DETROIT— Hospice of Michigan has partnered with Sensory Technologies of Canada Inc. to improve palliative care for patients with life-limiting illnesses.
The end-of-life care provider has launched a pilot program utilizing Sensory Technology’s eShift system — a mobile healthcare solution — for Detroit-area patients enrolled in At Home Support. Developed more than a decade ago, At Home Support provides supportive care to patients with advanced chronic disease who are in the final 18-24 months of life
Utilizing eShift, one nurse is able to monitor four or more patients in their homes from a remote setting, providing direction to nursing assistants or technicians who are already in the home and working with families. These support workers are trained to observe, and report signs and symptoms via smartphone through a secure clinical portal for real-time assessment by the nurse. In situations where more skill is required, the nurse will dispatch a visiting nurse to the home.
HOM anticipates using eShift will allow it to improve quality care for medically fragile patients, reduce hospital admissions, readmissions, and unnecessary visits to the emergency room, provide better support and resources for family caregivers, and help transition patients from acute-care settings to returning to home and family.
“Study after study shows that patients want the ability to stay in their homes as long as they are able,” said Robert Cahill, president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan. “Yet our country faces an incredible nursing shortage that is expected to grow worse in the coming decades.”
Hospice is the first U.S. healthcare provider to partner with eShift. It expects to extend its pilot program in the coming year to introduce eShift to other markets across the lower peninsula. On any given day, it provides palliative and hospice care for as many as 1,400 patients – including as many as 400 enrolled in At Home Support, according to Hospice.
Developed and launched in 2001, At Home Support provides a team of professionals who manage symptoms and pain while keeping patients in an environment where they feel the most comfortable. The service, which is currently available throughout Michigan, provides home visits and individualized medication and treatment plans, education about specific condition and guidance on treatment decisions, personal care, and support with activities of daily living and 24-hour access to nurses who can answer all questions.
The program also offers a separate plan of care for the caregivers, who can find themselves unprepared to face the unique challenges of a long-term illness.