Taking Care Management Mobile

Healthcare Technology
BLOG

Taking Care Management Mobile

August 7, 2014 · Posted by Erica N.

Care management is big right now. It has to be one of the “lowest hanging fruit” for cost savings in healthcare because the protocols and conditions for execution are well established. It really boils down to a matter of proper implementation. In a November 2013 article, the Consumer Partnership for eHealth states that in order to “achieve robust and effective planning and communication [around care management], we must move beyond our mental construct of a care plan as a document fixed in time, to a multidimensional, person-centered health and care planning process built on a dynamic, electronic platform.” With the incredible capabilities of mHealth, certainly this is achievable.

Across several projects, I have led user research engagements involving Care Managers (also known as Nurse Case Managers, Transition Coaches, Complex Care Managers or Hybrid Care Managers). The focus of these engagements was to better understand how Care Managers currently work and how a mobile application might aid and enhance their efforts while “in the field”- visiting patients in the true context of their daily lives- their homes. I interviewed numerous care managers who estimated that only 30% of their work with a patient takes place in the hospital prior to discharge. The other 70% takes place in the patient’s home. Some of my research insights are below. These insights support the real and current need for a mobile application that could greatly enhance the effectiveness of “patient-in-context” care management.

Research Findings

Well-being at Home

Most care managers I talked with engage the patient before discharge, attempting to establish rapport, perform “teach back” (educating the patient about their condition and how to manage it) and learn more about patient’s willingness to set goals for health improvement. However, while in the hospital, this can be extremely difficult as the patient and family members are overwhelmed with the crisis at-hand and the large amount of information to digest. Once the patient is at home, they can be more receptive to receiving information and learning about their condition. This is a critical point for empowering the patient- enabling them to make progress from home.

How a care management mobile app could help:

  • Access to patient record with data optimized for “in the field” care management allowing the care manager to review critical patient data as needed
  • Access to and share-able patient educational content to enable “teach back” at the patient’s home
  • Secure messaging to communicate with the patient’s care team and community support systems
  • Notes feature for care manager to document impressions, additional needs, etc. 

Home Hazards

It is counter-productive to discharge a patient to a home where hazards may be just as big a threat as their chronic condition. Recognizing and removing potential hazards can only be accomplished through in-person visits to the home. Visiting the patient at home, the care manager can see how the patient lives, how they accomplish their daily routines, how the home is laid out, what rooms are used, how bathrooms are set up and so on. They can assess fall hazards or discuss optimizing furniture layout. Home visits provide insight into the patient’s diet, their transportation options, and level of support they have from family and/or neighbors.

How a care management mobile app could help:

  • Directory of patient location-centric community support entities such as DME suppliers, Meals on Wheels, etc.
  • Notes feature within patient record for care manager to document impressions, additional needs, etc.
  • Secure messaging to communicate with the patient’s care team and community support systems 

Medication Adherence

Over 95% of the time, the primary issue for patients once they are home is with their medication. This is an area of care management that is critical to patient adherence. A patient’s medications can change frequently. Introducing new medications, changing dosage amounts, even a change to the color or shape of a pill can throw

How a care management mobile app can help:

  • Access to patient data, including 1DUR, optimized for “in the field” care management
  • Notes feature within patient record for care manager to document impressions, additional needs, etc.
  • Directory of patient location-centric community support entities such as DME suppliers, Meals on Wheels, etc.
  • Patient-centered To Do list that allows the care manager to cross-reference directory entries and patient data as well as cite To Do list items in secure messaging.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON:

also RELATED TO THESE TAGS

TALK with US

Digital Health Expertise to Support Your Success.

PointClear Solutions’ strategy, design, development and management services can help elevate your brand reputation, grow your market share and boost your revenues — all in record time. Connect with us to learn more

Complete the form below, so that we can connect you with the right person. You’ll hear from a member of our team shortly.