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04/13/2021

Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) was awarded a $57.8 million contract, including options that if exercised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could reach $91.6 million, for the...

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Driving critical technology transformation in home care and hospice

By Carl Hall, Senior Vice President of Commercialization, Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions

Over the last two years, COVID-19 has drastically challenged and forever changed the health care industry. The initial impact and subsequent waves of stress on the health care system forced every sector to think differently, reevaluate strategy and stay nimble. At Cardinal Health we’ve stayed agile and flexible, solving problems quickly to meet our customers’ needs.

The pandemic accelerated transformation in health care, especially in the home care and hospice industry. We see new conversations taking place and new partnerships coming to life – with patient care and preferences at the forefront.

Meanwhile, home care and hospice organizations are confronting their own set of challenges inside an industry historically known for its slow acceptance and adoption of change.  

Challenges and opportunities
Clinical staffing shortages at home care and hospice agencies are extensive, prompting industry leaders to examine a variety of strategies to increase hiring, retain staff and streamline work for employees. At the recent Home Care 100 Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., our Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions team heard from service providers about their growing demand to do more with limited staff. Decision-makers are looking to new partnerships – many in the tech space – to find relief and efficiencies.

The good news is that technology capabilities are readily available to drive further innovations that improve home care and hospice services. We have seen massive growth and adoption of technology platforms – mainly in telehealth – throughout the pandemic, resulting in greater convenience and peace of mind for patients and for their care providers.  

Today, the overall comfort level and confidence in managing care at home through mobile applications and remote monitoring services is greater than ever, largely due to the pandemic. Both our industry and our company are well-positioned to leverage this momentum to speed the integration of existing technology platforms and streamline the ways we provide care. The key is to identify major pain points for providers, which are heavily centered around staffing and time management, and then swiftly deploy the most effective digital solutions.  

Efficiency through technology
Proven digital platforms are expanding in the home care market, helping clinical staff find much-needed efficiencies and focus on what matters most – their patients.

When it comes to data entry and product ordering, at-Home Solutions is streamlining the work. We integrate our services with the leading electronic medical record (EMR) systems to reduce manual inputs from clinicians. Plus, our only-of-its-kind Cardinal Health at-Home mobile application allows providers to order products on-the-go, giving them more time and attention for their patients. In examining the critical nature of wound care, for example, trusted mobile applications are helping home care and hospice agency providers remotely diagnose and appropriately treat patient wounds, which can reduce time-consuming – and sometimes unnecessary – home visits.

What does the future look like?
At Cardinal Health, we’re focused on building efficient, tech-enabled and integrated care solutions that will meet our customers’ needs today, and tomorrow. The focus on care-in-the-home overall, from telehealth doctor visits to the hospital-at-home model that our company is investing in with Medically Home, indicates the powerful combination of industry demand, consumer preference and technology advancement.

The need for faster-paced change and innovative thinking has been knocking on the home care and hospice industry doors for some time now; Cardinal Health has continually responded in multiple ways. As leaders and advocates for our industry, we are dedicated to technology adoption to address the ongoing challenges of high costs, limited time and staff shortages, plus reduce the burden on care givers.

Our strategic, forward-thinking approach at Cardinal Health and within at-Home Solutions illustrates our commitment to innovation – in order to advance health care and deliver better patient outcomes.

Carl Hall is Senior Vice President of Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions, a market-leading medical supplies provider serving people with chronic and serious health conditions in the United States. Committed to helping customers take care of their health conditions from the comfort of their homes, Cardinal Health™ at-Home Solutions services more than three million customers per year.