Health IT Pulse

Dec 15 2010   12:38PM GMT

CellTrak platform aims to improve home care services

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By David Schneider, Editorial Assistant

One problem hindering the efficiency and accuracy of nurses in home care is the patient assessment process. After working with a patient in home care, the nurse is often required to report back to his or her facility and produce a report based on handwritten notes. Not only is this a time-consuming process, it is one prone to error, as notes can be read wrong or typed incorrectly.

CellTrak Technologies Inc., a Canadian company, recently produced an application that may change the face of reporting for home care services.

CellTrak has developed a method that it claims can improve outcome-based patient care, which focuses on a close relationship between a nurse and a patient as they work toward a specific goal, or outcome. The Celltrak platform, which shares a name with the company, is a BlackBerry application that allows nurses to report assessments back to their hospital or home care agency virtually. This saves time, reduces travel and allows for a more up-to-the-minute approach to home care.

According to CellTrak, the platform can provide a number of assessment aids. One such feature is an analytics tool that lets nurses compare their patients with others of similar age, gender and diagnosis. With this tool, nurses can see if they are achieving the right outcomes, which is one step in preparing patients to care for themselves once they have left home care services.

CellTrak said this is likely the first time Canada is seeing a home care development on this scale. Moreover, it seems that its benefits go beyond real-time reporting. Tracy Stevenson, a care and service manager, said in a CellTrak case study that the application gave her a way to tracking care quality among her nurses through a consistent evidence-based system.

A recent SearchHealthIT.com story detailed the account of an ongoing case study provided by Oklahoma’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which details the effectiveness of health care IT used in conjunction with home care services. With the aid of CellTrak, the error rate in home care services due to a consistent lack of handwriting recognition could drop severely. However, this outcome is up in the air, as any future progress depends on widespread adoption of the CellTrak platform and similar systems.

(Editor’s note: This is the first blog entry by David Schneider, an editorial assistant at TechTarget. He will be writing several posts for Health IT Pulse over the next few weeks. Welcome aboard, David!)

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