True Clinical Management Needs the Right Technology

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Technology in Hands of Home Health CliniciansThe promise of true clinical management would not be possible without the right enabling technology – both hardware and software – to push those concepts into patient homes. Because that’s where care plans are developed and care decisions made, it’s logical that clinical management tools belong in the hands of the clinicians who work directly with patients.

But clinical management should be much more than equipping clinicians with laptops, tablets or smartphones. Your agency must have both the right technology and the right clinical management concepts from end to end in order for its full promise to be fulfilled. For some agencies, technology is used primarily as a back-office function, transmitting information electronically with CMS and other payers and keeping track of receivables. There may be some clinical management functionality in these systems, but the clinical content may be outdated, incorrect or not available at the bedside.

Other agencies may have clinical content in their clinical or agency management systems but have no idea whether the content is accurate, how often it is updated or how well it reflects current thinking about specific conditions. Your clinicians could have the latest gadgets at the bedside but still not be able to access quality care data.

Where does your home health agency fit on this spectrum? How much clinical content do your nurses and therapists use at the bedside each day and how valid is that information? When was the last time you’ve spoken to your software vendor about these issues?

Your agency should be pushing out accurate, validated and actionable clinical content to your staff at the point of care. If not, you are losing out on a great opportunity to provide appropriate care sooner and to improve outcomes.

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