How Home Healthcare Organizations Stay Connected

Although many home care agencies like Bayada were quite mature in their mobile technology when COVID-19 arrived, Malinowski says the pandemic has forced other players in the health care community, such as hospitals and clinics, to catch up.

“The most interesting thing that’s happened is the speed of change in digital adoption, where healthcare has historically lagged,” he says.

At Bayada, Malinowski’s team is looking to build on their momentum with additional digital tools.

“We expanded our use of Amazon Web Services to deploy more digital tools faster,” he adds. “We have doubled our use of data analytics.”

Data can predict when a patient may need preventative health care and can create efficiencies for Bayada employees as demand for home care services continues to grow. “Anyway, we can get ahead of the numbers, the better,” Malinowski says.

TO FIND: How mobility cares for patients and providers.

Looking to the future of mobility in home healthcare

Home-based end-of-life care organization Alive Hospice, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, focuses on a 12-county region of the state. The company was an early adopter of the technology, says Devin Smith, vice president of IT and security, pushing for a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing solution and developing capabilities for monitoring remote health. Before the pandemic, it had already moved much of its infrastructure to Azure (the agency runs on Microsoft 365).

“Alive’s technology portfolio is state-of-the-art, even though we’re a non-profit organization,” Smith says.

Donor support has powered Alive’s Henry Hooker Connect, a telehospice program that uses an app that can be downloaded to any device or given to patients on an Apple iPad device. The app provides palliative care patients with 24-hour access to telehealth professionals.

Like most home care providers, Alive Hospice is focused on providing additional technologies to its caregivers and patients to enhance the home care experience.

“We’re creating more benefits for patients and caregivers, such as online grief and spiritual support,” Smith said. “We are looking at all kinds of means of communication, including video, online chat and virtual reality. Imagine a patient putting on a pair of VR glasses and being able to step away to relax or meditate.

NEXT: What does the future of acute home care hold?