Care Coordination Tech Company Expanding from Senior Care into Healthcare at Home

product review by Tim Rowan, editor of Home Care Technology Report

 

“Picture this,” suggests Director of Strategic Solutions Scott Herrmann. “A joint replacement patient develops a redness around the incision. An aide notices it during a routine visit and makes a note in the app in her phone. During the next LPN visit, the aide’s note is read and the nurse makes a point of examining the incision. By this time, the redness is a full-blown infection and the patient is transported to a hospital emergency room.”

“Now, picture this instead,” he pivots to a different solution. “The same aide notices a redness on the same patient’s incision and immediately sends a message through her smartphone to the nurse case manager for this patient, ‘there is something more than just redness going on here.’ In seconds, the RN responds, ‘I’ll video in as soon as I finish this visit.’ Minutes later, through a video connection, the nurse sees the infection and takes a snapshot of it. After a quick consultation with the referring physician, which of course the aide cannot do, a medication is put in place and a trip to the ER has been avoided.”

Herrmann is the new Director of Sales and Strategic Solutions for Medocity, a Morristown, New Jersey tech company, founded by a team of physicians, that has created a patient engagement platform made up of a variety of tools to coordinate patient care among physicians, in-home care nurses, labs, pharmacies, and family. Until now, Medocity has been focused primarily on physicians who work with seniors, while quietly introducing its system to the Healthcare at Home providers to which these physicians refer patients. With the addition of home healthcare veteran Herrmann to the executive team, that effort is not quiet anymore.

“I joined Medocity because I have been advocating a care philosophy just like theirs for years,” he told us in a recent interview from his Phoenix office. “New payment systems that will reimburse for quality outcomes will force caregivers to form a circle of care around each patient. This Medocity platform is a bridge between clinic and home and it includes patients and their entire care team. It gives home health the opportunity to be center court in the new care delivery models.”

Medocity tools
We took a close look at some of the products recently. While they are reminiscent of other patient engagement systems we have reviewed in the past, there are some interesting nuances. In addition to facilitating communication among caregivers and family, there is a remote patient monitoring component that feeds into a data analysis tool. Home healthcare nurses and other clinicians around the patient see a daily triage report that turns raw vital signs into actionable data so attention can be directed first toward patients who need it most.

A video platform enables remote visits, which for physicians are sometimes reimbursable. For healthcare at home clinicians, the video system comes in handy keeping an eye on patients between in-person visits and in emergencies such as the one described above. On the patient side, a connected tablet offers instructional videos, medication and other reminders, and social connectivity. With all of these tools, Medocity has focused on ease of use and device independence.

“Here in Arizona, people I talk to about meeting Triple Aim goals, saving money, and improving patient outcomes get it right away,” Herrmann said. “You see, I am in one of the nine states where Home Health Value Based Purchasing is already a reality. Providers are hungry for solutions and have become a test base for the other 41 states.”

He explained, and we were able to see in the care coordination tools he showed us, that the Medocity platform has the potential to address four critical issues:

  • pro-active management of chronic and acute conditions through
    • clinician dashboard
    • patient medical summary
  • care coordination & care continuity via
    • communication with family
    • video conferences via iPad
  • reducing visits per episode without reducing care, using
    • remote patient monitoring, capturing more vital signs
    • real-time alerts with guidance for the client
    • multi-party tele-visit and secure messaging
  • messaging system to push information to patients and forward to care team members, including
    • specialty teams
    • enabling patients to manage their condition(s), with
    • multi-conferencing video meetings
    • educational videos targeting specific chronic conditions
    • patient instructions in response to alerts
    • information about community resources to review while waiting for a return phone call from a nurse

Medocity talking about Medocity
As thorough as Mr. Herrmann’s demonstration was for us, the voice of actual patients may describe the Medocity system better than we have. This YouTube video about Medocity’s iCancerHealth system will come across as more promotional than objective but we offer it because it does a good job explaining the impact the system has on real people.

“I’ve been in home healthcare a long time,” Herrmann concluded, “and I had other offers. I chose Medocity because I am convinced this is the direction technology developers should be leading in-home care providers to prepare them for the new payment models emerging from healthcare reform.”

 

 

For the original article, please see Home Care Technology Report.