Technology in Hospice: What’s Next?

doctor using tablet

Technology in Hospice: What’s Next?

As hospice support has become more common, the use of technology within this type of healthcare setting has also increased. Innovative practices have provided new opportunities for every home care agency to create more efficient processes, deliver better outcomes, and improve patient satisfaction. 

While there is no doubt that technology can offer benefits, the question remains whether the execution of these changes will continue to be helpful in the future. In this article, we will explore how technology is being used in the hospice setting and consider the future of technology in this field.

Remote Patient Monitoring

One of the main benefits of technology to healthcare is remote patient monitoring. This type of innovation helps keep patients in their homes while also offering around-the-clock access to medical professionals and family members who can assist. 

For hospices, this strategy has become an optimal practice that is included as part of the provided end-of-life support. This practice allows family members to feel confident that they can provide their loved ones with 24/7 care while remaining at home instead of making a daily trip into an assisted living facility or dedicated long-term healthcare center.

Medication Reminders

Another significant advancement in the hospice setting has been the advent of smartphones, which have allowed for creating multiple apps that are designed to help patients remember when they need to take their medications. These reminders can come at scheduled intervals or when certain conditions are met, such as showing an incorrect blood sugar reading.

When used correctly, technology can provide a higher level of independence and improve patient satisfaction.

Electronic Medical Records

Electronic medical records are a significant benefit because they allow for more accurate documentation. When it comes to hospice care, this type of process can be beneficial because it ensures that all the information needed for future healthcare needs is readily available.

The creation of new technology has also allowed doctors and nurses to see real-time updates on patient information, which can be especially helpful when working with people who live at a distance.

Another benefit is that this process has provided more accurate documentation of medication administration and allowed practitioners to receive feedback from their patients.

Predictive Analytics

doctor with elderly women

Hospices also use predictive analytics to help identify patients at high risk for an emergency in the future and provide them with more immediate support. This strategy can reduce rehospitalizations and improve both patient and caregiver satisfaction.

The key to this technology is that it allows hospice organizations to be proactive about their care instead of simply reactive. It results in excellent care for the patients that are being served.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is used to help patients who are experiencing pain or anxiety. By using VR, patients can transport themselves to a different location to provide them with comfort and reduce their symptoms. It also helps to create an increased sense of presence, which improves caregiver satisfaction because patients are receiving the care they need more effectively.

Artificial Intelligence

The development of artificial intelligence allows for the creation of more efficient processes within the hospice system. AI has helped streamline communication and enable medical professionals to coordinate their efforts in real-time. Additionally, this technology helps identify gaps in patient care that require attention before they become serious issues.

This type of advanced tool can benefit families, who can feel more secure knowing that their loved ones are receiving the highest quality of care possible.

What’s Next for Hospice Technology?

There are benefits and drawbacks to the use of technology in hospice care. This type of care can provide higher levels of independence to patients who are receiving care at home. On the other hand, some individuals would prefer to receive end-of-life support through a facility or hospital setting.

While there is no denying that patients can benefit from technology, it is crucial to consider some limitations of this practice. For instance, while new technologies help create more efficient processes, they can also increase costs and put certain professionals at risk of job loss.

The Importance of Human Intervention

Even though technology can be beneficial for individuals and their families, there is still a need for human care. While most healthcare professionals view the utilization of technology as an essential tool, they also feel that it would be unwise to rely on this practice ultimately — especially when it comes to hospice services.

The human element is still an essential part of the experience, which means that individuals receiving care should always have face-to-face interactions with their healthcare providers. Although new technology has made it easier for healthcare professionals to monitor patients and support them, their presence will always be necessary to offer direct care.

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