Phone Checklist Could Help Home Care Recipients

A phone checklist could help detect changes in health that could lead to hospitalization for non-medical home care patients.

ClearCare, a company that provides a software platform for home care agencies, recently worked with the in-home care company Right at Home to conduct research on a real-time post-visit home checklist for caregivers.

At the end of their shifts, home caregivers received an automated phone message prompting them to answer questions about changes in their clients’ health status that could eventually lead to hospitalization. If the caregivers reported changes, the status updates were sent to managers at the home care agency office for further assessment. The care managers then determined whether further action, such as a call to the doctor or closer monitoring, was required.

The goal of the new software is to prevent changes in health or behavior from escalating enough to require hospitalization.

The research team did note that at this time it is undetermined if the real-time monitoring system actually prevented hospitalizations and reduced the cost of care, but that is the subject of ongoing research in randomized trials at more than 400 home care locations across the United States.

However, the research team said the fact that a phone questionnaire like ClearCare’s could capture important facts about clinical status shows the value of harnessing simple technologies to monitor those receiving home care.