By Kristin Rowan, Editor

For those of us who didn’t grow up with a smartphone in our pockets and every tool imaginable available on the internet, mobile apps are still a bit of a mystery and a marvel. There are 25 categories of mobile apps, including gaming, finance, education, business, dating, travel, and health. Development, testing, and execution of an app that actually works is difficult, time consuming, and expensive, so it may seem out of reach for most small businesses. Last week, we spoke with the creators of an app that not only coordinates care for your patients and families, but makes it seem like you have your own agency app.

The Story

Dr. TJ Patel, PT DPT, grew up in India, where he studied physical therapy. After landing his dream job, he started to notice a lot of patients returning to the hospital because they got an infection or just didn’t know how to care for themselves. There was no one providing care after discharge; there was no concept of home based care. Patel soon learned that if he was passionate about home-based care he needed to move to a country that had the infrastructure already built because it didn’t exist there.

Dr. Patel moved to the U.S. and received his masters in kinesiology and doctorate in physical therapy. He was working in home health within a week and did 27,000 home visits in his fifteen year tenure. During this time, Patel noticed that in healthcare, “the right hand does not talk to the left hand.” Communication was a huge pain point and Patel set out remedy that.

By combining care management, care delivery, and what the patient wants into one centralized location, it creates connectivity to all care providers for a patient. Thus, Care Coordinations was designed.

The Concept

Care Coordinations is a tech solution for an impactful experience for patients, caregivers, and families. It opens the lines of communication between the parties customized for each patient.

Patient Channels include all caregivers associated with the patient. Users both inside and outside the organization can be added to the channel. Each patient channel is a secure, private channel for all internal and external care providers. The patient channel can include smaller groups within the channel.

Care Circles include the primary agency caregiver, patients, and family members. The app allows for unlimited two-way communication that protects the personal information of the caregiver. This removes the need for the caregiver to use a personal cell phone or give the patient access to personal information like social media profiles. The two-way communication inside the app is HIPAA compliant, unlike standard text messaging.

Group Channels are non-patient specific for other members of your agency to feel connected, especially in a remote working environment. Department specific group channels for marketing, sales, or HR can also be created. Management functions allow for one-way communication to all employees, anonymous employee surveys, and read-only access to all other channels.

CAHPS Survey

The patient and family experience is captured in the CAHPS survey and impacts agency reimbursement rates. Care Coordinations includes a mock CAHPS survey for patients and families that goes out before the CAHPS survey. The agency can make any needed adjustments to the patient and family experience prior to the actual CAHPS survey, improving scores and reimbursement rates.

Additional Features

Care Coordinations integrates directly with EMRs to upload an episode of care.

Robust read-receipts allow you to see if caregivers have seen a notification inside a communication channel.

Phone and video call capability inside the app adds additional secure communication.

Remote patient monitoring is built in with integrations with more than 500 devices to monitor blood pressure, pulse ox, weight, blood sugar, and temperature.

Direct communication to the agency allows the patient or family to notify the agency in the event a caregiver does not show up for an appointment.

Similar to the user experience with Uber and Lyft, the map feature alerts the patient that the caregiver is in route and estimates time of arrival with a pictogram of a car.

Optional 24/7 functionality to allow the patient to contact the agency after hours. Your call center can input details of the call into the app for real-time updates and assist with reaching other family members in case of an emergency when calling 911 is not necessary.

Post-visit surveys are customizable and can help struggling caregivers to improve and recognize high-performing employees.

The Good, The Bad, and The…Just kidding, there’s nothing ugly

Overall, we found the Care Coordinations app to be useful and well-designed. The app is charged on a per patient basis, making it more cost effective to include multiple care providers in one patient channel for increased connectivity. The available integrations, ability to upload files and videos, HIPAA compliant communication, and familiar messaging structure all point to ease of adoption.

As we’ve noted before, many home health nurses are technology adverse and will fight against the adoption of anything new. Care Coordinations stresses the legality of HIPAA compliant communication and not using your personal cell phone as selling points for nurses. Still, we know this isn’t always enough to convince a steadfast (read stubborn) care provider. Caregiver benefits and a gamified system to track timeliness, survey results, and other metrics may add some incentives for those harder-to-convince nurses.

The Uber-like experience for the patient and family to see where the caregiver is and when they will arrive is a great feature. On the flip-side, there is no tracking of the caregiver on the agency side. With increased reports of workplace violence in home-based care, a feature that allows the caregiver to alert the agency of any change in schedule, without constant tracking of caregiver movements, would allow the caregiver and agency some peace of mind.

I found Care Coordinations to be robust and detailed. Current EMR integrations include Axxess, Kantime, and HomeCare HomeBase, all through Worldview. Direct integrations are in the works. As Care Coordinations adds features and integrations, we are bound to hear more from and about them.

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Kristin Rowan

Kristin Rowan has been working at Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report since 2008. She has a master’s degree in business administration and marketing and runs Girard Marketing Group, a multi-faceted boutique marketing firm specializing in event planning, sales, and marketing strategy. She has recently taken on the role of Editor of The Rowan Report and will add her voice to current Home Care topics as well as marketing tips for home care agencies. Connect with Kristin directly or

©2024 by The Rowan Report, Peoria, AZ. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Healthcare at Home: The Rowan One copy may be printed for personal use: further reproduction by permission only.