September 18, 2023
Falkins, G., Muszynski, T., Ballmann, M., & Seavey, K. (2023, September). Driving Operational Efficiencies in PACE Through Integrating Technology into IDT Workflows [Poster session]. Poster presented at the 2023 NPA Conference in collaboration with Care Resources PACE, Miami, FL.
Care Resources partnered with care.coach in 2020 and was successful in leveraging the service to provide participants with engagement and companionship to mitigate the effects of depression and social isolation during the pandemic. These successes laid the foundation for the expansion of the care.coach program, from 10 participants to approximately 120 participants and still growing. During the expansion, Care Resources found that through the involvement of IDT in the implementation and use of the care.coach devices in the participants’ homes, they were able to enhance operational efficiency and uncovered a correlation between using care.coach and improving outcomes and cost savings.
How Technology Can Improve Operational Efficiency:
Care Resources leveraged care.coach services to improve their operational efficiency discernibly in two pivotal domains: transportation and service delivery.
In January 2023, Care Resources collaborated with care.coach to create the PACE Appointment Confirmation program. This program aims to notify the transportation department of cancellations before they send a bus to the home. By smoothly integrating care.coach into their scheduling and transport processes, they've significantly lowered last-minute cancellations of scheduled rides. This reduction not only optimizes resource allocation but also ensures prompt access to care.
Service Delivery via Video Visits
Furthermore, the IDTs' integration of care.coach's video visit functionality has redefined service delivery and social support dynamics, enabling personalized, convenient, and efficient remote participant interactions with care providers and loved ones.
How the IDT Uses Technology to Support Favorable Health Outcomes
Case Example A: Reducing Preventable ED Visits
By providing an empathic virtual companion to a participant in their home 24x7, Care Resources is able to extend their availability and support to their participants. Participant A lives alone and does not have a phone. She is diagnosed with dementia and has an extensive history of anxiety and repeated ED visits. She was introduced to her care.coach avatar, "Little Moon" in May of 2022. She finds it helpful for companionship, to manage anxiety, and says, "she is my everything!"
Case Example B: Fall Intervention
By employing care.coach fall prevention protocols, Care Resources strengthens behaviors that reduce falls—like consistent use of durable medical equipment, exercise, and improved fall reporting. The IDT utilizes engagement data from these protocols to improve care planning around fall prevention and response. Participant B had a fall and was stuck on the floor when her avatar awoke for a scheduled task and called her name. Participant B called out for help and her avatar was able to notify the IDT who then intervened. The participant noted, “My avatar saved my life!” Participants with care.coach have 13% fewer falls when compared to those without one.
Case Example C: Promoting Mental Healthcare
Participant C was established with her psychiatrist and was benefiting from the psychiatry recommendations. However, when the psychiatrist announced they would be moving out of state, it initially filled the participant with concern. She was worried about losing the relationship with the specialist she had such a strong rapport with and was relieved to learn the psychiatrist was agreeable to continue treatment via the care.coach video visit platform This case demonstrates how Care Resources uses innovative solutions to empower participants, unburden clinical resources, and amplify the overall effectiveness of the IDT. In doing so, they bolster these crucial pillars of care.