Tag Archive for: healing in place

Knute Nelson awarded a grant to distribute GrandCare technology throughout palliative and hospice care homes

The Blandin Foundation awarded the Knute Nelson Foundation a $50,000 grant to introduce GrandCare technology to palliative care and hospice patients throughout a 25-county west central Minnesota region where Knute Nelson services.  Knute Nelson is being supported by GrandCare’s distribution partner, Cybermation.

GrandCare is a technology that supports aging & healing in place.

Since 2005, GrandCare Systems has provided the most comprehensive caregiving technology on the market, enabling individuals to remain safe, healthy and happy at home. GrandCare’s simple, touch platform enables a Resident to view pictures, receive incoming messages, watch videos, video chat with family, listen to music and play fun games. Using a series of wireless activity and telehealth devices, GrandCare can alert designated caregivers by phone, email or text if anything seems amiss (medications not accessed, glucose levels not taken, abnormal activity, etc.).

GrandCare starts with a large touchscreen in the patient’s room where both patients and their families can access health and wellness information, bereavement support and chronic disease education.

GrandCare allows patients, caregivers and nursing professionals the ability to access essential patient information to monitor and ensure proactive health care interventions.

GrandCare enables medication management (prompting a patient when medications should be accessed) as well as a social connection to family through video chat, messaging and other social media type features.

For information on Knute Nelson Home Care and Hospice, visit www.knutenelson.org or call (320) 759-1273.


“Livable Cities”: What it takes for today’s cities to cater to our aging population!!

Technologies & Requirements to Enable Independence for Seniors in Cities

A musing by GrandCare founder, Charlie Hillman

GrandCare creates technology to empower the elderly to age and heal in place.  Our mission is to reduce the societal cost of long term, post acute, chronic condition, and hospice care while providing a safer, healthier, and happier life for seniors.  The notion of livable cities is of particular importance to our aging population.  Many cities, particularly those in nicer climates have seen large increases in their senior populations. Certainly part of this is the natural aging demographic of the first world, but there is clearly a movement of seniors from rural and suburban venues into the cities.

And it makes sense – cities have a number of big advantages for seniors.

  • They can walk to products and services.
  • There is mass transportation, often with senior discounts
  • There are downsized accommodations without lawn work.
  • There is easy access to senior services.
  • There is good access to healthcare, a particularly important need of seniors.

And, seniors are good for cities – they pay their taxes, they represent considerable wealth, they require services, they volunteer, they provide the wisdom of the ages, and of course, they have a pretty low crime rate.  Given all of this, a larger senior population also presents challenges to cities. Many of these seniors are the recipients of some sort of government assistance. While the federal or state government may be the ultimate payer, the Cities are often responsible for the actual frontline provision of services. Clearly the goal is to provide these services in a compassionate and yet efficient manner.

It is my contention that technology can play a vital component to meet these challenges.

Allow me to muse for a bit and describe what that technology might look like.

Read more

“Healing In Place”: The successful transition from hospital to home using technology

Today, GrandCare’s Laura Mitchell & Dr. Erick Eiting of USC spoke together about their collaborative efforts in using Technology to mitigate hospital readmissions. To read GrandCare’s whitepaper on “Healing in Place”, download that here

Listen to the Recording Here: https://www.ecarediary.com/Webinars/future.aspx?BlogId=24

Healing in Place: How Technology Can Come to the Rescue of Caregivers!

There is a huge sense of relief for caregivers when elderly loved ones are allowed to go home after being in a hospital. However, very often, seniors are burdened by a myriad of instructions for diet, exercise and medication regimen prescribed by more than one healthcare provider. Not being able to cope with the stress, most of them end up being readmitted to the hospital. In this Webinar, we will discuss causes of hospital readmissions and provide a prevention plan including health technology tools and in-home caregiving services to keep seniors safe and connected, at home.  Join Laura Mitchell, founding member of GrandCare Systems and expert in technology for medical management and Dr. Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, expert in Emergency Medicine, for the FREE 30 minute Webinar followed by a 15 minute question and answer session.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 02:00PM EST

Presenter: Laura Mitchell

Laura Mitchell is the founding member of GrandCare Systems that provides integrated technology solutions for medical management for seniors. Dr. Erick Eiting is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and is known for creating Geriatric “Centers of Excellence”.

Host: Susan Baida

Susan Baida is the Co-founder of eCareDiary.com.

Listen to the Recording Here: https://www.ecarediary.com/Webinars/future.aspx?BlogId=24

Dr. Eric Topol: A Doctor in your pocket

People’s Pharmacy— listen to Dr. Topol here

I just love listening to Dr. Eric Topol, a brilliant cardiologist at Scripps Health and cofounder of West Wireless Health Institute. His attitude and vision is absolutely spot on with how the medical world needs to transform.

I couldn’t agree more with the notion that we need to treat the human vs. the symptom (digital side of it). However, I must say that when confronted with the question of losing communication between patients and doctors with the digital age, I absolutely think that tech will ENABLE and further communication and coordination between patients and doctors. With the rising cost of healthcare and the new reform where Medicare will no longer pay for Readmissions to hospitals (within 30 days). Doctors essentially go from completely omniscient and all knowing (while the patient is in the hospital) to essentially blind when that patient walks out the door. It cannot be surprising when these patients are readmitted back to the hospital because he/she failed to take medications, change his/her lifestyle, couldn’t manage chronic conditions or didn’t understand the instructions. It only makes sense that a digital health technology will take part as a coordination platform for these patients.

Imagine that a patient goes into the hospital for heart problems and immediately is set up with a digital health touchscreen platform. This touchscreen will show the patient videos and instructions about their condition, discharge instructions, educational and fitness videos, medication reminders/prompts (pictures of meds and instructions), doctor notes, etc. This system would also talk wirelessly to blood pressure, weight, pulse ox and glucometers. The system would track wellness readings and could alert a doctor if readings were unusual. When the patient leaves the hospital, this system would follow the patient home. The patient would use it for education, coordination, reminders, telehealth tracking, to video chat with nursing staff and ask questions.

The point is – these systems do no good without human intervention and like all things can enable and empower caregivers and patients to be better.

Read our whitepaper on how I think digital health technology can be deployed post hospitalization, located here:

Kudos to Dr. Topol for being so right on…again!!!!

Laura Mitchell
GrandCare Systems

Healing in Place: How Technology Can Come to the Rescue of Caregivers!

Free Webinar Thursday, June 28th Presented by eCare Diary
2:00PM EST

Featuring Laura Mitchell, GrandCare Systems and Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM


There is a huge sense of relief for caregivers when elderly loved ones are allowed to go home after being in a hospital. In this Webinar, we will discuss causes of hospital readmissions and provide a prevention plan including health technology tools and in-home caregiving services to keep seniors safe and connected, at home. Join Laura Mitchell, founding member of GrandCare Systems and expert in technology for medical management and Dr. Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, expert in Emergency Medicine, for the FREE 30 minute Webinar followed by a 15 minute question and answer session.


Register Here


Previous Webinars



Laura Mitchell to Speak on Hospital Readmission

At the First National Medicare-Medicaid Payment Incentives and Penalties Summit

“The Leading Forum on Recovery Audits, Readmissions, Value-Based Purchasing, HACs and Never Events, and Managing to Medicare Margins.”

Laura Mitchell, VP Business Development will be speaking alongside Dr. Erick Eiting on “Healing in Place™ — Using Technology to Reduce the Risk of Hospital Readmissions.” Conference Theme II: Thursday, May 31, 2012, from 4:45pm-5:15pm in the Prince William room. 

Laura has also recently published a whitepaper under the same title.

The following is an excerpt form “Healing in Place™”:

From Hospital to Home: The Grand Transition
One cannot seriously talk about healthcare reform, improving outcomes, or reducing cost without talking about the aging of America, given the large portion of healthcare costs that are incurred in the later stages of life.1 Healthcare already consumes a distressing 17% percentage of GDP, and with the “Boomers” entering their chronic condition years, the financial strain on our society is certain to become more acute, if not critical. As a society, we pay for many pounds of cure. GrandCare Systems is passionate about providing those ounces of prevention that allow patients to successfully transition from acute care to heal at home with a technology assist. Only by moving from the monitored life to the analyzed life to the influenced life, can we reverse the cost spiral of post-acute and chronic care.

A downloadable copy of this whitepaper is available HERE.

For more information on the summit visit http://www.medicaremedicaidpaymentsummit.com

Register at http://medicaremedicaidpaymentsummit.com/registration.php

Forbes weighs in on Hospital Readmissions…

I wanted to share the article in Forbes on the healthcare crisis and the problem with Hospital Readmissions.

Regardless of what happens, our healthcare system needs to change. The statistics Forbes shared are overwhelming. Healthcare consumes 17% of our GDP and as a society, we have been known for paying for pounds and pounds of cure. We need to shift our mentality to start paying for those ounces of prevention. The in-home care service is critical to help support patients as they transition from hospital to home. But, that is only one piece of the puzzle. The hands on care is necessary and can help to relieve loneliness, isolation, provide transportation support and act as a helpful resource. But there are more things at play. Many cannot afford round the clock care and may not want someone living with them all hours of the day. That’s why a combination of digital health technology tools, in-home caregiving services and medical provider support is necessary for successful transitions. We just wrote a whitepaper called “Healing in Place”, which explores the successful transition piecing together the home health providers, technology, hospital staff, family and patient to seamlessly provide care and make sure they remain happy, healthy and safe at home. GrandCare is passionate about helping to provide the digital health technology (activity of daily living remote monitoring, digital health/vitals monitoring, medication reminders/alerts, socialization/webchats, touch-based resources & instructions).


FORBES:  A Low-Tech Business That Can Prevent Hospital Readmissions

by Zina Moukheiber, Contributor

I cover health IT and Middle Eastern billionaires.

One of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act that is likely to remain untouched by the Supreme Court is linking Medicare payments to hospitals to a patient’s outcome. According to a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Medicare’s fee-for-service program, nearly 20% of Medicare patients discharged from a hospital were readmitted within thirty days, and 34% were rehospitalized within 90 days. Hospitals are now scrambling to comply with the new rules that go into effect this year, and that includes making sure older patients are looked after following discharge.
 Lily Sarafan sees an opportunity—and it’s at the opposite spectrum of the smart home as envisioned by Intel’s Eric Dishman. “We’re positioning for post-hospitalization,” says Sarafan. The 30-year-old is the president of Palo Alto, Ca.-based Home Care Assistance, which is in the very low-tech business of providing expert caregivers by the hour or as live-ins. Their non-medical tasks include assisting with walking, making sure patients take medications on time, driving them to doctor appointments, and cooking healthy meals. (Home Care Assistance posts on its site a testimonial from famed MIT linguist Noam Chomsky who praised it in helping his late wife).

The help is not cheap. Home Care charges between $20 and $30 an hour, and up to $300 a day for live-ins. The company generated $50 million in revenues last year, and Sarafan says it is profitable. Anthos Capital, a private equity firm founded by former Goldman Sachs partners invested an undisclosed amount…

To read the entire article go Here

First National Medicare-Medicaid Payment Incentives and Penalties Summit

Medicare compliance Medicare RAC recovery conferenceThe Leading Forum on Recovery Audits, Readmissions, Value-Based Purchasing, HACs and Never Events, and Managing to Medicare Margins

May 30 – June 1, 2012
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
Washington, DC

Online at

Conference Theme II: Healing in Place™ — Using Technology to Reduce the Risk of Hospital Readmissions  is scheduled for Thursday, May 31, 2012, from 4:45pm-5:15pm. Featuring Laura Mitchell of GrandCare and Dr. Erick Eiting.

– SAVE UP TO $400 –
Register by Friday, April 20, 2012 for
Early Bird discount and save up to $400.
Click here to register.

– CMS Updates on Medicare and Medicaid Initiatives
– Hospital Compliance Programs
– Recovery Audit Contracting in Medicare and Medicaid
– Reducing Hospital Acquired Conditions and “Never Events”
– Proven Strategies to Prevent Unnecessary Readmissions
– Key Legal and Regulatory Issues Ahead
– Employer Demands for Value
– Total Revenue Cycle Management
– Instituting a Culture of Patient Safety
– Making Value Based Purchasing a Bonus not a Penalty
– How Patient-Centered Care Improves Quality and Lowers Cost
– Managing to Medicare and Medicaid Margins
– The Board’s Role in Quality and Safety
– How Baldrige Winners Meet the Triple Aim

GrandCare’s White Paper featured in recent article from homecaretechreport.com

Can Technology Reverse the Rise of Hospital Readmissions?

Barely two years ago, USA Today reported that 1 in 5 Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital within just one month of discharge. While some readmissions are unavoidable, the article reported that, in 2004, a shocking $17.4 billion of the $102.6 billion that Medicare paid to hospitals went towards unplanned hospital readmission visits.1 Only 10% of 2009 readmissions were planned.

CBS News reported on the profits earned by extending life by a few days, an already high expense that, if uncontrolled, will rise dramatically as the U.S. population ages. According to a 2009 60 minutes report, 75% of Americans die in a hospital; in 2008, Medicare paid $50 billion for patient care during the final two months of life.2

Fierce Healthcare took it a step further. Citing medication non-adherence as the leading cause of hospital readmissions,3 the online magazine reported that noncompliance costs up to $250 – $300 billion per year in ER and readmission visits.

But medication non-adherence may not be the primary cause. It may itself be caused by an all-too-common practice, sending the patient home with a lack of resources and support for independent recovery. According to a new White Paper by Laura Mitchell of GrandCare Systems, there are six common reasons for hospital readmission and specific technologies that can counteract them.

  1. Miscommunication between doctors, staff, patients, caregivers, families at discharge.
  2. Unclear or inappropriate instructions from hospital discharge staff regarding diet, mobility, medication and general care.
  3. Lack of social interaction and support once home. (30% of the 65+ population and 40% of those with chronic disease live alone.)4
  4. Misunderstanding of “Red Flag” symptoms that signal likely return to the hospital.
  5. Limited resources, lack of transportation and no accompanying advocate.
  6. Lack of supervision at home and resulting noncompliance.

Every home care clinician knows someone like Betty
Meet Betty. In 2008, Betty was admitted to the hospital for an infection in her foot that had affected her kidneys. After 5 days in the hospital undergoing tests and treatment, she was released and given many new rules, diet changes, strength training exercises, as well as a strict medication regimen prescribed by multiple healthcare providers. Betty left the hospital confused and loaded with new responsibilities and lifestyle changes. The pressure and stress of her new routine ultimately led her back into the same hospital bed just twenty days later. This is not an unusual occurrence. In Betty’ case, it was most likely a completely preventable readmission. Betty lacked a clear sense of direction, support and encouragement. She was expected to change her entire life within days without essential resources or available technologies.

The technology solution
To mitigate the turmoil of post-hospital transition, patients and their caregivers need to be equipped with education and resources to make good decisions. Forward-thinking business leaders, care providers, technology innovators, and other change agents are using technology to assist patients, especially seniors and the disabled.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) or tele-monitoring technologies and telehealth devices provide an unobtrusive method for reporting the patient’s vital signs including blood pressure and weight; biometric data including pulse oximetry and blood glucose levels; and subjective data including disease signs and symptoms, medication, and/or diet compliance. With the safe haven created by in-home technologies, patients are able to feel safe while maintaining their independence.

Remote Patient Monitoring systems to improve patient outcomes, encourage patient self-management and reduce avoidable readmissions, long discussed in healthcare journals, are making their way into finance and investing publications. GrandCare’s Laura Mitchell quotes a stock market analyst writing inMobi Health News Report, to make her point.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is minimizing hospital stays, resulting in a reduction of the cost of healthcare delivery. RPM helps healthcare centers reduce costs and increase business opportunities for healthcare service providers, while integrating systems and providing necessary operational facilities. As a result, the Patient Monitoring Systems market stands to gain.5

Supporting Mobi Health News Report’s position, healthcare researcher Jenny Minott of Academy Health, writes in her report Reducing Hospital Readmissions, “Tele-monitoring high-risk patients alone has decreased readmissions by 15 percent.”6

CMS may not believe, but its sister department does
Studies of significance by the Veterans Health Administration have reported even larger reductions in hospital utilization through the use of in-home remote monitoring technologies. The VHA reports that it “delivers healthcare services that serve 5.6 million unique veteran patients annually. A total of 7.6 million veterans are enrolled to receive VHA care. The number of veteran patients aged 85 years or more that VHA treats is set to triple by 2011 compared to 2000. As the U.S. population ages, people are living longer, staying healthier, and choosing to live independently at home.”7

Next weekOur next excerpt from Laura Mitchell’s white paper will describe a care approach that integrates wellness, smart home systems, activity monitoring and social connectivity to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.

1Information cited from the article “One in Five Medicare Patients Readmitted within month” from USATODAY.comhttp://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-04-02-hospital-medicare_N.htm


3Study shows that 40% of seniors do not comply with doctors’ orders. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2007/Feb/Physician-Patient-Communication-About-Prescription-Medication-Nonadherence–A-50-State-Study-of-Amer.aspx


5Mobi Health News Report: Patient Monitoring worth $9.3 billion in 2014 http://mobihealthnews.com/10969/report-patient-monitoring-worth-9-3-billion-in-2014


72008 VA telehealth study: http://www.viterion.com/web_docs/VA%20CCS%20Outcomes%20Dec_2008_Darkins.pdf

About GrandCare
GrandCare offers a senior friendly, internet enabled, private home touch screen system aimed at maintaining independence, controlling chronic conditions, and reducing hospital readmissions. It combines the technologies of smart home, activity monitoring, wellness monitoring, and social connectivity. The wellness aspect includes wireless physiological readings (weight, blood pressure, oximeter, glucometer), self assessment, and medication compliance with associated rule sets, alerts, and congregate analytics. The social aspect includes one button Skype, wellness videos, reminders, and other standard social media content aimed at reducing isolation, educating the patient, and influencing them to better self manage their health.