Top Challenges In Home Based Health Care Delivery

Top Challenges In Home Based Health Care Delivery
One of the most promising opportunities to lower costs and improve care is to move care delivery to homes. A staggering number of new and established organizations are not just launching but also scaling to move primary, acute, and palliative care to the home. For vulnerable and frail patients, home-based care can delay the need for more expensive care in hospitals or other care facilities.
There are many examples of this. For instance, Independence at Home, a five-year Medicare demonstration to test the effectiveness of home-based primary care showed that all participating programs successfully reduced emergency visits, hospitalizations, and 3—day readmissions for homebound patients. This saved an average of $2800 per beneficiary per year and increased patient and caregiver satisfaction.
There are many opportunities to make care better through home-based care models. Of course, these come with a lot of risks and challenges when adopting them at a broader level. Here are four key obstacles to moving care to the home and possible solutions to overcome these challenges.

1. Patient Preference

As home-based care grows in use and popularity, it is important to note patient preferences for home-based care vs. care in a traditional care facility. A study of older people’s preference for a treatment site shows that about 55% of surveyed participants still prefer treatment for acute illness in a hospital rather than at home.
Many factors drive patient preference for settings other than the home. For some, receiving care at home can be a constant reminder of illness and an invasion of privacy. Previous negative experiences with caregivers or stories of elder abuse and neglect can also affect a patient’s preference for care location. Some patients enjoy the social aspect of seeking care outside the home and interacting with other people. Alternatively, some may be embarrassed about their living situation.
It is important to respect these preferences and not disregard them. Physicians must give information about patients’ needs (which can be different from those of family caregivers) and engage patients in shared decision-making about whether home-based care is the right approach for them. Also, home-based care programs need to have a strong relationship with outpatient facilities, hospitals, and other long-term facilities to accommodate patients’ change of preference and handoffs.

2. Concerns of Clinicians

There are many challenges that can deter clinicians from participating in home-based care. Compared to an office or hospital environment, caring for patients at home requires longer visits and fewer patients for whom a care team may be responsible. Home-based care clinicians can see about 7-9 patients a day. Physicians spend more time understanding and addressing the social and economic conditions that impact health such as remedying medication discrepancies, identifying home safety issues and connecting patients with social services. But they are disadvantaged under traditional fee-for-service models that tie payment to a number of patients seen and procedures performed.
In order for home-based care to scale, payment models have to reward, not penalize clinicians for spending extra time coordinating and managing care. Clinicians should be able to share in the savings achieved from preventing unnecessary hospital and skilled nursing facility stays instead of just being rewarded on a fee-for-service basis. It is not a surprise that a surge of growth in home-based care has come from health systems that work under fully-capitated or other risk-based contracts. Payers also need to remove restrictions on the technologies like remote patient monitoring, telehealth and equipment eligible for reimbursement.
One other challenge is clinician safety. Clinicians are not inclined to visit homes in areas with higher crime rates, which makes it difficult to embed home-based care programs in some underserved areas. If clinicians are to be attracted to home-based care, then measures to ensure their safety are needed.
A final challenge is medical training. Medical schools and residency programs need to prepare the next generation of physicians for the shift from hospital to home by integrating home-based care into the curriculum. Some programs are already taking this step, like the house-call curriculum for internal medicine residents at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It increased the residents’ knowledge, attitudes and skills relevant to home-based care. Such programs are helpful in bridging the gap in medical education about caring for vulnerable patients at home.
Medical Training

3. Supporting Infrastructure

The lack of supporting infrastructure including life-sustaining and assistive durable medical equipment (DME), makes it difficult to manage patients’ acute care needs at home. The lack of availability of DME is because of the competitive bidding policy of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which prompted a 45% decline in DME companies between 2013 and 2017. These included the companies that supply home oxygen to 1.5 million Americans. Competitive bidding forced the companies to compete for contracts and further lower reimbursement rates, biasing bids towards lower cost and lower quality equipment.
For patients to remain independent at home, payment models have to incentivize DME companies to improve service and produce high-quality equipment. DME such as oxygen or nebulizers have to be delivered to patients within hours. Payment models can perhaps reward companies for speed and reliability.
Patients who are receiving less acute home-based care need help with caring for themselves including bathing, dressing, cooking, toilet-going and moving about safely in order to remain independent and safe at home. Usually, insurance programs do not cover support services to help people hire such care. Health systems and payers have to work together to bring patients more in-home support services.
To fully support patients at home, an ecosystem of care needs to be available. For example, CareMore has a network of vendors to cater to different demands of home-based care delivery systems such as mobile labs, mobile radiology and medication delivery. Such supports are necessary for home-based care to meet the patients’ needs.

4. Patient Safety

There are specific risks to patient safety in the home setting such as environmental hazards, infection control, sanitation, physical layout, challenges with caregiver communications and handoffs, lack of education and training for patients and family caregivers, difficulty in balancing patient autonomy and risk, managing different needs of a patient receiving home-based care and lack of continuous health monitoring.
It is critical to continuously assess and mitigate the risks when moving care to the home. There have to be clear inclusion and exclusion criteria to assess the suitability of a home-based solution. Safety is an important element to consider in each patient interaction – in the type of medical equipment and supplies used at home, the communication tools for home-based care teams, and the education of patients, family caregivers, and home-based care professionals. These considerations should be integrated into clinical care.
On a systems level, there has to be a consistent standard for measuring safety at home and mechanisms for sharing data and health updates across health care organizations. This is where Hucu.ai can be a game-changer for the home-based care industry.
Hucu.ai is a HIPAA-compliant healthcare communication application. Home-care teams are dispersed and use Hucu.ai to communicate in real-time, instantly and remotely. When home-care team members use Hucu.ai to communicate med lists, patient history, schedule needs and other relevant information, they are better able to serve customers. When caring for post-acute patients who are vulnerable and frail, home care team members feel much more confident as they have instant team support via Hucu.ai to help them make quicker decisions.
Hucu.ai supports interprofessional collaboration in healthcare and also connects a patient’s family and care providers. With video conferencing features and family chat channels, Hucu.ai can help them stay up to date with their loved ones’ health status. Hucu.ai offers a virtual infrastructure to support better communication and thus, better quality of care and safety for patients at home.
Hucu.ai is one of the best hospital communication apps out there.
For home-based care to thrive, the fee-for-service model needs to be deconstructed and shifted towards value-based arrangements that reward health systems for moving care back to the home. This move requires aligning the incentives for all stakeholders, including payers and physicians, and implementing risk-based contracts to address the lost revenue from hospitalizations. Adjusting the payment and regulatory environment in which health care delivery organizations operate will be critical to the success and growth of home-based care.
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This ONE Hospital Communication App Resolves ALL Communication Problems

This ONE Hospital Communication App Resolves ALL Communication Problems
Have you ever felt exasperated because you took time out to show up for an important meeting only to find out that it was canceled and you were not informed? Such miscommunication and missed connections result in lost opportunities while wasting precious time. However, a similar missed communication in a hospital setting is not just an inconvenience; it could be a matter of life and death. Failure in communication in healthcare negatively affects the quality of patient care and can also waste time for busy healthcare professionals. Even if one medical team member is left out of the loop, the patient or the remaining staff members can suffer the consequences.
To understand the risks of communication issues in healthcare, an analysis by CRICO Strategies of more than 2,300 medical malpractice claims illustrated shocking results which prove that communication failure in hospitals can cause significant patient harm. Findings showed that more than 7,000 out of 23,000 claims had communication breakdowns. Of those 7,000 cases, about 1,700 resulted in patient deaths causing an estimated $1.7 billion in financial costs. Most communication problems were present in areas such as surgery, general medicine, nursing, and obstetrics. Communication barriers were present in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. The majority, more than 55%, of the cases involved provider-to-provider communication, and the remaining involved provider-to-patient communication.

Importance of Hospital Communication

As alarming as the CRICO report findings are, comprehensive communications systems like hucu.ai can reduce the risk of communication errors. As the healthcare industry shifts the lens towards a person-centered care approach, which necessarily involves multiple healthcare providers, communication can be complicated by different working hours and locations. A patient suffering from many health conditions will benefit from the collaboration of different specialists working together for comprehensive care. However, it can become difficult to coordinate communication between all of these individuals without causing delays or miscommunications, which can have adverse effects on the patient.
Critical information in a hospital is often exchanged person-to-person by a bewildering mix of text messages, phone calls, faxes, multiple clinical systems, nurse calls, and medical devices. Hucu.ai beautifully unifies information from all of these systems on a single mobile application – replacing them all so that no critical details are delayed, left out, or unsent.
In an ideal situation, all members of the medical team should have easy access to updated patient information throughout treatment to avoid negative patient outcomes. Patient handoff is a vulnerable moment in provider-to-provider communication, according to the Joint Commission for Transforming Healthcare. Patient transfer or shift changes are critical handoff situations, and the Joint Commission estimates that about 80% of really serious errors occur because of communication failures during these moments. Such errors can be avoided if the nurses or other caregivers had updated and accurate patient information at their fingertips via hucu.ai.
Hucu.ai is a great hospital communication app built specifically for the healthcare industry, keeping in mind all of these weaknesses in incumbent communication systems. With hucu.ai, every member of the hospital care team can have real-time access to patient information and providers. It is easy to use, and Hucu.ai saves time which reduces communication errors and improves response time.
Importance of Hospital Communication

Three Main Hospital Communication Problems and How Hucu.ai Resolves them

1. Lack of HIPAA Compliance

Hospital communication will always involve private patient data, which needs to be exchanged in a HIPAA-compliant method. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) makes it a requirement for all personal health information (PHI) to be kept confidential. HIPAA privacy laws violations can cause heavy fines and damage to reputation.
The solution to this problem is to use a communication system designed for use in healthcare settings and makes it easy for doctors, nurses, caregivers, administrators, and other hospital staff to avoid HIPAA violations.
Hucu.ai is HIPAA compliant and secure healthcare communication app, so that every message, call, information shared is secured. It has features like a biometric login system, automatic notifications for every team member, and data encryption so that every communication is safe. This means that doctors and staff can spend less time worrying about HIPAA protocol and more time on patient care thanks.

2. Delayed Communication

Antiquated communication technology used in hospitals like pagers or faxes is ineffective and outdated. Doctors and nurses have busy and unpredictable days, so they may not check a page every time or right away. The time it takes for a nurse or a doctor to respond to a page means waiting for information that often involves several phone calls. This causes patient care to go on hold until the medical team connects and updates each other. It is a waste of resources and harmful to the patient in acute cases.
Hucu.ai is a real-time communication system that eliminates delayed notifications. In healthcare when patient status may change over time, access to the latest information is critical. Doctors and nurses need the opportunity to exchange quick queries and detailed replies right away as well as when it is convenient for them. Teams monitor messages and handle them at the lowest credentialed level while escalating those messages that require high-level attention.
Doctors can build specific channels for every patient and ‘flag’ priority cases to exchange information more quickly for those patients.

3. Lack of Timely and Accurate Patient-Provider Communication

Patients and caregivers need accurate and timely information from the doctors to manage their health conditions during or after a hospital stay. However, whether it is an update about their health status, details about medication, or instructions on care routine, miscommunications between patients and doctors can quickly increase the chances of adverse patient outcomes.
Hucu.ai includes a Patient/Family Chat feature that providers can use to send or receive real-time information about their patients. In addition, the doctors and caregivers can use Hucu.ai to communicate with the patient and improve the quality of care offered. It also supports interprofessional collaboration in healthcare.
Lack of Timely and Accurate Patient-Provider Communication

Conclusion

Modern hospital communication systems can enhance positive patient outcomes and provider satisfaction. Hucu.ai is a modern healthcare communication app that removes barriers to communication within a hospital or a healthcare facility. Hucu.ai, with its unique features in a HIPAA compliant setting, comes with a highly trained and responsive customer support team that makes it easy for hospitals to implement and start using it quickly.
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Guide to Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare

Guide to Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare
Interprofessional collaboration is an essential strategy to help achieve positive patient outcomes. Medical professionals use this team-based approach so that they can offer more comprehensive care to the patients they see. Let’s have a look at what Interprofessional collaboration really means in healthcare, what the benefits are of this strategy and how one can improve the quality of interprofessional collaboration.

Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare

Every healthcare professional needs to gather patient information, analyze potential courses of treatment and guide a patient’s care with the best interventions. Through interprofessional collaboration different professions and specialties come together to assure that the best information and care strategies are considered using a patient-centered approach. Medical professionals including surgeons, physicians, pharmacists, therapists and technicians must take the time to collaborate effectively in order to provide the best patient care. For example, with a complicated illness like cancer, interprofessional collaboration is helpful to treat the many symptoms, potential complications, medication side-effect and other aspects of the disease. A medical oncologist may give the diagnosis and be in charge of chemotherapy, a radiation oncologist may treat cancer with radiation, a surgical oncologist may remove cancerous tissue. Similarly, highly trained and experienced nurses assist during appointments and help manage challenges patients face when coping with cancer.

What are the Benefits of Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare

When diverse providers with substantial expertise and medical knowledge collaborate, they can develop a multi-disciplinary collaborative medical culture which results in a number of benefits.

Improved Patient Care

Collaboration among multiple medical professionals can improve an individual’s care. This is because every professional tends to evaluate the patient with a different specialized perspective and can contribute important insights to diagnoses and treatment. For example, a labor and delivery nurse may notice that a post-delivery patient is experiencing a spike in blood pressure and nausea. After noticing this, they can alert the obstetrician to a possible emergency. The obstetrician can examine the patient and may diagnose postpartum preeclampsia.
Means of communication technology can help medical teams in sharing observations and developing treatment plans. Electronic health records can grant access to important life-saving information, such as blood type, and allergies and also allow the medical team to build on previously completed work such as past observations, diagnostics and blood work.
Another way to truly bridge the communication gap and reduce communication barriers is to have a hospital communication app like Hucu.ai. Hucu.ai is a FREE HIPAA Compliant text messaging application that hospitals can use to solve communication problems and have improved patient care. The medical team can collaborate in real time, remotely and update each other about a patient’s health status.

Less Risk of Medical Mistakes

Interprofessional collaboration in healthcare results in medical teams sharing more information and improving communication, which reduces the risk of medical errors. For example, when a nurse records a patient’s history they can gather information about family histories and allergies. Good collaboration assures that this information is shared with the physician, who later speaks with the pharmacist after prescribing mediation. Collaborating and communicating comprehensively prevents allergic reactions to medications.
Hucu.ai is a single platform for interprofessional collaboration in healthcare so that healthcare professionals can keep each other updated with patient developments and chances of errors are reduced. When a nurse can contact the primary doctor any time with real-time notifications on Hucu.ai, she is more likely to not make a decision on her own that could be risky for the patient.
Less Risk of Medical Mistakes

Quicker Treatment for Patients

Patients can see a medical professional and receive treatment without delays when hospitals are using an interprofessional collaboration approach. In-team communication and the use of electronic records can remove delays in processing treatments. For example, a patient who needs to get lab work and an X-ray as part of a rheumatological appointment can get both procedures done right after their appointment.

Reduced Costs

Because Interprofessional collaboration improves communication and patient care and reduces errors, it can also help reduce the cost of healthcare for patients. Better patient outcomes and quality care means that physicians order only necessary tests, treat conditions properly and the medical team collaborates to develop a customized treatment and recovery plan for the patient. Working together can resolve patient medical issues more quickly and reduce hospital stays.

Greater Job Satisfaction

Interprofessional collaboration also helps to create a pleasant work environment and culture in a medical facility. This can increase job satisfaction for all medical professionals who work in such a facility. Collaborating on tasks such as patient care helps build relationships and encourages employees to celebrate each other’s success. Receiving responsibility and trust from peers also helps all personnel to have a higher level of job satisfaction.
When teams use Hucu.ai to collaborate, they can experience higher job satisfaction. Hucu.ai has an exclusive feature to highlight star performers and to recognize a team member’s effort through “Hucu Honor Points”. This helps highlight hard-working staff members and create transparency in their recognition.

Four Easy Ways Improve Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare

Professionals can employ a number of ways to help improve teamwork skills and to deliver comprehensive care to patients through Interprofessional collaboration.

1. Create a Policy of Clear Communication

Develop policies, processes and standard communication practices across disciplines so that communication is very clear and frequent between professionals in all fields of collaboration. For example, it is important to make it clear nurses should observe and note in the patient logs so that they can communicate with physicians who are doing rounds and checking their patients. It is also important to establish frequent communication between the health professionals, patients and families.
All of this can be done with one hospital communication app; Hucu.ai. It is built for the healthcare industry and is an excellent way to incorporate interprofessional collaboration in a healthcare facility.
Hucu.ai is a healthcare communication app that allows care teams to communicate and collaborate seamlessly and securely on the go or at the point of care through text and even video. Healthcare professionals can collaborate about a specific patient in a channel in which only relevant staff members can be ‘invited to join’. Care teams can share their observations at each interaction and update the whole channel so that the next doctor can have those perspectives in mind when checking out the patient. Great communication improves the quality of care immensely.

2. Have More Multidisciplinary Rounds

Multidisciplinary rounds offer a simple way to improve communication between various specialists providing care and the patient. Each team member has an opportunity to discuss and share important information about the patient’s care plan and treatment. Team members and patients also get a chance to ask questions and learn from each other and while evaluating different perspectives on treatment. This communication can also be shared via Hucu.ai and the video conferencing feature in Hucu.ai when specialists need to consult each other but are physically apart.

3. Practice Interprofessional Respect

In order for interprofessional collaboration in healthcare to work wonders, team mates have to trust and respect each other. Listening to medical professionals and asking for their opinions is one way to demonstrate respect for their colleagues. It is necessary to be comfortable in sharing one’s own medical opinions, too.
Understanding the job roles of coworkers can also help a specialist become better at collaborating with them. If one knows the role of one’s teammate, it allows one to provide support, understand their perspective and realize their capabilities.

4. Focusing on the Patient

The main goal of healthcare is to improve the patient’s health by providing truly patient-centered care. When all team members are considering the patient’s wishes, situation, and options, it is easier to work collaboratively. Involving and giving credit when it is due can help medical professionals work together toward quality patient care focused on the patient’s unique needs.
Hucu.ai is a secure messaging healthcare app that helps achieve better communication in the medical field.
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Advantages of a Secure Messaging Healthcare App

Advantages of a Secure Messaging Healthcare App
As the healthcare industry implements more and more technology with numerous platforms for communication popping up, mobile applications are at the forefront of this enormous evolution.
The Healthcare industry can no longer rely on antiquated technology within secure communication. Leading healthcare organizations, medical facilities, practices, and insurance companies have started to adopt more secure messaging apps for their internal communication systems.
Secure messaging healthcare apps available in the market today are designed to be HIPAA compliant and offer instant communication. This lets the medical professionals exchange confidential and sensitive patient information without worrying about violating HIPAA rules, having security breaches, or data theft.
Since efficiency is the key to a successful healthcare organization, poor communication processes and systems will slow down effectively serving patients. Public communication systems and pagers are outdated. Healthcare organizations need secure messaging healthcare apps to communicate with their peers in a secure environment so that they are complying with HIPAA and also protecting their patient’s confidential information.
A hospital, healthcare facility, or clinic can run more efficiently if they implement secure messaging healthcare apps, which have several benefits.

HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA has been amended to include regulations for using technology for instant communication. Hospitals that do not comply with these regulations can face a hefty fine of $60,000or above for a single offense. They can be fined more than $1.5 million for repeat offenses. More valuable than cash fines, hospitals and healthcare organizations can also lose their good reputation, which also causes loss of business.
A secure messaging healthcare app like Hucu.ai fulfills all HIPAA requirements while being easy to use and scalable. It gives a healthcare organization a very efficient way of communicating with the team while being HIPAA compliant.
Hucu.ai is a user-friendly instant messaging system that makes it easy for the teams to share confidential information in the form of documents, pictures, videos, and text messages with a single click.

Organized Workflow and Better Productivity

A secure messaging healthcare app reduces communication costs since they use the latest communication technology and are cost-efficient.
A healthcare facility’s communication with patients, clients, staff, and administration will be smoother and more efficient using a secure messaging healthcare app like Hucu.ai. Hucu.ai can easily replace different communication tools like phones, emails or pagers. Employees can exchange patient health status and information like test reports, X-rays, charts, medication prescriptions, and more.
Doing so can allow the medical team to optimize their schedules and the time taken to do certain tasks – making the overall practice more profitable. They save time otherwise spent chasing communications. There will no longer be the need to check emails, reply to emails, leave voicemails and wait around for information to get back on a phone call or email. By using an instant messaging app like Hucu.ai, they can get their message across and receive a reply instantly.

Cost-Effectiveness

Using a secure messaging healthcare app like Hucu.ai, a healthcare organization can easily cut costs and enhance efficiency in several ways. The most obvious way of saving a lot of costs is the ability to download the application directly to the mobile device. With an effective BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, users can download Hucu.ai easily to their personal smartphone. The healthcare facility does not have to spend a fortune purchasing separate devices. Hucu.ai data is securely stored in the cloud, making it safe via user id and password management.
Hucu.ai is compatible with iOS and Android devices (mobiles, desktops, and tablets) to ensure that everyone on the team has unrestricted access to messaging.

Looking for a Secure Messaging App for Healthcare? Hucu.ai is the Best Choice.

Hucu.ai was specifically built for the healthcare industry after understanding the pains and gaps of communication within it. Hucu.ai is a secure, user-friendly messaging solution that is HIPAA-compliant and facilitates internal and external communication.

Here is how Hucu.ai Works for Physicians and Nurse Practitioner Groups

Hucu.ai helps everyone get more done every day.
Physicians and NP groups can organize providers’ days by automatically generating real-time prioritized patients’ hotlists which are organized by each facility. Hucu.ai streamlines communication between providers and facility staff by allowing them to communicate in context within each Patient-Channel, with each other in 1-1 direct messages, and within internal/external groups through Collaboration Channels. You also get distinctive notifications on your phone when providers and faculty staff tag each other or when the entire group is tagged.
Hucu.ai enables teams to coordinate care faster which results in better patient outcomes. Staff can make timely care decisions by quickly identifying and messaging all other stakeholders (facility, home health, therapy, specialists, etc.) unique to each specific patient. Providers can spend more time providing care instead of trying to find who is who in the care team and their contact information for each specific patient. Hucu.ai allows organizing or finding all information for each specific patient (like documents, med lists, wound photos/videos, report summaries, and more) shared by different staff from different organizations.
One of the key differentiating factors of Hucu.ai is that it allows the medical team to take timely actions for higher acuity patients by empowering other collaborators to quickly flag (urgent, accurate change in condition, PUI, Covid-19 + and more) such patients.
Most secure messaging healthcare apps may be great for communication within the organization. Hucu.ai is different because it brings together the patient, family, and care team in the conversation. Hucu.ai understands that better communication drives better care which in turn increases patient/family satisfaction. With hucu.ai, patient/family anxiety is reduced because of steady and timely communication. It provides patients and families with best in class experience with organized messages in Hucu.ai instead of disjointed personal messages in a device app. Overall, patient family satisfaction is improved by providing seamless communication across all involved care teams.
Hucu.ai has several features that fulfill HIPAA requirements, take away the pains in communication, and offer peace of mind to the care team. It is easy+ to implement and can be used within 10 minutes of installation.
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How Important is Effective Communication in the Healthcare Industry?

Communication between health care team
Communication is fundamental to healthcare. In fact, in healthcare, timely, accurate communication can aid in preventing injuries and even death. Moreover, effective communication can increase trust between the caregiver and the patient while strengthening relationships among staff members. Effective communication between healthcare professionals has to be timely, clear, and confidential. This communication is required to make accurate diagnoses and ensure that all prescribed treatments are being provided appropriately and that patients understand their health status and needs. Plus, consistent patient treatment and compliance with medication prescriptions is often supported by ongoing communication.

Effective Intrahospital and Interhospital Communication

Interhospital and intrahospital communication are critical for healthcare providers to protect their patients, save costs and increase the efficiency of their everyday operations. Meanwhile, patients benefit from increased access to their medical histories and it reduces chances of medical errors. The following tips can help make communication effective in healthcare.
First, always use clear, simple language. If caregivers can speak to the patients in a manner that they understand, they are more likely to follow the treatment and cooperate. It will also reduce their anxiety.
Second, caregivers need to listen and empathize. When caregivers listen to their patients and empathize with them, they are practicing a patient-centered care approach. It increases the trust between the caregiver and the patient, which can positively affect the treatment.
Third, take care of non-verbal communication. When caregivers give their full attention to the patient, make eye contact, and smile, they tend to give off a positive vibe which can relax the patient and make them feel they are in safe hands.
Fourth, caregivers need to have clear communication with colleagues. After a diagnosis, caregivers have to work as a team and they can successfully treat a patient if they communicate with each other promptly, clearly and effectively.
Effective communication of healthcare information can truly empower patients and their family members to participate up to their full capacity in their care and in the care of their loved ones. It also encourages them to adhere to the treatment and practice self-management.
There are a number of ways communication can be made effective. The effectiveness of communication also depends on the mode one chooses to communicate through. Often, telephones calls can have long holds, which results in missed communication. Emails can get ignored or missed, which means important health information can be delayed. Text messages are not HIPAA compliant, and HIPAA violations can result in huge fines to the care provider. However, all of these issues can be avoided with one healthcare communication application: Hucu.ai.
Hucu.ai is a HIPAA-compliant communication application that connects patients, families and care providers under one platform. It is a successful hospital communication app. Using “Patient/Family Chat rooms,” patients can chat with care providers instantly at any time from any location. Care providers can also communicate internally with the care team about patients so that everyone is up to date with the patient’s health status.
Hucu.ai helps with effective interhospital and intrahospital communication. External collaborators can also be added in the specific patient channels following a patient-centered care approach. All relevant healthcare providers can work together, communicate instantly and effectively to make their patients better via Hucu.ai, and very likely produce a positive patient outcome.

Barriers to Communication

There are a lot of barriers to communication in healthcare. For example, lack of privacy, background noise, and differences in culture or language are common barriers to good communication between the patients and the nurses. Oftentimes, patients are unable to communicate effectively because of their condition, medication, or pain. These barriers to communication in healthcare can be overcome by following these tips.
Particularly for older patients who may have some cognitive decline, it is quite natural for a patient to forget their caregiver’s instructions or recommendations after aphysical visit. In such scenarios, Hucu.ai can be very helpful in a number of ways. Just being able to easily ask and receive answers for clarifying questions is a truly differentiating patient experience. The patient can even quickly access a care provider for a high quality communication using Hucu.ai’s video conferencing feature. In his specific patient channel, the patient can text the care provider and ask questions and receive an instant reply. The chat remains saved so the patient and the care provider can go back to it any time they need.

Importance of Communication in Healthcare

For hospitals and healthcare institutions, making sure that the patients get proper care takes much more than just performing procedures, making diagnoses, and issuing prescriptions.. Communication is a critical aspect in all the steps of a healthcare process. Whether it is a clinic that is sharing a patient’s information with another involved provider for an opinion, or a group of nurses, doctors, and specialists at a hospital who are discussing the best way to treat a patient, effective communication is always needed in this field.
It is imperative for healthcare organizations to come up with strong communication methods, policies and processes to enhance their patient’s experience and satisfaction while ensuring positive patient outcomes. Hucu.ai has been a successful method of communication for numerous healthcare organizations. It can be set up, implemented and ready to use within 10 minutes. It works well with all kinds of hospital communication systems. Because its UI/UX is similar to popular messaging applications, users can quickly adapt to it and start to use it naturally. Features like emojis, gifs, personal status, flagging a patient, acuity score and more – all enhance the effectiveness of communication between patients, families, care providers and staff members.

Patient Safety and Patient-Centered Communication

When considering the importance of communication in healthcare, patient safety is a top priority and one of the main reasons to create an effective communication structure in a healthcare organization. Inadequate or ineffective communication is a leading cause of in-hospital deaths. A 2006 study in the Clinical Biochemist Review notes, “In a retrospective review of 14,000 in-hospital deaths, communication errors were found to be the lead cause, twice as frequent as errors due to inadequate clinical skill.”
Communication errors can have dire consequences and these problems are easy to fix. Organizations that use modern modes of communication, such as Hucu.ai can make their communication effective and prevent errors that could lead to patient deaths. Hucu.ai is a patient-centered communication application that helps an organization take a patient’s history and preferences into account and provider patient-centered care accordingly for positive patient outcomes.

Effective Communication While Transmitting Patient Data

Effective communication in the healthcare field covers all aspects of a patient’s situation and medical condition. Patient records are often shared via inter and intrahospital communication. If the communication mode is antiquated, the delays in receiving records can cost hospitals millions of dollars each year in unnecessary expenses. Patient data is used to create a thorough medical history and to provide appropriate medical care. When the patient’s data is not shared between departments or other healthcare organizations, there may be a much higher chance of practice errors and subsequent increased costs.
Hucu.ai is a single platform of healthcare communication that solves this problem. Patient data can be shared between different medical teams, hospitals and providers instantly via Hucu.ai. Photos, reports, prescriptions, diagnoses and health records can be attached and shared instantly in the application with just one tap. It takes away the pain of sending the same health data to multiple parties using multiple modes.
Hucu.ai ensures that patient data is transmitted quickly, instantly and effectively so that decisions can be taken on time and there is no delay in the care provided. It supports the interprofessional collaboration in healthcare of different specialists from different fields and healthcare organizations. Hucu.ai is the best HIPAA compliant Text Messaging Solution.
Effective communication in healthcare is the backbone of positive patient outcomes in any healthcare organization. Having processes in place and making constant improvements in communication methods and means affects not only the quality of communication but also the bottom line of a healthcare organization.
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Hucu.ai Making Care Accessible Amidst Fuel Price Crisis and Shortage of Home Care Staff

Hucu.ai Making Care Accessible Amidst Fuel Price Crisis and Shortage of Home Care Staff
Skyrocketing fuel prices exacerbated by the war in Ukraine are definitely replacing COVID-19 as the latest crisis in home healthcare industry. The spike in fuel prices has already forced some home care agencies and providers to increase wages at a time when high caregiver demand and inflation are already putting an upward pressure on wages. The pain of high pump prices is especially acute in certain areas of the U.S., like California where the average price of a gallon of gas is a whopping $5.57.
Unfortunately, this is making some home healthcare providers limit how far they will travel to see clients, leaving some without care. Nurses and long-term aides are no longer accepting cases in rural areas and instead taking up retail jobs at places to earn more money with less hassle. It means that many clients who need part-time assistance or minimal care every week are now without access to care. Lack of available care is causing families to step in and provide care for their loved ones as there is not enough staff available to help with shorter-hour cases. Not many are willing to work short-hour cases because the economics do not make financial sense for many care providers.
It is possible that Congress will pass the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Plan (which gives $150 billion to home-and community based services to boost reimbursements to home care providers and increase caregiver wages). With the timing and likelihood of Build Back Better passing increasingly in question, it is imperative to have an alternative solution.
Many home care, hospice and home healthcare providers are trying to offset the rising transportation costs by using telehealth technological solutions. Hucu.ai is an excellent solution to help mitigate the ongoing home healthcare crisis.
Hucu.ai is a HIPAA compliant communication application that keeps patients and families, care providers and their staff connected with real-time communication. It is a person-centered messaging application that is already helping many home care, home healthcare and hospice providers continue to give high touch quality care both in person and remotely. As distributed Home care teams need ongoing communication with back office, supervisors as well as family members to assure high quality of care and safety for seniors in home, Hucu.ai is the easiest solution for professional person-centered messaging amidst the fuel inflation crisis.
With Hucu.ai, home care and hospice providers can stay in touch with senior clients through virtual visits facilitated by the video conferencing feature in Hucu.ai. If a patient is due for a visit or wants to check in with his provider, or needs advice, they can simply connect via Hucu.ai in a matter of seconds. This saves home care providers from having to send a staff member on a long drive to check in on a senior patient and it also reduces the chances of a patient making an unnecessary ER visit. With Hucu.ai, home care providers can communicate med lists, patient history and other relevant information easily.
Hucu.ai is also helping hospice and home care providers to engage and retain distributed team members in these tough times. With one-touch telehealth sessions and ongoing access to team members, they can schedule to physically visit those patients who need to be seen as a priority or require an intervention. This cuts down the number of visits staff members are obliged to make in a day – as some are being easily replaced with a tele-visit via Hucu.ai.
Patient with Nurse
Providers can share client health status updates, med lists, action plans with family members and offer maximum virtual support. Family members are reassured and have ease of mind knowing that they can reach out to their loved one’s care provider any time of the day for support and guidance. Care providers have the convenience of replying in real-time from their phones when possible or later when it’s convenient for them.
In hospice situations, patients can stay connected with their loved ones via Hucu.ai which can bring immense comfort for them. They can stay in the loop with Hucu.ai’s feature “Family Chat” – a virtual room including the patient’s doctor, care team members, friends, or family that they wish to update about the treatment or everyday care plan. Hucu.ai channels are private to each patient and an excellent way to stay connected and up to date with the patient’s health status.
Hucu.ai is an alternative method to continue to offer care to senior clients of home care, home healthcare and hospice providers. While the fuel prices are skyrocketing, providers can continue to have care accessible to clients that are far to reach, virtually and instantly in addition to in person care. Hucu.ai is an excellent solution that is helping many providers mitigate the effects of increased fuel prices and shortage of home care staff.
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Best Tips to Secure Private Health Data

Best Tips to Secure Private Health Data
A fool-proof healthcare data protection program goes beyond compliance. Protecting data in the healthcare industry can be a challenging task. Healthcare providers and their business associates have to balance protecting patient privacy while making sure they deliver quality patient care and meet the strict regulatory requirements created by HIPAA.
Since protected health information (PHI) is one of the most sensitive forms of private data of an individual (and most valuable for criminals), the guidelines for healthcare providers and other organizations that handle, use and transmit patient information have very strict data protection requirements which when not fulfilled comes with hefty penalties and fines.
Rather than mandating the use of certain technologies, HIPAA requires covered entities to make sure that patient information is not just secure but also accessible only by authorized persons, used only for authorized purposes. Each entity can decide what security measures will suffice to achieve these objectives.
As a result of increased regulatory requirements for healthcare data protection, healthcare organizations that go for a proactive approach to implement the best practices for healthcare security are most likely to have continued compliance and least likely to suffer costly data breaches.

HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules

HIPAA regulations broadly impact healthcare providers in the U.S. It is up to healthcare providers to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest requirements and select vendors that are in compliance with HIPAA regulations. HIPAA has two key components related to healthcare data protection:

The HIPAA Security Rule

It focuses on the creation, use, receipt and maintenance of electronic personal health information by HIPAA-covered organizations. The Security Rule has guidelines and standards for administrative, technical and physical handling of personal health information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule

This requires safeguards to be in place to protect the privacy of personal health information, including medical records, insurance information, and other private details. The privacy rule limits what information can be used in what way and disclosed to third parties without the patient’s authorization.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule is related primarily to operational situations, preventing providers from using a patient’s PHI in ways not previously agreed upon by the patient and limiting the information that can be shared with other entities without prior consent. The HIPAA Security Rule is more focused on the technical aspects of safeguarding personal health information and sets standards in place for how health information should be protected to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of healthcare data.
Increased Use of Electronic Health Records Increase Healthcare Data Breaches
Research published in 2016 by the Ponemon Institute found that criminal attacks have increased by 125% since 2010 and are now the leading cause of healthcare data breaches. Most healthcare organizations are unprepared to protect patient data against an ever-changing landscape of security threats, according to this research.
Ponemon surveyed more than 90 entities covered by HIPAA and found that more than 85% had experienced a healthcare data breach, and 50% of those breaches were attributed to criminal attacks. Most of the data breaches were small – impacting less than 400 patient records, but some were large and very costly. The average cost of a healthcare data breach affecting a healthcare organization between 2014 and 2015 was $2 million.
In order to protect data from cybercriminals, healthcare organizations have to implement robust security measures that will work against a number of threats.

Protecting Healthcare Data

These seven best practices for healthcare cybersecurity aim to keep up with the evolving threat landscape, addressing threats to privacy and data protection on endpoints and in the cloud, and safeguarding data while it is in transit, at rest or in use. All of this requireds a multi-faceted, sophisticated approach to security.
1. Educating Healthcare Staff
The human element is one of the biggest threats to security to the healthcare field especially. Simple human error or negligence can result in disastrous and expensive consequences for healthcare organizations. Security awareness training equips healthcare employees with the needed knowledge for making smart decisions and using appropriate caution when handling patient data.
2. Restricting Access to Data
Implementing access controls bolsters healthcare data protection by restricting access to patient information to only those users who need access to perform their jobs. Access restrictions require user authentication, ensuring that only authorized users have access to protected data. A multi-factor authentication is a good approach, requiring users to validate that they are the person authorized to access certain data and applications using two or more validation methods like:
  • Information is known only to the user, such as a password or PIN number
  • Something that only the authorized user would possess, such as a key or a card
  • Something unique to the authorized user, such as biometrics (facial recognition, fingerprints, eye scan).
Hucu.ai is a healthcare communication application that is completely HIPAA compliant and restricts access to data to unauthorized users by having this multi-faceted authentication, including PIN, password, and biometric log-in. Hucu.ai understands the importance of data security in healthcare.
3. Implementing Data Usage Controls
Protective data controls go beyond the benefits of access controls and monitoring to ensure that risky and malicious data activity can be flagged or blocked in real-time. Healthcare organizations use these data controls to actually block specific actions involving sensitive data, such as web uploads, unauthorized email sends, copying to external drives, or printing. Data discovery and classification play a vital role in supporting this process by making sure that sensitive data can be identified and tagged to receive the proper level of protection.
4. Logging and Monitoring Use
Logging all access and usage data is also important, enabling providers to monitor which users are accessing what information, applications, and other resources when and from what devices or locations. These logs prove valuable for auditing purposes as well and help organizations strengthen protective measures when necessary. An audit trail will help organizations pinpoint previous entry points, know the cause, and evaluate damages when an incident occurs.
5. Encrypting Data
Encryption is one of the most useful data protection methods for healthcare organizations. By encrypting data in transit and at rest, healthcare providers make it difficult for attackers to decipher patient information even if they gain access to the data. Hucu.ai fully encrypts the communication that takes place in the application, making sensitive patient information secure and safe from cyberattacks.
6. Securing Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are becoming increasingly common in healthcare organizations. Whether it is a physician using a smartphone to access information to help them treat a patient or an administrative worker processing insurance claims – mobile devices are being used to do it all. Mobile device security alone entails a multitude of security measures such as encrypting application data, enforcing the use of passwords, managing all devices, settings and configurations, educating users on mobile device security best practices, and monitoring email accounts, attachments to prevent malware infections.
Hucu.ai is a mobile and web-based, secure messaging healthcare app that takes care of securing sensitive patient information from all these angles. Since it is an application, all communication is secure, encrypted and private locked with a strong password, pin and biometric system. The application locks itself after a minute of un-use therefore, protecting itself against unauthorized access.
7. Risk Assessments
While an audit trail helps to identify the causes and other valuable details of an incident after it occurs, proactive prevention is also important. It is important to conduct regular risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities or weak points in a healthcare organization’s security and fix them.
The importance of privacy and security in healthcare cannot be undermined because doing so can have hefty consequences. This is why Hucu.ai is one of the best choices out there for secure healthcare communication.
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ViVE 2022 – Five Top of the Mind Issues

ViVE 2022 – Five Top of the Mind Issues
Hucu.ai recently attended ViVE at Miami Beach, Florida. ViVE is a new health information technology event focused on the business of healthcare systems with the aim to bring together C-suite executives, senior digital health leaders and buyers, health startups and investors, government and solution providers to advance healthcare. The event lasted for five days and had more than 5,000 attendees and 250+ speakers.
Hucu.ai was one of the many healthcare startups at ViVE 2022 – an event that convened top thought leaders who are shaping tech-enabled healthcare and addressed key issues in digital health innovation.
Here are 5 top of the mind issues at ViVE 2022 with regard to the healthcare industry and how Hucu.ai is helping address them.

The Access Equation

While technology can play a very prominent role in bringing healthcare to more people, it can also often widen the digital divide and inadvertently push people outside the care continuum. Healthcare leaders, policy makers, digital companies and health innovators need to find ways to plug in new methods and variables from digital sources to resolve this complex issue affecting effective care delivery.
The answer may not be very far though. Innovative healthcare solutions like Hucu.ai are already helping solve this problem by digitally connecting people who need care, their care takers with professional care providers. This means that patients who is not very well versed with technology can still access care remotely via Hucu.ai because their designated family members can build a care team around them. Care providers can add the designated family members in Hucu.ai and the patient’s specific communication channel to stay up to date with the patient’s health status.

Automation

Human error is inevitable and errors can cost lives particularly in the healthcare industry. Process automation is the need of the hour because it promises risk reduction and enhances efficiency. Organizations who are prone to human errors in their manual processes can automate the same processes using AI (Artificial Intelligence), RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and NLP (Natural Language Processing) solutions, seamlessly.
Bespoke intelligent automation tools can definitely be made of the care delivery. For example, Hucu.ai has robotic process automation (RPA) which automatically brings the right care provider to be available to coordinate care among the care team members and also communicate with patients/families based on their needs. Hucu.ai’s RPA allows for automatic routing of notifications to specific teams dedicated to handling specific situations (like night shifts, wound care or telehealth) and thus, ensuring that care is always available.

Health Equity

Automation is healthcare’s future, but we need to ask ourselves if it is equitable. While inclusive and representative technology policies and innovation can facilitate equal access and care for marginalized people – they can also inadvertently create exclusion, bias, and elitism. It is important to minimize technology’s misuse that will perpetuate society’s ills and instead harness it to reflect the better side. It can be a challenge to fully implement technology’s capability to facilitate health equity across the lines of demographics, systems, and culture.
Hucu.ai understands just how important health equity is and works passionately to create a healthcare communication solution that intelligently tackles the issue. Hucu.ai is a simple communication solution to bring care providers, patients and families together to easily access care and to offer better care delivery. Hucu.ai is easy to use as any other simple texting application so that people from different education levels, backgrounds, races, cultures and technological capabilities can use it to gain access to healthcare. It is 100% HIPAA compliant so care providers and patients can freely text each other, share reports, problems, and exchange sensitive healthcare information without worry. Hucu.ai is an inexpensive communication solution that is built for the healthcare industry and people who want value-based care. Hundreds of healthcare facilities have already implemented Hucu.ai to communicate with their Medicare/Medicaid patients quickly, remotely and instantly. Patient outcomes have been incredible because Hucu.ai eliminates the delay in access to care for everyone.

Home Care

It is a fact that over 75% of our adult community would prefer to receive care at home because that is where they are most comfortable. While the demand for home healthcare has been on the rise, health models have been slow to adopt at scale. There are technological solutions to provide optimum home healthcare and data has proved that patient outcomes are really high in these models.
Hucu is built with the trend towards more home care in mind. We are already working with numerous home healthcare providers who take care of people living at home. These organizations have reported bringing down the cost curve while improving patient outcomes.
For example, our client Mi Familia Home Health is a home health care provider offering services in 34 counties in the Southern part of Texas, and they had issues providing real-time updates across a geographically dispersed team. Hucu.ai ensures that when one of their patients need something, they can instantly inform their care team members to reach out to the patient at their home and provide what is needed without delay. Rather than sorting through streams of 1-1 silo messages (phone calls, texts, emails, etc.), Hucu.ai provides easy to access patient-centered messaging channels. Now instead of sending or making 5 communication attempts with 5 different media, the entire Mi Familia team communicates with timely information in the context of each patient. Each patient’s collaborating team can coordinate in real time.
Another client, Nest In Place is an innovative solution based provider of home care, offering support for families across a spectrum of needs. Nest In Place’s strong culture depends on solid communication when their team members are constantly on the road and in their clients’ homes. To provide the level of guidance and support that keeps their team engaged required a communication solution that worked on any device in real time and flexibly managed access as required. Hucu.ai met their requirements as it is easy to implement, is patient-centered and supports instant remote connection with powerful analytics that help offer high quality home healthcare.

AI’s Power Play

This was a hot topic at ViVE. The rise of machines in all industries has also increased the use of AI to manage tasks that were traditionally handled by humans before. AI has really proven to be a great aid in healthcare by helping clinical decision making, research and backend operations. The Healthcare industry needs to leverage AI to help deliver better care across the care continuum.
Hucu.ai has also leveraged AI to help organizations care for high-priority patients. Hucu.ai’s algorithms help calculate real-time acuity score and adjust it by having care team answer few questions – so that care teams can focus on high acuity patients first before moving to the ones with lower acuity scores. Hucu.ai’s risk stratification capability is visible to all collaborators on the app and highlights patients at greater risk and prioritizes them. Hucu.ai is leveraging AI to help care providers serve thousands of people living in their homes and communities efficiently and effectively with increased better patient outcomes.
VIVE was a great event to build the promise that the technologically enabled healthcare industry will help communities and people of all demographics to achieve better health outcomes without barriers and hurdles.
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