Resnick & Alwan, observed the growth of many health information technologies (HIT), in home health and hospice (HHH) agencies, as they related to the seven years between 2000 and 2007.(7) As the supply of hospital beds is shrinking, and globally the number of persons 60 and older is expected to be 1.2 billion by 2025,(5) the need for home health services is expected to rise. HIT will be an essential key to improving the efficiency of HHH quality and service.(7) Electronic medical records (EMR), telemedicine & telehealth, and point of care documentation (PoCD) will be vital to the future success of home health care.
EMRs are the core system for recording the details regarding a patient’s care and they serve as the backbone for other HIT. As HHH becomes more vital and as the population ages, hospitals are expected to decrease their readmission rate. Hospital-at-home units are being established at hospitals around the country to help address the need to lower the readmission rate.(6) As hospitals have a higher EMR adoption rates overall, they are better positioned to offer HIT to HHH care in order to achieve better health outcomes (See Figure 1).
Releasing patients to their home for care or a hotel, as has been pioneered in England(1), may require their condition to be monitored remotely. Remote health monitoring devices, offers the ability to allow machine-to-machine transmission of vital data in real-time using mobile technology.(4) A telemedicine link allows HHH caregivers to connect to physicians, which can save patients from unnecessary visits to the ED.
Also the use of PoCD mobile devices, such as iPads or personal digital assistants to record visit notes in the patients EMR, are another key HIT in HHH care.(7) In 2007, 29% of HHH agencies had adopted some kind of PoCD.(7) A further increase in PoCD use will lead to better HHH care, a decrease in the probability of errors and promotion of information transfer.(2)
1. Anonymous. (2010). London hospital defends putting patients in top hospitals. BBC. Retrieved on August 17, 2013 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11708963
2. Duffy, W. J., Kharasch, M. S., Morris, S., & Du, H. (2010). Point of care documentation impact on nursing-patient interaction. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 34(1), E-1 - E-10. doi:10.1097/NAQ.0b013e3181c95ec4
3. Gur-Arie, M. (2012). 2011 EHR Adoption Rates. Retrieved March 6, 2012 from http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2011/12/02/2011-ehr-adoption-rates/
4. Horowitz, B. T. (2012). Sprint, Ideal Life unveil remote health monitoring device at CES. Retrieved on August 17, 2013 from http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Health-Care-IT/Sprint-Ideal-Life-Unveil-Remote-Health-Monitoring-Device-at-CES-120182/
5. Keckley, P. H. (2008). Connected care: Technology-enabled care at home. Retrieved on August 17, 2013 from http://public.deloitte.com/media/0285/us_chs_ConnectedCare_0308.pdf
6. Lega, F., & Calciolari, S. (2012). Coevolution of patients and hospitals: How changing epidemology and technological advances create challenges and drive organizational innovation. Journal of Healthcare Management, 57(1), 17-33.
7. Resnick, H. E., & Alwan, M. (2010). Use of health information technology in home health and hospice agencies: United States, 2007. Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, 17, 289-295. doi:10.1136/jamia.2010.005504
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Christopher M. Bell