The healthcare industry experiences changes in its regulation, spending behaviors, and best practices every year; the ICD-10, electronic medical records, and the Affordable Healthcare Act are all recent changes that have had a dramatic impact on the face of healthcare. The most notable improvement, however, is the development of so many groundbreaking technological advancements that have given the industry a major transformation, both in terms of patient expectations and an improved level of care.
Kindred Healthcare is one health organization modeled on a system that works improve patient interactions, and focuses more on quality care versus quantity. Their desire to not only meet the demands of patients today, but also for those of tomorrow, has positioned them to cultivate four distinct innovations that put their company in the forefront of the future:
Kindred’s Health Information Exchange
Kindred care encompasses Transitional Care Hospitals, Hospice, Kindred at Home Homecare, and Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities across the U.S. When patients transition from one facility to another, Kindred’s information exchange technology allows their medical records to easily transition with them. Even when receiving care at partnering facilities, patient care information is still easily accessible to outside providers. Kindred states that this innovation will allow them to:
Help decrease avoidable ER visits and hospital readmissions
Eliminate unnecessary tests and treatments
Support patient privacy and consent requirements
Post- Acute Healthcare Reform
Kindred has recognized that several improvements are needed within the post-acute care system to help patients reach a full recovery after illness or injury. According to Kindred’s Blueprint for Post-Acute Care Reform, their system is the largest provider of diversified care across the full post-acute continuum. With their vast experience, key factors were able to be determined that would yield the most beneficial results; by focusing more on patient-centered care, accounting for increased demands of an aging population, and modifying fee-for-service rules, integrated care and further innovations will begin to be encouraged.
With over 1 billion people using social media websites such as Facebook to share information, Kindred believes that their employees could benefit from an internal healthcare information resource as well. My Kindred is a collaborative platform that will allow employees to create and collaborate on documents, view department pages, and instant message regarding urgent issues. This innovation is expected to increase the speed of information exchange and allow all team members to make faster decisions.
The “Continue the Care” strategy of Kindred aims to provide patients with seamless transitions throughout the entire post-acute care process. In 2014, the Care Transitions Program in Kindred’s Boston Integrated Market saw that 93% of patients kept their scheduled follow-up appointment with their primary care physician within 7 days of discharge. Integrated and high-quality patient care are the backbone of the company, and innovations in their care development models support this mission. Their recently established Care Management Division was created to accomplish the following goals:
Allow Kindred and its partners to better manage episodes of care with information sharing and IT connectivity
Improve patient satisfaction
Reduce lengths of stay and rehospitalizations at a lower cost to Medicare and other payers