Senior care leaders are increasingly utilizing telehealth and remote patient monitoring to improve clinical outcomes and create more touchpoints with patients.
Providers have also capitalized on secondary and tertiary benefits of virtual care, like those that come with marketing and staff retention.
“Our staff has really appreciated us investing in the tools for them,” Matthew Fenley, chief business development officer at the Allure Group, said during a Home Health Care News webinar Thursday. “Everyone wants to take pride in their workplace and for them to see the investments were made to give them the best tools, I think it really has gone a long way.”
The New York-based Allure Group is a network of skilled nursing facilities with six locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
In 2019, the company started to introduce telemedicine services to supplement care that was being delivered during the day.
Not only was the company able to show lower readmission rates to its hospital partners almost immediately, but the forward-thinking moves allowed the Allure Group to be better equipped during the pandemic.
Now, Fenley said the company is starting to see those secondary benefits.
“That pride from our caregivers obviously trickles down to patient care,” he said. “It gives our staff more confidence so they’re not automatically calling 911 anytime there’s something moving off the baseline. There’s a moment to pause and actually contact the provider. It’s really allowed us to recognize key staff who have embraced the product and the technology.”
Home-based care providers have made similar efforts, especially due to their inability to be in a patient’s home 24/7.
“Clinical partners are looking for solutions for older adults and partners like us who understand the future of home care requires taking that blended approach,” Best Life Brands CEO J.J. Sorrenti said. “This technology opens new doors for us and enhances relationships that we already have, because we have solutions that bridge care gaps.”
Best Life Brands is the platform company above ComForCare. ComForCare is a home care franchise organization that has 270 territories independently owned and operated in Canada and the U.S.
The company recently announced a partnership with Connected Home Living to launch Connected Care, its remote patient monitoring (RPM) program for seniors.
Sorrenti said these established partnerships, and the success that telehealth has helped them achieve, have gone a long way from a marketing perspective.
“That technology helps drag attention to our solution — Connected Care — and it helps partners achieve the aim of care that they see this concept operationalized inside their practice,” Sorrenti said.
The next possible step, Sorrenti said, is having telehealth and virtual capabilities help fill the gaps in staffing.
“We haven’t really had families want to replace our in-home care with technology, but I imagine we might see that down the road,” he said. “Right now it’s augmenting the night hours when families can’t afford 24/7 care. It’s also an entree into the home when older adults aren’t ready for care. I do believe that in the future, due to home care costs and staffing shortages, we’ll begin to sell services in more of a package-type model where we’ll be selling sort of a blended package.”