6/30/11 By David Lindeman
Patient-centered technologies are increasingly being used to improve patient engagement in care transitions and allow providers to customize care planning and decision support based on individual patient needs. The Administration on Aging (AoA) has recognized the important role of patient-centered technology in care coordination and care transitions and is promoting their use among Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs).
The Center for Technology and Aging (CTA), in collaboration with AoA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is supporting a Diffusion Grants Program that focuses on Technologies for Improving Post-Acute Care Transitions (Tech4Impact). This program specifically targets expanding the use of technologies in Aging and Disability Resource Centers that support transitional care interventions. Senior Program Director, Lynn Redington, and CTA Tech4Impact grantees Angela Hochhalter of Scott & White Healthcare, and Stephen Kogut of the University of Rhode Island, recently presented on this issue as part of an AoA webinar series. Highlighting the Tech4Impact Diffusion Grants Program, the webinar presented a detailed look at the Texas and Rhode Island programs. The Texas project is a collaboration between the Central Texas Aging and Disabilities Resource Center and Scott & White Healthcare, which is a large integrated healthcare system. The Texas program utilizes a customized database system for coaches to track, deliver, and manage information, while delivering the Care Transitions Intervention (CTI) model. The Rhode Island project focuses on identifying and addressing medication-related problems post discharge through use of an electronic personal health record, the ER-Card.
The over 400 participants in the webinar reinforced the challenges of this effort, as indicated by the extensive number of participant questions on the functionality of the technologies, integration of the technologies within ADRCs, and the sustainability of their programs. Projects across 13 different states have already approached the Tech4Impact grantees to further explore post-acute care transitions technology-enabled interventions. The Center will continue to create awareness in this area through presentations with two other Tech4Impact grantees at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) Annual Conference & Tradeshow in July.
Presentations and audio from the webinar as well as the first webinar in the series, Building Community Technology Systems to Support Care Coordination, and additional AoA webinars are available online at: http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/Health_care_reform.aspx. For more information on the Tech4Impact grantees, please review the project abstracts at: http://www.techandaging.org/Tech4Impact_Grants_Abstracts.pdf
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