team.

In addition, you should look at consumer technology trends and make sure that your home care technology has plans to catch up. Here are some things you should look for:

  • Will my software run on tablets like the iPad?
  • Will it run on mobile devices like iPhones and Android phones?
  • Will my vendor keep me up with changes automatically the way Google or amazon.com evolves?
  • Will my technology enable sharing (i.e., care coordination) with family members, hospitals, care managers and more, as described above?
  • Can my nurses, therapists and/or caregivers access the system from their homes?

If the answers to these questions are mostly “no” then your technology is holding you back. Technology can be a great enabler for your organization, assisting you to deliver better care at lower cost. Don’t settle for software that will require manual processes outside the system for something as important as care coordination, or software the puts extra burdens on your staff.

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