Member News - January 2018

CAST | January 17, 2018 | by Donna Childress

Members release virtually connected health care communities, voice-first pilot results, IT strategies, improved staff communication and resident safety, and EHR partnerships.

Netsmart Partners with American Well on Telehealth Community

LeadingAge CAST Supporter Netsmart, which innovates electronic health records (EHRs), solutions and services, is partnering with global telehealth platform American Well to connect their respective networks. The partnership will create a virtually connected health care community, enabling collaboration across a network of more than 200 million consumers, 600,000 providers, and more than 25,000 organizations.
Consumers will receive an unprecedented level of access to real-time quality care across multiple provider specialties. Creating a comprehensive network of providers to bring health care directly to consumers can drastically improve health outcomes. It can also lower costs by empowering providers to deliver care in the lowest acuity setting possible.
“We have been working hard with our clients to identify the right opportunities to continue to leverage the open and interoperable network we have built together,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. ”With that goal in mind, this partnership with American Well represents our continued commitment to not only ensure our clients across the communities we serve have both the right EHR for today, but also are able to quickly deploy rapidly evolving capabilities, such as telehealth, which will be required to thrive as a provider into the future via our open network framework.”

Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing Releases Voice-First Pilot Results and Receives Coverage for Hearables Project

The Center for Innovation and Wellbeing at LeadingAge CAST Patron Front Porch has released its Amazon “Alexa” Pilot Analysis Report. The pilot, which launched in February 2017 at Front Porch community Carlsbad By The Sea (CBTS), grew out of residents’ and Technology Committee members’ interest in voice-first technologies.
The pilot tested the Amazon Echo and Dot at CBTS to better understand how voice assistance and home automation technology may help promote greater convenience, independence, and wellbeing for older adults.
Results reflected high satisfaction and engagement levels:

  • 75% of participants used their smart devices at least once a day.
  • 100% felt the Alexa overall made their life easier.
  • 71.43% felt more connected to family, friends, and the community since the start of the Alexa pilot. 

The pilot attracted enormous attention from the media, startups to well-established firms, senior living communities, service organizations, and groups representing national and international interests. The pilot’s positive results suggest that voice-first innovations warrant further exploration in promoting the independence and wellbeing of older adults.
In addition, HealthCentral and Minding Our Elders featured the center's Hearables for All project, which provides wearable hearing devices for aging clients, especially those who cannot hear in group settings because of background noise. The article also includes a Q&A on the technology with Davis Park, director of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing.

System Engineering’s 5 Strategic IT Investments

CAST Business Associate Systems Engineering’s article “Five Strategic IT Investments Every Company Should Be Making in 2018” highlights the top five industry recommendations for health care providers, including shoring up the organization’s security position. This piece, which will run in the New Hampshire Business Review on Jan. 19, 2018, offers these recommendations:

  • Move more business applications to the cloud.
  • Make “work-from-anywhere” a priority to operate efficiently and productively.
  •  Invest in business tools, enhancing one key system this year from your core business.
  • Modernize your security position.
  • Bring your staff up a level with IT so that they can focus on business strategy.

Episcopal Senior Communities and Vocera Improve Staff Communication and Resident Safety

LeadingAge Provider Member Episcopal Senior Communities (ESC) is improving staff communication and resident safety by using the Vocera Communication System at all six of its multi-level living communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Vocera is a new CAST Business Associate and a recognized leader in clinical communication and workflow solutions.
A nonprofit, ESC delivers a variety of residential, memory care, and aging services. It serves nearly 10,000 seniors through its community services programs that promote intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. ESC selected the Vocera system to improve staff communication and response times, enable Wi-Fi communication, and integrate with the resident safety system in its communities.
“Vocera technology is like a Swiss army knife for communication,” said Chris Dana, vice president of information technology for ESC. “It connects all the different functions our people perform in our communities every day and all the technologies we rely on to complete them. Ultimately, it improves our ability to keep our residents healthy, safe, and happy. How do you put a value on that? If you ask a family member, it’s infinite.” McKnight’s Senior Living, Senior Housing News, and Senior Living News shared the news.

American HealthTech and GEHRIMED Partner on EHR Initiative

CAST Business Associate American HealthTech and GEHRIMED have partnered to help advance the state of technology in the long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) community, says an article in Markets Insider. The partnership enables data exchange between the facility’s EHR and the practitioner’s EHR.
American HealthTech, based in Ridgeland, MS, is a leading provider of clinical, financial, and revenue cycle software and services to skilled nursing and senior living organizations across the country. GEHRIMED, based in Asheville, NC, created the first Stage-2-Certified EHR designed exclusively for LTPAC practitioners.
The partnership was formed in response to the need for a more comprehensive and secure solution that would support instant-access to patient information, strengthen communication between long-term care practitioners and facilities, and address the rapidly changing regulatory requirements. The American HealthTech partnership is GEHRIMED’s third with a facility EHR vendor to provide a nationwide, secure solution that bridges the gaps in interoperability, communication, and operations between on-site and off-site care practitioners.
The partnership allows members of virtual health care teams to remain connected and easily access secure and up-to-date patient information, for enhanced patient outcomes and quality patient care.