Tag Archive for: Hospital Readmissions

Technology For Seniors

Does it Work? Yep. And Now We Can Prove It.


We have always believed that technology could keep seniors safe, healthy, and connected. This belief is why we do what we do at GrandCare. But can we prove it really is effective for clinical situations? Well that’s an easy answer. Yes. And we have the data to back it up. GrandCare does help the senior and disabled population to stay healthier, while bringing down the cost of care.

In recent case studies, the clients used GrandCare in conjunction with 24/7 case management services. GrandCare automatically recorded patient vitals, reminded patients when to take vitals or medications, passively monitored activity patterns, and triggered rule-based alerts to notify caregivers if something seemed amiss. Caregivers could preventatively address situations, often with simple and inexpensive remedies. These included everything from phone calls, HIPAA-compliant video chats, med changes or, if needed, clinical care. Many clients eligible for nursing home care were able to remain at home.

Overall, the results were remarkable. Patients were healthier, ER visits and hospital readmissions dropped, and senior satisfaction was much higher.

Hospital Readmission Studies

  • One Georgia study used GrandCare technology in conjunction with case management services and found hospital readmissions reduced by 51% from pre-pilot rates.
  • Another study with older adults eligible for nursing home care utilized GrandCare’s passive technology to monitor ADLs and IADLs and found fewer acute hospitalizations, ER visits, LTC days, and SNF admissions.
  • Maryland participants in a GrandCare program saw a 58% reduction in acute care admission rates, for a savings of $372,672.
  • These Maryland participants also experienced a reduction in the all-cause 30-day readmission rate to 4.5% (compared to the 15.95% state average), for a savings of $25,880. The cost to deliver this technology-enabled care was only $6,600.

Emergency Department Utilization

  • One initiative using GrandCare Technology to manage patients with high emergency department utilization achieved a 75% reduction in ER visits.
  • In a passive technology pilot with nursing home eligible patients at risk of falls and living alone, utilization of ER, long-term care and SNFs were all reduced by at least 10%.

Improved Self-Management

  • A patient population using GrandCare Technology demonstrated 88% adherence to their medical device and medication reminder treatment regimen.
  • Participants using GrandCare reported a willingness to become more engaged and felt an increased awareness in self health.

Improved Satisfaction

  • Participants in the Maryland study reported high levels of patient satisfaction.
  • For patients in the Georgia group, 93% reported satisfaction with services.
  • In a pilot of 22 patients using GrandCare, 100% of respondents agreed with the statement, “I have no difficulty telling others about the benefits of the system.”

Chronic Disease Management

  • Patients using GrandCare with Uncontrolled Diabetes demonstrated improvements, with A1C (blood glucose) values at or below their baseline.
  • In those patients managing Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) with the combination of GrandCare telehealth monitoring and care coaching, 96.5% of them maintained or improved their baseline NYHA classification score.
  • For patients managing Hypertension with GrandCare, care coaching, a BP cuff and telehealth tools, 84% were able to maintain or improve their JNC-7 classification score.


  • One study found that the initial investment in technology was recouped in 1-3 years due to reduced costs of care.
  • The total savings in reduced acute admissions was $372,672 for patients using GrandCare with RPM and care management, while the cost to administer this technology-enabled care was $64,500. Leaving the total cost savings at $308,172.

GrandCare facilitates better care, better outcomes, lower costs, while improving patient satisfaction. We always knew that was true. And now we can prove it.

Empowered Patient Radio: Transitioning patients from hospital to home

Improving Hospital to Home Transition

Laura Mitchell, Chief Marketing Officer, GrandCare.com speaks with Karen Jagoda from Empowered Patient Radio on amplifying professional medical care with digital connections and how mobile devices and wearables can be used to improve care especially for those in long term facilities.
Listen to the Radio Interview

Empowered patient radio

The goal is to attain better patient outcomes, but how do we get there? We need better patient engagement and we can not get there unless we have a better patient experience. If we can provide a pleasant and empowering experience, the patients will be engaged and involved in their own health, which will ultimately lead to the best patient outcomes. This will help the healthcare systems, healthcare providers, professional caregiving organizations, family members and the patients themselves.

Listen to the Live Radio Interview Here

grandCARE slated to speak & exhibit at Digital Health Summit, CES 2015

For the 8th consecutive year, GrandCare will be showcased at the largest consumer electronics show in the world, CES 2015. grandCARE will be exhibiting in the Digital Health Summit at the Sands Expo, 2nd LEVEL Booth 73240.
2015 International CES Exhibit Hours

Tuesday, January 6: 10 AM-6 PM

Wednesday, January 7: 9 AM-6 PM

Thursday, January 8: 9 AM-6 PM

Friday, January 9: 9 AM-4 PM

grandCARE will be unveiling a new brand mark, the grandCARE better care logo.
The new branding reflects grandCARE’s approach to truly person-centered care, care coordination and self empowerment. grandCARE’s better care method insists that in order to achieve better outcomes, the individual needs to be fully engaged. In order to achieve engagement, the experience needs to be intuitive, entertaining and empowering.
Without the better care method, better outcomes is less likely.

grandCARE’s chief marketing officer and co-founder, Laura Mitchell, has been chosen to speak on a panel in the digital health summit.

2015 Digital Health Summit – DAY ONE
Wednesday, January 7
Venetian, Level 2, Bellini 2004
Smart Homes? No Brilliant, Sensible Ones!
Seniors are the fastest growing demographic in America today. And as our loved ones are getting older, they may not be willing to leave their home. We worry about them. Fortunately, leading tech innovators in the remote passive monitoring space are using connected sensors to simplify everything for the consumer and make independent living a safe, reliable, and thriving life a reality!Come hear directly from these trailblazers addressing a key societal issue and discover what they have in store so that our most independent, energetic seniors can spend more time doing the things they love.
Laura MitchellLaura Mitchell, Chief Marketing Officer, GrandCare Systems
Kian Saneii, CEO, Independa, Inc.

The Las Vegas Convention Center North Exhibit Hall is open Tuesday January 10th until Friday January 13th. For more information on the CES Show, visit: http://www.cesweb.org/

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



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

Thursday, January 19th Webinar – Adapting to Healthcare Reform:

Technologies to Put Your Agency in the Driver’s Seat as Your World Changes

Thursday,January 19th 2pm ET – 1pm CT
Download Here

With guest speaker Tim Rowan

When hospitals begin to select post-acute partners they can trust to lower their readmission rates, they will look for home care agencies that monitor patients between visits, improve medication compliance, reduce falls, communicate with family caregivers and submit regular readmission reports based on reliable data. Based on his 18 years in home care technology, consultant and writer Tim Rowan will explain the systems you will need to deploy to thrive in the very different reimbursement world that starts later this year.

  • Avoidable Hospital Readmissions will be THE topic of 2012, more important than winning referrals.
  • Hospitals will look to teams of post-acute care providers to form partnerships in the effort to curb readmissions. They will not rely on home health care providers alone.
  • Home health care providers invited to participate on these post-acute teams will be the ones with proven rehospitalization track records and with the latest remote patient monitoring technologies.

Tim Rowan, Editor, Home Care Technology Report

Tim Rowan has been the Editor of home care’s premier technology news and analysis newsletter, now known as Home Care Technology Report, since 1998. In this position, Tim has had the opportunity to keep an eye on the leading edge of healthcare technology innovation and develop insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the companies that provide software and other technologies to home care providers.
Tim has extensive experience in network design, installation and administrator training since 1986.  He was the Information Technology Director for Physicians Home Health Care in Denver and Colorado Springs from 1993 – 1998, before becoming home care’s most trusted technology reporter. As a consultant, Tim has also helped numerous home care agencies wade through the software selection process.
Tim holds a Masters in Education from Loyola University in Chicago. Most importantly, when he is not writing or speaking at conferences, he spends his time playing with his five grandchildren.

Sponsored By AgeTek

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.

In the beginning….there were ACOs…

Great article…had to repost…http://www.ltlmagazine.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=DDA435FBCC9845E2BC555F79EC975793

 Ready or not…
ACOs are on their way
by Kathleen Griffin, PhD, Pam Selker Rak, and Shannon Webber


There are a number of ACO pilot programs in operation and the formal program will begin implementation in January 2012. The final set of rules around forming an ACO will be made available by October 2011.

In terms of formation, it is important to keep in mind that ACOs must have primary care physicians and enroll at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries. There are a number of organizations (e.g., Brookings-Dartmouth, Premier, and AMGA) that are assisting hospitals in aligning with physicians to get them prepared for the processes and procedures that are part of ACOs. For example, if a beneficiary’s physician is in the ACO, the beneficiary will automatically be part of the ACO as well. Having 5,000+ beneficiaries is important in order to mitigate the potential risks of high-cost patients among the ACO’s fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries.

Most ACOs under development today are hospital-driven. ACOs require an enormous IT platform for operation and EHR and EMR congruity will be required. Some hospitals own post-acute care continuums or they create a continuing care network to meet certain quality and outcome criteria. An effective post-acute continuum allows for easy and quick transfers from hospitals and reduced or eliminated readmissions. Emergency department admissions are also lowered and this results in reduction of cost since ED visits are so expensive. Finally, patients with higher medical acuity are managed more effectively. Hospitals looking to be an ACO either can own a continuum, create a continuum of selected providers, or form a joint venture with a Medicare skilled facility.


The question on everyone’s mind is undoubtedly, “How will we be paid?” There is not just one answer to this question as there are several ways that payments will occur in an ACO. The following provides a brief overview of each option.

  • Shared Savings Program. Most payments will be received through shared savings. “For each 12-month period, participating ACOs that meet specified quality performance standards will be eligible to receive a share (a percentage, and any limits to be determined by the Secretary) of any savings if the actual per capita expenditures of their assigned Medicare beneficiaries are a sufficient percentage below their specified benchmark amount.”1 This means that ACOs will receive an average payment for a beneficiary and CMS will then run a projection. If the cost goes up from the projection, a target for reduction will be presented so that the ACO can share in savings.
  • Medicare Fee-For-Service. Another method of payment is a provider-paid Medicare fee-for-service in which providers are paid for each service rendered to a patient. If providers effectively manage services, this will drive down cost and the ACO will get a share of the savings. Providers will also be eligible to receive additional payment for shared savings if the ACO meets the quality performance standard, and the ACO’s estimated average per capita Medicare expenditures for Parts A and B is at least a specified level below the designated benchmark.
  • Bundled/Episode-Based Payment. Perhaps the biggest paradigm shift is that CMS will no longer be the payer for continuing care and that this responsibility will come from the ACO and, for some conditions, will be in the form of bundled payments. The shift makes CCPs cost centers for ACOs. This type of payment reimburses providers for expected costs for clinically defined episodes of care and was developed as a strategy for reducing healthcare costs. Bundled payment opposes unnecessary care, supports coordination across providers, and may result in improved quality of service.
  • Capitation. Under a capitation system, providers are paid a set amount for each enrolled person assigned to that physician or group of physicians, whether or not that person seeks care over a period of time. As ACOs achieve full capitation, portions of continuing care will also be capitated. Capitation is projected to be the primary payment mechanism by the end of the decade.

It is important that providers understand that they are auditioning to work with ACOs and be fully prepared to show they’re providing the highest care at the lowest cost.


So, what does this mean for CCPs? There is no denying that ACOs are on the horizon and providers need to be ready for them when they arrive. By 2017 or 2018, it is likely that all hospitals will be part of a local or regional ACO. According Loren Claypool, vice president and managing director of VCPI, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “ACOs are looking for ‘one-stop shopping’ for post-acute care and there are a few options that a provider can do to thrive.”

  • Own the continuum for its specialty area (e.g., rehab, wound care, etc.).
  • Develop a continuing care network.
  • Establish joint ventures by operating skilled nursing facilities on hospital property. (This trend is already currently happening because it is so easy and cost-effective to transfer back and forth.)

The next couple of years will require us all to live in two worlds. CCPs will need to take lots of Medicare patients with a focus on those who need rehabilitation, all while preparing for the payment system from ACOs. There are a number of next steps for CCPs to take in preparation today for the full implementation of ACOs in the near future.

  • Collect and use data to determine cost and patient outcomes, and any changes that can be made to improve these. This includes information demonstrating patient outcomes tied to cost and readmissions, determining the number of subacute patients that go home (Medicare Part A/Part B), and disclosing 30-day readmission rates by condition. Take this information and meet with C-Suite executives at hospitals to determine how you might best partner with them.
  • Be familiar with what is going on in the market. The Accountable Care model is always in the news. Make sure you are keeping up with what is being said and done. The Brookings-Dartmouth Collaborative is a great place to learn more about ACOs and find peers who may be able to share experiences.
  • Know where referrals are coming from. Use this information to determine how those relationships might be strengthened to increase referrals.
  • Listen to the needs of the hospitals. CCPs should be proactively engaging with targeted hospitals to do market assessments and learn from them what their needs are. This will help CCPs understand where and how they can fit into the ACO model. Ask to create a joint-operating committee to create care pathways, or take some time to develop expertise with staffing and go back to the hospital with proof that you are the best partner for them.
  • Make staff adjustments to meet industry needs. The transition to the care continuum and the requirement of dealing with more medically complex patients is driving current staffing needs. RNs and nurse information specialists are needed, as are nurse practitioners, who can provide 24/7 coverage for higher acuity patients. Providers should make sure their staff is properly positioned to meet these challenges.
  • As quickly as possible, get your EMR house in order. ACOs will be data-driven organizations and the outcomes on which your competitive edge depends must be easily reportable out of your clinical systems. No data, no seat at the ACO table.

Use this information to determine how those relationships might be strengthened to increase referrals.

ACOs are all about creating greater accountability in healthcare delivery. There are many ways for CCPs to be involved and with 2012 less than two years away, now is the time to start. LTL

Kathleen Griffin, PhD is National Director, Post Acute & Senior Services of Health Dimensions Group, a senior living healthcare management and healthcare consulting firm. She can be reached at (480) 922-9366 or kathleeng@hdgi1.com.
Pam Selker Rak is president and Shannon Webber is senior communications specialist with CommuniTech, LLC, an independent marketing and business consultant for the healthcare sector and beyond. Rak can be reached at (412) 221-4550 or pam.rak@mktgcommunications.com.


  1. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.(2010). Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Shared Savings Program New Section 1899 of Title XVIII. Washington, DC. Retrieved fromhttps://www.cms.gov/OfficeofLegislation/Downloads/AccountableCareOrganization.pdf
Long-Term Living 2011 February;60(2):33-35

Moving an aging parent can lead to negative outcomes…?

I read an article today about why the transitions in healthcare (moving from one place to another) alone are causing a large number of avoidable issues.  The author focuses on the notion of going from assisted living to skilled nursing or even skilled nursing to a hospital and while I absolutely agree with this, I think we can take it one step further and say it starts really when we move them out of their homes.  An ounce of prevention will most certainly lead to more than a pound of cure. The initiatives in place to help individuals manage their own chronic conditions and proactively have a say in their own care will really help to keep individuals safer and healthier at home. Our goals at GrandCare are simple: to enable a loved one to stay “in place” for longer – wherever that may be. Some use a technology to stay independent at home, others (professional caregivers) use it take care of multiple residents and enable more independence, less personal intervention, more space & privacy and more enhanced safety.  This can help a wing to transition to higher levels of care without moving residences.  NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) are exactly where this country is headed and it has to be that way. We simply don’t have the brick and mortar available nor the personal caregivers available for the aging population! So, we use technology assists to enable our caregivers to extend their reach and continue to provide care, we use technology to help individuals remain at home….

GrandCare is just one piece of the puzzle (we can connect individuals, remind them to do things, encourage doctor/patient collaboration, guide in total wellness & chronic disease mgmt…now we just need some reimbursement policies in place to help cover this obvious solution…

Why ‘Transitions’ In Health Care Are Dangerous And How To Avoid Them

By Fran Cronin
Guest Blogger

With more than 1.6 million Americans now living in nursing homes, many of us are all too familiar with the debilitating cycle of a nursing home admission followed by repeated hospitalizations, a spiraling into decline, and ultimately death.

I know for my 87-year old father, now living in an assisted living facility, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.

new study released this week by Brown University and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, confirms what many of us have observed: health care transitions, such as moves in and out of the hospital from a nursing home, do not lead to positive outcomes. More common are frequent medical errors; poor care coordination, infections and additional medications. For patients with acute dementia, these transitions can exacerbate already present symptoms such as agitation, confusion and emotional distress.

The scope of this syndrome — in which health care transitions often turn into emergencies — is expressed in a key Brown finding: almost one in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia experienced repeated hospitalizations in the last 90 days of life. Some were even moved as late as the last three days of their life. Burdensome transitions were also found to correlate with other indicators of poor end-of-life care.

I know for my 87-year old father, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.

This is a far cry from the overt wishes of most families, says Dr. Joan Teno, one of the study’s lead authors and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University….

To read the entire article click here

Telecare Aware: GrandCare Issues a CALL for Information!!!

A few days ago, I posted a request on LinkedIn, letting everyone know about the research project I am embarking upon. I am seeking information to compile a large research paper of sorts on why technology will aid in successful hospital to home transitions, ROI in telehealth, a technology implementation plan and how GrandCare fits into every piece of that puzzle.  Our good friend, Donna Cusano, at Telecare Aware loved the idea and posted it on their blog Telecare Aware, so I wanted to repost it here as well!!!  Thanks Donna!

Technology use in long-term care: a call for information  

For many new–or not so new–companies in the telecare, telecare+social connectedness and even telehealth systems, one of the difficulties in creating appeal for their service, especially among long term care (LTC) providers, is PROOF. Normally one of the tasks of company marketers is to provide this proof. But ‘research that counts’: long term, large N studies; academic research etc. developed in time frame available and the budget, when it resembles the life of the may fly….a bridge too far. Laura Mitchell, who is VP Marketing for one of the earliest and most visionary companies in the field, GrandCare Systems, and also a founder/leader of the industry group AgeTek, is calling for others to help her build a paper for general dissemination on succesful technology implementation into LTC. This is an area where this kind of information will be a ‘tide that lifts all boats.’ With her permission, I’m excerpting her posting on several groups on LinkedIn. The Editors also invite Laura to consider the comment space for this article as a workspace for development on this project, as our exposure is international and different than LinkedIn’s.

Using Digital Home Health Technology in Long Term Care (by Laura Mitchell, GrandCare Systems)
So many times I talk with long term care providers and they see that technology is there, it works, it’s available and others are doing it, but yet they want more proof. They want references, they want testimonials and they want to know exactly how to implement it. I have been making it my role these days to keep providing more and more information about how and why technology can help in long term care, ROI, how it connects residents to family and staff, why residents and staff are happier using it and how to successfully implement it. I will be posting bits and pieces on LinkedIn as I continue to research and pull together different pieces. The end result will sort of be a “paper” on successful technology implementation into long term care – model options, pricing, staff education, testimonials, etc. If you have any questions, comments or thoughts for me as I go along on this journey, shoot me an email!

Please contact Laura directly at info (at) grandcare.com

[Ed. Donna’s comment on LinkedIn follows]

Where is the vision to make telecare and social connectedness MUSTS in supporting older adults in their homes or in LTC?

The problem is that many ‘senior communities’ or home carers just don’t have the vision, especially the for-profits where the bottom line is all important–and many of the non-profits simply don’t have the fiscal resources. The question is how to move telecare/social connectedness from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘MUST have.’ And I hate to say that may have to be done by appealing to state regulators to make connectedness and socialization metrics for licensure.

The other alternative is to drive consumer demand and make it a MUST for families–but the millions to drive that message are absent and not likely to appear any time soon (if Warren Buffett and Bill Gates want a useful place to spend their money, here it is!)

But then again Steve and I have been whinging on about this on Telecare Aware for years, from both sides of the Atlantic!
To view the posting on Telecare Aware:  http://www.telecareaware.com/index.php/technology-use-in-long-term-care-a-call-for-information.htm