Convenience > Best Practices for Maintaining Digital Health Records During Home Care
16th Jan 2024
Digital Health Records

Best Practices for Maintaining Digital Health Records During Home Care

The use of digital health records and telehealth services has grown tremendously in recent years, especially for home care. With more patients opting to receive medical care from the comfort of their own homes, it’s important for healthcare providers to utilize technology to safely and accurately track and share patient health information. In this blog we will delve into the best practices for maintaining digital health records during home care to ensure high-quality care is delivered.

The Rising Role of Home Care

Home care is becoming an increasingly prevalent model for delivering ongoing medical care, especially for elderly patients and those managing chronic conditions. Reasons for this growth include:

  • Aging populations with more complex care needs.
  • Shorter hospital stays requiring more care to be delivered at home.
  • Patient preferences for in-home care.
  • Doctor recommendations for at-home recovery and care.
  • Telehealth expansions making at-home care more accessible.

With this ongoing rise in home care, maintaining comprehensive digital health records is more critical than ever before. Records must be easily shared between all care providers entering patients’ homes to deliver medical services.

Also Read: Emergency Medical Services at Emoha

Importance of Digital Health Records

Maintaining detailed, accurate digital health records is critical during any medical care, but especially for home care. With care being provided outside of a traditional clinical setting, records must be comprehensive and easily accessible by all members of the care team. Here are some key benefits of utilizing digital records for home care:

  • Continuity of care – Complete records allow various providers to seamlessly transition care, access health history, and continue prescribed treatment plans. This prevents gaps, errors, and duplication of services.
  • Coordination of care – Digital records enable seamless communication and data-sharing between primary care doctors, specialists, home health nurses, therapists, and other members of the care team. This facilitates a cohesive, coordinated approach to care.
  • Patient safety – Detailed health profiles reduce risks associated with drug interactions, allergies, contradicted treatments, and other hazards by clearly presenting the patient’s medical status to all providers.
  • Accessibility – Cloud-based records are accessible anytime, anywhere to authorized members of the care team. This allows coordinated, uninterrupted care.
  • Efficiency – Digital records significantly reduce paperwork and manual data entry, allowing providers to devote more time to direct patient care activities.

Components of a Comprehensive Digital Health Record

To fully support coordinated home care, digital health records should contain:

  • Medical history – Age, diagnoses, surgeries, hospitalizations, major illnesses, allergies, family history, specialists, test results.
  • Medications – Current prescriptions, OTC drugs, dosage information, prescribing provider, pharmacy details, medication administration record.
  • Treatment plan – Diagnosis summary, care team contacts, goals, interventions, durable equipment needs.
  • Progress notes – Date, time, description of all home visits, services rendered, changes to treatment plan.
  • Remote monitoring data – Vitals, glucose levels, other data from at-home digital devices.
  • Images – X-rays, MRI scans, photos of wounds to track healing.
  • Telehealth records – Video visit notes, text-based communications, patient portal messaging.
  • Care team access – Secure access permissions for coordinating care between all home providers.
  • Patient access – Portal for patients and family members to view records, message providers, track care.

Best Practices for Maintaining Digital Health Records During Home Care

When leveraging digital health records for home care, the following best practices help ensure high-quality, effective care:

  • Utilize a centralized record system – Maintain all patient health data in a single, consolidated digital system. Fragmented records across multiple portals or platforms present barriers to coordinated care. Choose an interoperable system accessible to all care providers.
  • Record detailed health profiles – Include thorough medical histories, diagnoses, medications, allergies, test results, images, specialist records, and all other pertinent health details in digital profiles. This provides comprehensive understanding of the patient’s needs and ongoing care regimen.
  • Closely track ongoing care – Meticulously log all home health visits, including services provided, clinical assessments, progress notes, and updates to treatment plans. This facilitates seamless care transitions between home care nurses, therapists, aides, and doctors.
  • Emphasize care plan visibility – Prominently feature the patient’s care plan in their digital profile. This presents the patient’s current treatment priorities, goals, and care regimen front and center for easy reference during home visits.
  • Share records securely – Utilize robust encryption, secure cloud storage, and multi-factor authentication to securely share Protected Health Information digitally across the care team. Prioritize patient privacy.
  • Use care coordination tools – Take advantage of care coordination features offered through many digital record platforms. These may include secure provider-to-provider messaging, alerts when care milestones are met, and dashboards to track metrics.
  • Integrate telehealth – For home care, include capabilities for two-way video visits, remote patient monitoring, sending image and video attachments, and other telehealth services natively within the digital record platform when possible. This further streamlines remote coordinated care.
  • Train all providers – Ensure home care providers are trained on proper utilization of the digital record system, documentation protocols, accessing patient information, coordinating care, and other functionalities vital to continuity of care. Provide ongoing training as needed.
  • Involve patients and families – Grant patients and family members portal access to view health records, communicate with the care team, schedule visits, provide updates on progress, and actively participate in the care process. This improves engagement, transparency, and outcomes.
  • Conduct periodic audits – Audit digital records regularly to verify completeness, accuracy, and compliance with clinical, privacy, and security protocols. Update records as needed and retrain staff to correct any deficiencies identified.

Must Read: 7 Benefits of Whole Body Checkup for Senior Citizens

Telehealth Expands Digital Health Record Capabilities

Incorporating telehealth tools into digital record systems enhances what home care providers can accomplish:

  • Remote patient monitoring – Connect digital devices in the home to track vitals, oxygen levels, blood sugar, and more. Data integrates directly into records.
  • Video visits – Perform virtual check-ins, consultations, and appointments. Attach visit notes directly to the patient’s record.
  • Asynchronous messaging – Securely communicate non-urgent updates, questions, and instructions between visits via patient portals.
  • Image sharing – Send and receive photos of wounds, rashes, diagnostic results to inform care decisions.
  • Education – Direct patients to educational videos and care resources through patient portals.
  • Medication management – Remotely monitor adherence and adjust medications per doctor approvals.
  • Close care gaps – Identify gaps in care through analytics and quickly address via telehealth outreach.

Fully leveraging these telehealth tools alongside digital records enables more comprehensive, consistent connections with patients at home.

Partner with Emoha Elder Care for Safe Home Care in Kolkata

By following these best practices for maintaining detailed, accurate digital health records, home care providers can deliver higher quality, more coordinated care focused on patients’ unique needs.

Emoha Elder Care utilizes robust digital profiles and telehealth tools to provide customized, seamless doctor home visit in Kolkata. Our compassionate home care specialists expertly leverage health data to continue prescribed treatment plans, liaise with primary doctors, and optimize health during home visits.

To learn more about our complete range of doctor visit at home services in Kolkata, contact Emoha Elder Care today. We’re committed to leveraging technology to deliver unparalleled home healthcare.