Home Healthcare Technology Spurs Innovation and Success
Innovations in home healthcare technology take many forms. Some changes offer the potential for improved care. Other innovations save both the patient and the home health care agency money.
Richard Rakowski of Medically Home proves that home healthcare technology can lead to better patient outcomes and improved care.
Home Healthcare Technology Gets People Home from the Hospital Faster
No one likes to be in the hospital, either as a patient or as a visitor. With the increased risk of hospital-borne illnesses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the faster patients return home to recover, the better. But, how do hospitals and home care agencies work together to ensure patients can safely recover at home?
Medically Home found the answer in home healthcare technology innovations. As early as 2008, the leaders of Medically Home and a team of doctors, nurses, and other professionals from the medical field came up with the concept of a virtual hospital. The technology to make it a reality, however, wasn’t yet developed.
Within a short amount of time, however, home healthcare technology evolved to the point where the Medically Home vision could be enacted. In this case, innovation preceded technology. Once the technology was available, the company could launch its vision of a “home hospital.”
The “home hospital” concept uses two-way audio and video capabilities to assess patient needs. Then, after assessment, teams can be dispatched to the home to care for patients. Because patients are at home, hospital beds in bricks and mortar buildings, which account for 67% of hospital costs, can be reserved for critical need people. Less acute care can be conducted in the comfort of a patient’s home.
The Medically Home model works best for patients who need skilled medical care but not necessarily emergency care. Elderly people, who are frequently hospitalized with pneumonia, are one such population. Others for whom Medically Home works well include oncology patients, those recovering from orthopedic surgeries such as hip or knee replacement, and those with congestive heart failure and other long-term serious illnesses or recovery periods.
Innovation – Using Technology to Transform Medicine
Home health care technology in this example uses innovations in the field of audio and visual communication to transform medical treatment. Innovation focuses on thinking outside the hospital box and recognizing that people prefer to recover at home. Although patients might prefer it, it’s not always ideal, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly.
However, by utilizing innovations in technology, like easier, faster, and cheaper video communications, doctors and nurses can assess patient conditions and deploy teams or individuals, if necessary, for in-person consultation or treatment. It’s better care through modern technology.
Software Can Provide Innovation, Too
We’re all familiar with video and audio conferencing on our computers, but how many of us would have imagined a virtual hospital the way Medically Home did?
Too often, we rest content with the status quo. That old spreadsheet we’ve always used to track home healthcare workers’ hours, for example, is as comfortable as an old, well-broken-in pair of jeans. It’s easier to continue using the same software than to try something new.
If Medically Home had that mindset, many people would have remained in the hospital who could have just as easily recovered at home. Some of those patients would have contracted C. diff and other illnesses common to long-term hospital stays. All would have racked up high bills. But, because one company thought differently about how technology could be used in home health care, many people recovered in comfort and convenience, and hospitals could use their resources to help others.
Think twice about using that old spreadsheet. New accounting, finance, and customer-based software for home health care can help you save time and money managing your business. There are packages available that can help you manage payroll, for example, and track hours more easily. Other software enables you to keep in touch with your patients and customers for better service.
Home health care technology has the power to transform both patient care and business management. Isn’t it time you explore how technology can improve your home health care agency?
Learn more about home health care technology with our Guide to Choosing Home Health Accounting Software.