Last Thursday’s #dpcomm integrated insightful questions and comments by @OpenPlacement and social worker @EBelluomini. The chat examined the intersection between technology and discharge planning and ways for the two may be inextricably and successfully linked.
@EBelluomini offered websites, apps, and tools available for both discharge case managers and patients. Patients with dialysis, for example, may explore this link. This app combines engaging activities for patients to use while receiving dialysis treatments. iTunes also offers an app known as COPD Tracker to help patients manage their health condition. Another tool mentioned by Ellen was Central Logic Connect, a patient discharge software that allows a case manager to follow up with patients at home and offers discharge recommendations. You may find more information here.
The benefits of such technology may not only help track patients’ physical conditions, but also address loneliness, isolation, and mental health needs that elder patients face. Social media certainly offers ways to stimulate cognitive functioning and holds educational value to patients. As a result, the need to connect patients with the Internet, apps, technology and training resources is pertinent.
Accessibility and education of these technologies to elderly patients remain crucial aspects of successful integration. Though the population of adults over 65 that have smart phones is significantly low, technological applications that are easy to understand and use will help with patient access.
By working on the front lines with technology and the patient, case managers may understand a patient’s needs. In addition, healthcare practitioners and IT members must embody a collaborative effort and communicate needs effectively in order to integrate technology into health systems. Case managers must understand digital strategies and IT integration; in return, IT members must understand the functions of a case manager. In doing so, both areas may find the best use and solutions for technology.
In her current work, Ellen is exploring how Master’s of Social Work programs may infuse technology into the academic curriculum and address effective solutions for the digital world.
A special thanks to Ellen Belluomini for her enthusiasm and advice in bridging advancing technologies with healthcare needs. You may follow her @EBelluomini for more information about the care transition process.