How Can Home Care Patients and Their Caregivers Better Manage Fall Risks by Leveraging Information Technology?

Dari Alhuwail, Güneş Koru, Eun-Shim Nahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objectives: From the perspectives of home care patients and caregivers, this study aimed to (a) identify the challenges for better fall-risk management during home care episodes and (b) explore the opportunities for them to leverage health information technology (IT) solutions to improve fall-risk management during home care episodes.

Methods: Twelve in-depth semistructured interviews with the patients and caregivers were conducted within a descriptive single case study design in 1 home health agency (HHA) in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Results: Patients and caregivers faced challenges to manage fall risks such as unmanaged expectations, deteriorating cognitive abilities, and poor care coordination between the HHA and physician practices. Opportunities to leverage health IT solutions included patient portals, telehealth, and medication reminder apps on smartphones.

Conclusion: Effectively leveraging health IT could further empower patients and caregivers to reduce fall risks by acquiring the necessary information and following clinical advice and recommendations. The HHAs could improve the quality of care by adopting IT solutions that show more promise of improving the experiences of patients and caregivers in fall-risk management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Safety in Surgery
Volume3
Issue number4
Early online date1 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • fall-risk management
  • home health care
  • informatics
  • health information technology
  • patient engagement

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