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Challenge Engaging and supporting caregivers

By Marie Connelly | 01 Dec, 2014

Family caregivers, or “informal caregivers,” provide a significant support system for patients with complex or chronic conditions, though these individuals are somewhat absent from policy conversations and technology interventions. Informal caregivers are predominantly women (66% in the US, as of 2012) and many are working full or part-time, or caring for multiple individuals. Data from the Family Caregiver Alliance (below) highlights the profound extent to which caregiving impacts millions of lives.

How can we leverage technology solutions to support this cadre of informal providers to improve patient engagement in care?

Keywords:

Attached resource:

  • Selected Caregiver Statistics, Family Caregiver Alliance (external URL)

    Link leads to: https://caregiver.org/selected-caregiver-statistics

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    A/Prof. Terry HANNAN Advisor Replied at 6:07 PM, 2 Dec 2014

    I know this may seem a no brainer statement however it echoes the story told by Prof Larry Weed in 1989 when he was the attending on ward rounds. The full story is attached but his concluding statements are worth posting here. Patients do not specialize, and they or their families are in charge of all the relevant variables 24 hours a day, every day. They must be given the right tools to work with. They are the most neglected source of better quality and savings in the whole health care system. After all:
    1. They are highly motivated, and if they are not, nothing works in the long run anyway.
    2. They do not charge. They even pay to help.
    3. There is one for every member of the population.”

    Anne-Marie Audet Replied at 10:02 PM, 9 Dec 2014

    The three reasons for engaging caregivers and the transformative role they could have with the right HIT tools in their hands are right on! In fact, this might get at the challenge that vulnerability pose - since caregivers are also probably less vulnerable (that is not always going to be the case of course, so i don't want to generalize), and in position to advocate for clear needs. So if i put my hat as an innovator looking for a market, Prof Hannan articulates clear reasons for a captive market.

    There is some great examples in CA - Paul Tang at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation is doing very innovative work to engage people in the community and their home. And some is based on caregivers that are able to monitor use of water, electricity, so utilities and relate those to patterns that might indicate a person is at risk - so an elderly father who has not flushed water over few days, etc. And also then designing community-based support networks using Time Banking. See his work at http://innovation.pamf.org/people/

    Does anyone have examples of use of HIT in the community, that is also linked to healthcare system - and how this has been done, piloted, results?

    Has anyone done work to identify what caregivers are looking for - to come back to Lygeia Ricciardi's video where her first question was: what are consumers looking for with HIT?

    This Community is Archived.

    This community is no longer active as of December 2018. Thanks to those who posted here and made this information available to others visiting the site.