Connecting Home Healthcare

Empowering Home Health Aides In Coordinated Care With mHealth

March 13, 2015 | Adam Turinas

Home health aides are a critical part of the management of population health. They are on the “frontline” of keeping people well post-discharge. They are the unsung soldiers of the new model of care.

Life on the “frontline” can be very tough. They are often the first to see that something is wrong with a patient and when this happens they need to be able to get help and advice fast. The ability for home health aides to reach other members of the care team is critical. It may be the lynchpin to effective population health.

According to experts in home health, when a home health aide feels disconnected and alone, they are more likely to make the wrong choices. Things go bad in a hurry. If they can’t get help, they may call 911, resulting in the patient being rushed to the ER. Being admitted into a hospital may be a bad choice for the patient and with increasing preventable readmission penalties it is also a bad choice for the healthcare system.

If the home health aide could have reached a care manager faster, a visiting nurse could have been dispatched quickly to address the patient’s deteriorating condition without the patient having to leave their home.

Better yet, with predictive technologies like home monitoring, the care manager who is overseeing a cohort of patients would be alerted to a patient’s worsening condition and could proactively dispatch a visiting nurse before the home health aide even needs to call for help.


—So how do we help connect the home care aides to the care team more effectively? mHealth applications are a big part of the answer.


When home health aides and caregivers are given a mobile home care management solution, they are empowered to support better care decisions. mHealth enables this in two key ways:

Better Informed & Empowered to Report Patient Health Changes

A well-designed mHealth app allows home health aides and caregivers to receive clinical information and report changes in patients’ conditions in a timely manner. They can securely access patients’ profile information and clinical data from multiple systems using their smartphone app. Caregivers and home health aides can also capture and securely report on patients’ conditions using simple check-in/checkout task reports. Their monitoring notes and care reports are added to clinical information systems in real-time while they continue visiting patients. Thus, they are able to coordinate care with greater ease and speed.


Better Connected & Enabled to Treat Patients

mHealth apps make it easier for home health aides to communicate escalating patient conditions to a care manager or nurse, and more quickly and accurately provide treatment. Using their smartphone to securely text, share videos and images, or call, home health aides can more swiftly report, collect information and administer care.

When home health aides are better connected to the extended care team, they make better choices. This is better for the patient and lowers preventable readmissions.

At Practice Unite, we recently launched a Home Monitoring solution. We are excited to be helping home health aides. We believe passionately that mHealth tools like this is a critical ingredient in improving the health of patients in their home.

Watch this space. As we learn more, we promise to share insights.