Information System to Improve Home Health Care

Period of Performance: 06/08/1993 - 05/31/1994


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Healthcalls America, Inc.
New Haven, CT 06511
Principal Investigator


By the year 2000, ten percent of all health care dollars will be spent on home health care. Much of this care will be delivered by home care aides. The current "technology" for creating and documenting aides' assignments is hand-writing. This method cannot meet the increasingly complex needs of home care clients. It creates clinical, administrative, and billing problems at time when home care is coming under increasing governmental scrutiny. A computerized home care aide information system was developed in Phase I. With it, nurses produce assignment lists for aides. The lists are electronically transmitted to aides' palmtop computers. Aides use the palmtops to record information about their activities and to document their entry and exit times from the clients' homes using a bar code reader integrated with the palmtop. This information, electronically transmitted back to the agency, is used for clinical, administrative, and billing reports. The system was tested in Phase I and found to improve the quality of home care assignments and documentation. It will be improved in Phase II. The hypotheses will be tested that its use results in more comprehensive, precise, and specific assignments and more timely and complete documentation than does the hand written system.