By Robin Stawasz
When I started as a hospice social worker MANY years ago, all charting was on paper. I had maps and atlases filling the seats of my car to get me where I needed to go. Our height of technology was a single satellite phone the size of a suitcase that the staff shared, meeting in the field to pass it back and forth while on call. Now we each have our own phones which can get us anywhere we want to go, laptops that allow charting in the home, and predictive analytics that offer proactive insight into our full patient population. As we have incorporated these improvements to get where we are, we need to look at where to go next. But what problems are we looking for tech to solve?
According to hospice providers themselves, as heard through Hospice News and Homecare Homebase’s recent survey, technology investment is being driven by the need to support their staff. Forty percent of responding hospices said staff engagement and satisfaction was driving their technology investments in 2023. That is followed by changing payment models (17%), regulatory demands (16%), and referral partnerships (16%). Technology is also seen as a source of cost savings, with 40% saying the savings will be realized through process optimization and automation, and 24% through savings on staffing costs. Clinical and satisfaction outcomes are also impacted by technology by increasing patient and family communication and monitoring of patients in the home. Considering all this, what tech innovation is most impactful?
Again according to hospices, predictive analytics that allows staff to proactively identify patients in need is ranked as the number one technology investment that will yield the greatest return, with 21% of hospices calling it out. That was followed by technology to train staff (20%), patient engagement tech (17%), EHRs (16%), and telemedicine (14%). Empowering and equipping staff to be able to proactively and efficiently engage those who are at most risk, thus preventing crises and improving staff impact and clinical outcomes is the best step to take next. Let’s continue to move forward.
If you would like help leveraging healthcare tech for improved efficiency and care, Acclivity is here for you – please contact us.
Source Material: “Why Hospice Providers are Ready to Spend Big on Technology” by Robert Holly posted by Hospice News on February 21, 2023 (https://hospicenews.com/2023/02/21/why-hospice-providers-are-ready-to-spend-big-on-technology/)