In the News: Looping in home-based caregivers

Seniorlink CEO, Tom Riley, spoke with Modern Healthcare about Seniorlink's partnership with the Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corp. The partnership is through Vela, Seniorlink's HIPAA-secure communication platform. Vela allows caregivers to directly communicate with their care team by sharing messages, photos and more. 

Via Modern Healthcare:

“Think of it as a virtual care room,” said Seniorlink CEO Tom Riley. Each person involved in a patient's care can have a different set of permissions, allowing them to view some or all of a patient's information, including advanced directives and medication lists. Or, Riley said, think of it like Slack, the workplace messaging program. Like Slack, Vela lets users directly message each other and send group messages.

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But in general, HIPAA-compliant communication tools for caregivers who aren't necessarily healthcare professionals are rare. Researchers found that just 15 out of 200,000 mobile health apps provided communication tools for family members.

Vela provides a shared calendar that helps people involved stay on top of appointments. The messaging platform also allows for a more efficient and documented way for a case manager to make sure a patient is taking the right medications by informing the patient's entire care team and family.

And that includes the patient's home caregivers, who might otherwise be left out of the communication with the patient's medical care team. “No other application that we came across meaningfully integrated the caregiver as part of the care team,” said Noah Benedict, chief operating officer of the Rhode Island physicians group, which is now a partner client of Seniorlink. “It was always a logistical hurdle.”

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