Technology and Hospice Care

 As America’s population ages demand for high quality hospice care is growing. As a result, innovative providers are searching for new services that add to the well-being, comfort, and peace of mind of patients and families.

The Hospice of the Western Reserve, a non-profit hospice organization is providing care and support throughout Northern Ohio by using telyHD™ video calling devices installed in 42 patient rooms at their residential care facility called the Ames Family Hospice House. The video calling system developed by Tely Labs (www.tely.com) is an all-in-one device that includes an HD camera, four noise-cancelling microphones, and processing technology to ensure a stable and secure video connection.

“It’s easy to install and set up,” said John Dietrich, a member of the hospice’s Information Services team. We just plug them in and enter the patient’s Skype contact.” The telyHD’s friendly on-screen interface and the seven-button remote allows patients to connect simply and easily. Because telyHD is Skype certified, friends and families on the other end of the call can connect using any Skype enabled device, including laptops, smartphones, or tablets.  

“Nothing replaces being at the bedside but when relatives live out of state or in some cases overseas, that is not always possible” said, Bill Finn, CEO, of the Hospice of Western Reserve. “One of our patients used it to connect with his daughter in Abu Dhabi who was unable to travel the long distance quickly enough to be with her father when his health declined.

At another facility, the Hospice Southeastern Connecticut (Hospice SE CT) is using technology to advance patient care and improve efficiency. Hospice SE CT covers over 771 square miles of New London County, employs 70 employees, and over 140 volunteers, is always searching for the most efficient and secure ways to conduct their operations especially in the field.

According to David Hooper, IT/Quality Assurance Manager, “We have become virtually paperless and fully automated with payroll. One big difference is that schedulers used to spend 3 to 4 hours a day managing the aides in the field.” CellTrak (www.celltrak.com), a cloud-based software program running on GPS enabled Blackberry smartphones, is able to manage aides in the field in only one hour a day which is a 75 percent decrease.

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