Barriers to technology use in home health include accessibility or patient-specific issues, funding and lack of evidence-based practice for home health, says Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, FGSA, FAAN, community and MD Nursing, Director of the Gerontology Interest Group, M. Louise Fitzpatrick School of Nursing, Villanova University.
What are the barriers to using technology to improve home care, for example through predictive analytics to reduce readmissions?
So one of the things I would like to point out is that not all seniors have access to broadband and internet, especially in rural communities. So, that’s definitely a huge hurdle.Another obvious barrier is that some seniors don’t have or want technology — but We see this less and less. In my practice and research, I see an increasing number of older adults using and embracing technology.
So, as clinicians, we need to stop assuming that older people don’t want to use technology, because that’s not the case. So, I think that’s an obstacle. Some seniors certainly don’t want to use technology, but that’s not the majority anymore.
The other hurdle is what I mentioned earlier, and that’s the funding not just to develop the technology, but to develop and use machine learning or predictive analytics, as you ask, to develop artificial intelligence [artificial intelligence] Learn how to best care for seniors in your home.
Remember, the Home Health Benefit in the US was established in 1967, which is really not that long ago in the grand scheme of things compared to acute care. So we don’t yet have a lot of evidence-based practice when it comes to family health. We have so much knowledge that we still have to learn so we can provide the best outcomes for seniors living at home. We need to learn and continue to use machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics — all of which will help us get there faster, but we need funding for rigorous and high-quality research.