Technology has grown to be a centerpiece within the in home care sector due to a number of vital factors. As the demand for in home care support and services has increased, largely in response to the Baby Boomer generation in this country reaching retirement age, hospitals under increased pressure from the federal government to reduce their readmission rates, and Medicaid cutting 14 percent for reimbursement rates for home care services (between 2014 and 2017), there has been great pressure to find more cost-effective solutions to help people get the care they need.
On top of all these external forces and pressures, union demands and minimum wage hikes have forced numerous agencies and other businesses within the in home care sector to ‘think outside the box’ to determine the best way to continue providing quality care while keeping costs low.
One such technology is DrFirst. This technology allows patients to chat via text and voice with their doctors and qualified nurses. Discharge plans have become incredibly complex for many patients, either with regard to medications they need to take, physical therapy, redressing bandages, and so much more, that if a person becomes confused with some of this information and doesn’t ask for clarification, it could lead to missed opportunities and an increased risk of readmission.
As noted in the Healthcare IT News blog, See the technology that is making care transitions better, written by John Andrews:
“But although care transition has been a focus for years, it has gained greater prominence due to recent pressures of readmission penalties and prospective payment models that require providers to assume more risk, said Tom Sullivan, MD, chief strategic officer for Rockville, Maryland-based DrFirst.
“The big risk for errors is from acute care to where the patient goes next – rehab, home or nursing home,” Sullivan said. “Discharge plans are so complex now, but if they aren’t followed closely, the patient will get readmitted, and now there are penalties. If you don’t get the transition right and the readmission could have been avoided, it will cost the system more money.”
Another key challenge that follows patients when transition from a hospital to their home for continued care is compliance. So many regulations govern adequate care, financial considerations for those with insurance or relying on Medicaid, and much more. DrFirst is designed to help bridge the gap and keep patients empowered, especially when they have difficulty keeping track of the process or expectations from one day to the next.