A case study documenting the use of the CareCaller device following a year-long home health pilot program initiative notes improved patient engagement, reduced missed appointments, the avoidance of unnecessary hospital admissions, and increased referrals.
Homestead Health and Accessible Home Care – Houston conducted and released the comprehensive case study, which is available to view and download on the Homestead Health website.
The CareCaller is designed to work much like a nurse call button but gives home health patients the ability to directly text and call up to three pre-established contacts including visiting nurse, home health provider office, or a 24/7 nurse assist hotline.
Patients are immediately connected to their care team to ask questions about their medical condition(s), confirm medications, schedule/reschedule follow-up appointments, report a worsening condition, or to request urgent nurse assistance.
Advanced communication features include a real-time GPS patient locator, fall alert, text messaging and the ability to make/receive calls.
In June 2017, Randy Paramore—CEO of Accessible Home Health Care – Houston—launched the pilot program to document the benefits and ROI of the CareCaller device for their home health clients.
The pilot program initially consisted of Paramore using statistical predictive analytics tools to identify those select candidates/clients most critical health conditions with the highest risk of readmission and/or hospitalization event.
Accessible Home Health Care provided a select group of “at-risk” clients with a CareCaller device at no charge. Each patient’s visiting nurse or aide was instructed as to the initial CareCaller set-up and testing. Additionally, they would check on the device when they were routinely at the patient’s home.
Paramore monitored his agency’s metrics regarding missed appointments, hospital admission rates, patient satisfaction ratings, and professional referrals, the release explains.
“Initially, we tried it with our top tier of chronically ill clients and have expanded it to the second level of chronically ill clients,” Paramore explains. “Recently we expanded it further with some of our non-medical clients.”
Avoiding an unplanned ER visit by addressing the medical issue(s) at the patient’s home, home health agencies can effectively prevent the resulting costly hospital admissions. This makes home health agencies who utilize this technology much more attractive to be the recipient of medical professionals, payors, and health system client referrals, according to the release.
“Referral resources want to work with business partners that will help them achieve the goals they’ve outlined for their patients,” Paramore continues. “When they find a good business partner that is capable of reducing readmissions, not only does the patient benefit from quality of care, but the hospital benefits because they won’t have to pay the fines levied by CMS. That’s the only way to thrive in our competitive market.”
At the end of the 12-month pilot initiative, Accessible Home Health Care was able to document an 50% decrease in missing visiting home nurse appointments, a significant increase in their CMS patient satisfaction rating, increased client referrals, and a reduction in avoidable hospital admissions.
[Source(s): Homestead Health, PR Newswire]