SimpleC’s Family Connect has helped Presbyterian Homes of Georgia keep residents and families engaged and in touch.
Presbyterian Homes of Georgia provides continuing care services on five campuses across North Georgia. Their supportive retirement-living communities offer a range of accommodations that include active senior residential cottages and apartments, assisted living, memory support and nursing care.
About one-third of Presbyterian Homes’ 1,000 residents go there after being discharged from hospitals for skilled nursing rehabilitation or transition to senior living or memory care.
Over the past few years, technology has played a major role in how the facilities handle post-discharge care of patients and communication with their families. “Not all hospital facilities can transfer data electronically for post-discharge patients,” says Gwen C. Hardy, chief operating officer of Presbyterian Homes. “This makes it very challenging in receiving the patients’ records in a timely fashion.”
Presbyterian Homes has built a relationship with Georgia’s WellStar Health System to make the transition to skilled nursing and memory care as efficient and smooth as possible.
“With the EHR [electronic health record] capabilities at WellStar, we have seen a better result in receiving and sending patient records, thus a more efficient outcome and timeliness of information,” Hardy says. Before the advent of EHR, transfers necessitated the laborious transcription and filing of paper forms, which consumed time that could have been spent on direct patient care.
Technology also has helped Presbyterian to keep residents and families engaged and in touch. Atlanta-based SimpleC LLC’s Family Connect, a cloud-based, bidirectional system, enables families to establish live calls through Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.’s Skype, send voice or video messages and upload family photos, which automatically appear at the resident’s SimpleC Companion mobile device.
Hardy says SimpleC has been “a big hit.” Presbyterian is considering expanding the system to provide a portal for family members to access more real-time care data and more effectively engage in their loved one’s care.
Ted Hood is principal and technology discipline leader and Jeff Looney is associate principal and technology team leader at Mazzetti+GBA, a global provider of health care mechanical-electrical-plumbing engineering design and technology/information technology consulting. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.