Home-Based Care Providers Continue To Find New Use Cases For AI

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More home-based care providers have become curious about the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), especially when it comes to its potential around easing clinician and caregiver workload and improving patient outcomes.

Companies like Homewatch CareGivers and Pinnacle Home Care moved past the curiosity stage, and have implemented AI tools into their operations and clinical processes.

At Pinnacle Home Care, clinicians are using an AI-powered large language model, ybot, to help streamline comprehensive assessments and OASIS.


“We have been able to cut the start of care time down to 87.3 minutes from 119 minutes, so huge savings for clinicians,” Kathy Hoffman, chief clinical officer at Pinnacle Home Care, told Home Health Care News. “ybot gives them the ability to document real-time, which improves the quality of the documentation. In home health, because there’s so much documentation, what we usually find is most clinicians are going home and trying to document in the evening. Therefore, it’s creating a difficult work-life balance for them and untimely documentation.”

Pinnacle Home Care is a Oldsmar, Florida-based home health provider that also offers personal care services. The company serves over 80% of the Medicare population in Florida.

With ybot, clinicians are able to record their documentation. The AI tool asks the clinicians questions based on the OASIS assessment, and they are able to respond. The tool also lets the clinician know if they are answering incorrectly, and gives them the correct response options.


Real-time documentation is a game-changer for most clinicians who typically, as Hoffman pointed out, complete their documentation after hours based on quick shorthand notes.

“As time passes throughout the day, they see multiple patients, and their recall for the quality and the accuracy of that documentation starts to diminish,” she said.

Decreasing documentation time also benefits patients, because it allows clinicians to focus on clinical work and deepen their connection with those they are delivering care to. 

“They’re able to give more face time to the patient, able to interact better with that patient … to drive patient satisfaction,” Hoffman said. “Nobody wants to sit behind a clinician as they’re typing on a computer.”

In addition to documentation, Pinnacle Home Care also utilizes AI as a personal assistant tool for clinicians.

Typically, home health clinicians are driving from patient to patient. In between patients, clinicians are often reviewing patient charts. Pinnacle Home Care wanted to make this process easier.

“What we’ve created is a personal assistant that really turns that drive time into productive time,” Hoffman said. “Instead of having to pull over and read the medical chart of that patient … they just click a button. The system knows which patient they’re seeing next because we have full integration with our EMR system, and it tells them all the clinical and non-clinical information they need to really walk into that patient’s house to be prepared to provide that high-quality visit. It also gives them the ability to listen to the clinical notes from other disciplines prior to that visit to really enhance that collaboration.”

How AI is helping prevent falls

Homewatch CareGivers is using an AI tool to collect data on patient movements and respiration, in order to prevent falls among seniors.

The company is doing this by installing three-inch censors, and smart cameras for back up, in clients homes.

“They can go anywhere in the home, and it helps detect movement and sounds, and uses AI to do predictive analytics for us on the client, so we have a better insight to potential fall risks, or things that are going on in the home that could result in a hospitalization,” Todd Houghton, president of Homewatch CareGivers, told HHCN.

The company’s use of AI for fall prevention started in a pilot phase, but over the last three months, Homewatch CareGivers has been rolling this out in their offices across the country.

Homewatch CareGivers’ focus on fall risk is especially important because falls are severely detrimental to seniors.

“It can be life threatening to them,” Houghton said. “We can use this tool to help identify that, and improve outcomes, and give them a better quality of life, so they’re less likely to fall and have a concussion or break a hip.”

More than 14 million older adults report falling annually, according to data from the CDC.

Before Homewatch CareGivers began using AI for fall prevention, the company had to rely solely on what caregivers were able to observe in the home.

“Now, with this advanced technology we’re able to, essentially, observe 24/7 unobtrusively,” Houghton said. “If there’s a risk of something happening, AI generates this in the dashboard to give rankings or assign a likelihood that there could be a fall and then we can send somebody to the home to help that client, if need be.”

Through the process of piloting AI for fall prevention, Homewatch CareGivers had to deal with clients who were concerned that the tools could potentially be intrusive. This meant that the company had to talk through the process with clients and ensure their privacy.

“Our technology is HIPAA-compliant and secure on a cloud,” Houghton said. “We do share that with all of our clients as part of our service agreements that we have with them. The fact that it’s in writing, with the service agreement, and we talked through it when we’re doing an intake process, it really brings them better peace of mind.”

Houghton noted that client footage and data is on a closed network, and the clinicians are the only ones monitoring clients.

During the pilot phase, Homewatch CareGivers was able to reduce hospitalizations by 33%.

AI use across home-based care

Homewatch CareGivers and Pinnacle Home Care are not the only home-based care providers that are implementing AI to further advance care and operations.

AccentCare is using AI to improve the start of care process.

Meanwhile, Devoted Guardians implemented an AI employee recruiting system in order to increase engagement with job applicants.

More recently, Trent Smith, the CEO of the Oklahoma City-based Accentra Home Health and Hospice, announced the launch of his generative AI platform Apricot. The app counts companies like Elara Caring and Choice Health at Home as part of its user base.

Looking ahead, Hoffman believes that home-based care still has a long way to go in its embrace of AI. She believes that Pinnacle Home Care’s implementation of AI has allowed its staff to lean into their area of expertise.

“AI will never replace humans,” she said. “I think that’s everybody’s fear, but you will always need a human at the end. It’s not just clinicians, it’s admin support — the ability for us to remove mundane, repetitive tasks that don’t require a lot of thought process from them really improves where they feel their value in the company is because they’re able to then perform the tasks they have experience in, that they’re experts in.”

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