Co-sponsored by Philips, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), and Fazzi Associates, this first-of-its-kind study gathered insights about the use of home care technology from nearly 1,000 agencies across the U.S.The study represented all major segments of home care: large and small, rural and urban, free-standing and hospital-based, and for profit and not-for-profit.
"What makes this study so important is that it is the first representative sample study on technology and telehealth in home care that has ever been undertaken," said Val Halamandaris, president and CEO of NAHC. "We now have a much clearer sense of how specific segments of home care are responding to and using these technologies. One finding that is particularly significant is that the utilization of telehealth by home care agencies also correlates directly with providing the highest quality of care."
"Philips Home Healthcare Solutions was pleased to sponsor a study of this magnitude that could provide insights to advance the home care industry, as well as share these findings at no cost to the field," said Mike Lemnitzer, senior director, Philips Telehealth Solutions. "We believe that home health agencies will be a critical part of the solution to the U.S. healthcare crisis and ensure a continuum of care from the hospital to the home."
According to Dr. Robert Fazzi, project co-director, the Philips study was designed to address questions that are most on the minds of agency leaders about the role of four major home care technologies: human resources and billing systems, point of care systems, electronic medical records, and telehealth systems. Given the importance of telehealth to the future of home care and hospice agencies, much of the study focused on the various types of telehealth systems being used, the components of these systems, what agency leaders liked and disliked about their systems and most importantly, what leaders felt were the most significant impact of these systems on various aspects of quality and financial outcomes. Among the findings were:
- 17.1 percent of agencies use some type of telehealth system. A much higher percentage of large agencies (32.0%) report that they provide telehealth services.
- 88.6 percent report that telehealth led to an increase in quality outcomes:
- 76.6 percent report a reduction in unplanned hospitalizations
- 77.2 percent report a reduction in emergency room visits
- 71.3 percent report that telehealth services improved patient satisfaction. No agency reported that it reduced patient satisfaction.
- 83.9 percent state that less than one in ten patients refused a home telehealth system.
- 79.2 percent of patients or family members were reluctant to have the telemonitoring system removed.
- 42.8 percent report that telehealth led to a reduction in cost. A similar number reported it as cost-neutral.
- 63.5 percent report that telehealth had no impact on clinical caseloads. As more agencies use telehealth and move up the learning curve, clinical productivity measures may increase :
- 49.7 percent report telehealth decreased on-site visits
- 45.2 percent report telehealth increased the number of referrals
- 56.9 percent report that their nurses were very receptive to having a telehealth service after one year as compared to 36.3 percent at the beginning of the program.
- 89.1 percent stated that given everything they know today, they would still have started their telehealth program.
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About the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC)
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice represents the interests of nearly 25,000 home health agencies, home care aide organizations and hospices as well as the caregivers provide services to more than seven million Americans each year. NAHC members believe that quality home care and hospice, a humane and cost-effective alternative to institutionalization, are the right of all Americans. Home care and hospice reinforce and supplement the care provided by family members and friends and encourage maximum independence of thought and functioning as well as the preservation of human dignity. Visit NAHC on the web at www.nahc.org.
About Fazzi Associates
Fazzi Associates, Inc., is a national consulting, benchmarking and best practice research firm dedicated to helping each of our clients create lasting, outcome oriented solutions to present problems while creating the capacity to successfully address and resolve future challenges. Fazzi Associates was founded in 1973 by Dr. Robert A. Fazzi, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of one of New England's largest health and human services organizations, the Center for Human Development. More information can be found at www.fazzi.com.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a global leader in healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle, delivering people-centric, innovative products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 123,800 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 27 billion in 2007, the company is a market leader in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring systems, energy efficient lighting solutions, as well as lifestyle solutions for personal wellbeing. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.