HiLiteMD: Elderly Homecare Patient Engagement

The benefits of Digital Health services are increasing with all patient populations.  Digital Health offers several patient engagement advantages that are used to extend the reach of traditional health care, including primary care, specialists, nurses, and care teams.

Home health care for elderly patients is one of the most rapidly growing healthcare market segments and is appropriately positioned to take advantage of digital health solutions to extend the reach of providers and care teams. Digital health platforms are now breaking ground throughout the USA and many groups are in the early phases of seeing positive benefits.

National home care provider Senior Helpers in partnership with Capitol Coordinated Medicine found value in using “Telepresenters” to coordinate home-based health care for elderly patients. The study piloted earlier this year in Washington, D.C., used skilled Homecare workers as stand-ins for doctors, and was found to improve care and reduce costs. The program was tested with 33 elderly patients in the Washington, D.C. area, who required in-home care services. Patients reacted positively to the telehealth visit, with some saying they could see a provider sooner through telehealth than they could in-person. The telehealth platform also helped reduce trips to the emergency room. This also allowed the care team to see more patients and provide more proactive follow-up with the patients.

Thus, the use of a Digital Health platform can reduce inefficiencies of home health care in various ways, including replacing in-person provider visits with virtual visits, collecting vital-signs data remotely, improving medication compliance with automation and using recorded video for patient education. But with no in-person visits, the major challenge is developing effective communication digitally and engaging with the patient. If positioned correctly there are many tools to assist the providers with delivering a connected experience.

Patients now have an expectation with understanding everything in their healthcare journey with their providers, including treatment plans, medication information, specifics on what they owe and who the people are that care for them. Providing transparency and giving patients a good experience is all part of the recipe for better outcomes and loyal patients for life. Within the HiLiteMD platform, we incorporate both virtual visit software along with recorded videos.

The use of recorded videos with digital communication can assist practitioners and care teams through patient engagement strategy and patient empowerment. A survey found infotainment videos that contain details concerning medical treatments and therapies are watched twice as much in comparison to text-based brochures and printed care guides. With recorded video the treatment instructions are better understood when presented in videos, so incorporating videos as part of the treatment plan is highly recommended for overcoming challenges with patient adherence to treatment instructions and taking prescribed medications.

Current predictions suggest that the number of seniors 65 years of age and older will more than double in the United States during the next 30 years. As a result, the number of elderly Americans could increase from 34 million in 1998 to approximately 69 million in 2030.

This increase, combined with the disproportionate rate at which elderly patients use medical resources, will require that providers to become increasingly knowledgeable about the needs of geriatric patients who have home care needs. For healthcare programs to be successful in the treatment of this growing patient population the need for digital health and virtual care options need to expand. Increasing the efficiencies with the evaluation and health management for the elderly patient population is necessary to reduce the cost and provide better outcomes. Having streamline communications through digital communication with recorded health videos and telehealth will help to ease the burden of seeing the increase of patients in-person.

In all branches of healthcare, and because we are living longer on average as a society, a significant group of patients will be elderly and many home bound. A thoughtful, compassionate approach helps develop a real relationship and trust between patients and care providers. And when providers can extend their reach to provide better oversight, the outcomes improve.

Considerations for elderly virtual care:

-Recognizing Sensory Challenges

Distractions, such cognitive impairments, or hearing loss, can make communication difficult. Nearly one-third of seniors over sixty-five have hearing issues and a quarter of seniors over seventy-five report vision problems. They may seem to be irritable, when in fact they’re simply frustrated because they can’t hear what you’re saying. You must speak loudly and repeat yourself to convey your message to ensure the patient is following along.

Compared to educating them verbally and printing documents for them to comprehend and adhere to instructions, it will be highly beneficial for them to get recorded videos instead to be played repeatedly until understood from the convenience of their home.

-Ensuring Comfort

Comfort is a necessity for home care patients and telehealth platform using recorded videos as part of their treatment plan provides better care by establishing an improved provider-patient communication that is unlikely to be achieved with such patients in conventional settings.

-Use Plain Language

As patients grow older, their physiology changes considerably. Elderly patients may start to lose their short-term or long-term memory, and this changes the way they absorb and process information. Using plain language makes it easier for senior patients to understand the information better and will increase the likelihood of following treatment instructions.

Videos can be especially customized for the elderly which also enable them to retain information beside being acknowledged of their condition and treatment plan. Recorded patient education videos can be watched multiple times to help with decreasing cognitive memory functions.

-Showing Empathy

Sincere empathy builds rapport and builds an emotional connection. Patients should feel as though care providers understand and identify with their concerns. To communicate this sentiment, staff members can relate how they would feel given similar circumstances when communicating undesirable information. Such honest and open communication shows that care providers recognize client difficulties and genuinely care about patient circumstances.

Using our Digital Health platform HiLiteMD, you can communicate this sentiment by extending your hand even before getting acquainted with your patient. Every impression counts and with HiLiteMD the relationship building starts as the appointment is booked, through a short-recorded provider video sent to introduce themselves to the patient. Afterwards, educational videos and strategies for treatment plans are sent to the patient giving them a connected experience and establishes an emotional bond between care teams and patients.

HiLiteMD Digital Health has over 2,000 patient education videos and offers video production services to customizing videos for marketing, patient education, general information and more. HiLiteMD is a full solution to manage the digital health relationship of the modern patient. HiLiteMD comes equipped with Patient Financial Management, Digital Communication, Telehealth and Reputation Management. For more information on how HiLiteMD can humanize the patient digital experience please contact us at info@HiLiteHealth.com or go to our website at https://www.hilitemd.com.

 

Bryan Graven

CEO|HiLite Health

Web: https://www.hilitemd.com