For a long time, healthcare organizations have used electronic health record (EHR) systems to store, manage, and analyze patient information and medical histories. More recently, technology has taken on an expanded role, allowing healthcare providers to transform patient interactions through telehealth, patient portals, and health monitoring devices.

One key area that technology is revolutionizing is post-acute care. Nursing and rehabilitation facilities are using technology to improve patient experiences and support healthcare staff. For example, MarketWatch predicted the emergence of a multimillion-dollar post-acute care management software market by 2030.

Advanced communications technologies and data analytics enable post-acute care facilities to overcome many of the challenges they face in delivering quality medical care.

Challenges of Post-Acute Care

Post-acute care facilities experience many unique challenges that technology can help them meet. The first challenge is transitioning patients from acute to post-acute care. When patients leave the hospital, they are accustomed to being monitored and cared for 24/7. 

Once patients go home, they need ways to communicate with healthcare providers and track their health. Healthcare providers must use technology to support the flow of communication and information between them and the patient.

Nursing and rehab facilities need to ensure continuity of care for patients who have left the hospital. Once patients enter a post-acute care facility or return home, they no longer have access to the medical equipment that was available at the hospital. Caregivers need to monitor the patient to assess progress and make changes to the treatment plan.

Post-acute care facilities must also manage the complex medical data of patients. Data needs to be analyzed to understand the recovery process and prevent readmissions.

How IT Services Transform Post-Acute Care

IT services and solutions play many roles in transforming post-acute care. For instance, communications technologies can support care coordination and collaboration.

While unified communications (UC) commonly are thought of as part of business collaboration, healthcare providers can use UC and VoIP systems to streamline communication channels for a more efficient flow of information between caregivers and the patient.

Communication technologies allow for the real-time access to patient information needed to make accurate assessments and adjustments to treatment. UC facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration through web conferencing, chat, and file sharing.

Network management services can optimize healthcare workflows and efficiency by streamlining and securing the transmission of data and ensuring applications and EHR systems are running optimally.

Advanced analytics, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, support the automation of administrative tasks and allow for intelligent scheduling and resource allocation.

Perhaps most importantly, technology solutions and services improve patient safety and health outcomes. Medication management systems ensure that patients are receiving the correct types and doses of medication.

Remote monitoring and telehealth promote the continual flow of communication between patients and caregivers. According to U.S News and World Report, telehealth work at the Cleveland Clinic increased from 37,000 virtual visits in 2019 to 1.2 million in 2020, a trend which, while leveling off, is not expected to reverse.

Key Solutions and IT Services for Healthcare

Electronic Health Records

EHRs help post-acute care providers store, manage, and analyze patient medical data for a complete picture of patients and their medical histories.

Telehealth and Remote Monitoring

Telehealth technology enables healthcare providers to conduct virtual visits and remote consultations that simulate a face-to-face experience. Remote patient monitoring devices allow caregivers to track vital signs and analyze data to uncover trends in the patient’s condition.

Mobile Applications for Caregivers and Patients

Mobile applications can be used to send medication reminders and track adherence to a dosing regimen. Patients can use mobile devices and applications for personal health tracking as well as to create communication and support networks during recovery.

Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling

With data analytics, post-acute caregivers can leverage medical data for insights. Predictive modeling can be used for risk assessments that forecast negative or positive outcomes so that treatment can be adjusted if necessary. Analytics can also be used to improve resource allocation and staffing for more efficient care.

 How to Start Revolutionizing Healthcare Delivery

While many advanced technologies are available to post-acute care facilities, these facilities need to overcome barriers to adoption. Post-acute care providers don’t want the expense of acquiring new technology to drive up healthcare costs.

Medical staff members tend to be resistant to change. EHRs faced a lot of resistance when they were introduced, especially at smaller practices. Working with a managed service provider (MSP) that has experience with healthcare providers will help post-acute care facilities break down these barriers.

Systems Solution Inc. (SSI) is a full-service MSP with experience working with organizations in the healthcare industry. We provide managed IT services that include network and endpoint management, as well as communications services for reliable and secure information flows between caregivers and patients.