Welcome back to our eldercare email series. In this installment we talk about one of the major issues facing senior care practitioners today, the lack of insight into what’s happening at the patient’s home. When seniors are in the doctor office or a senior care day center, providers know exactly what’s happening. But when they leave, it’s a mystery what happens in the home. Wouldn’t it be great if seniors, family and providers could collaborate and communicate what happens in those times when seniors are outside of health facilities?
Here’s what we’re hearing from providers.
“We have no idea what happens when the patient leaves the senior center.” Senior Care Program RN
“Half of our seniors don’t even come into the center. We need them to come in.” Senior Care Clinical Supervisor
Today senior care providers try to show families what should happen at home by sending paper instructions home with the senior and family caregiver. For example, some senior care programs send home a paper calendar, which shows what care tasks should be completed when seniors are home. Paper-based solutions depend on visual availability in the home, as well as the memory of the senior or the family caregiver in the time of need. Further, these solutions offer no feedback for the professional care team, there’s no way to know if care tasks are being done.
At Care3, we see the lack of insight into care being delivered in the home as a clinical and financial risk to senior care programs nationwide. We believe it is just as important to capture and use information on care delivered in the home as much as it is for the care delivered in senior care centers. Care3 tracks all of the care that’s delivered in the home by engaging family members around an individual care plan, which we call an Action Plan. Each action is itemized for the caregiver to complete in the home and then is tracked to ensure that those care tasks are completed. If those care tasks are not completed, Care3 notifies the professional care team so that they can make a decision whether to intervene. This is what makes Care3 different from every other care planning and communication solution available to senior care programs and families today.
Let’s make 2018 The Year of Action. That means you take the steps necessary to achieve your goals. Just go for it! Not only can you do it, you deserve all of the success you achieve. #TheCare3Way #YearofAction #HappyNewYear #caregiving
Hospitals MUST get better. Paper? A cross-out? Really?? #sendanaction #mhealth #TheCare3Way
Dear Care3 Family,
As you may have heard, Congress rolled back the FCC’s internet privacy rules this past week. If the President signs this bill into law as expected, it would allow internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cox and others to sell your personal online and mobile web browsing data and information on your mobile app usage.
At Care3, we want you to understand that we take privacy very seriously.
- No third party can view your activity on Care3. Neither the government nor any ISP has access to your personal health information and that of your loved ones on Care3. When you use the Care3 app to send text and media messages back and forth with family and friends, each text is encrypted so no one can intercept the messages, pictures, or audio files as they pass from your phone to our servers. This extra layer of security causes our app to be a bit slower than what you might experience with iMessage or SMS texting (as they are not encrypted). But we think the added security is worth an extra second or two.
- Care3 meets all government privacy and security standards for PHI storage. All data and media files are encrypted in our dedicated cloud storage facilities. Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox, and others do not meet government privacy standards for storage of personal health information. Most people don’t know that. We want you to be confident that all of your health communications are safe and secure with Care3.
Note: Many popular messaging apps are NOT safe for healthcare conversations. The apps above do not encrypt text messages traveling between your phone and their servers to the government’s standard for health information, the highest level. They also neither encrypt nor retain your data as required by law for health information storage. With this lighter security, hackers have an easier time if they want to intercept your information.
Many of you have indicated that you will increase your usage of Care3 even for non-health related conversations because of the high level of security that Care3 offers. We encourage this as our executive team has also increased our usage of Care3 for non-health related conversations as of late.
We appreciate your continued use of Care3. We have just passed 2,000 families using Care3! Have confidence that your information and activity are safe and secure regardless of what privacy access Congress gives to ISPs.
If you have any questions about the privacy and security of your texts or other information shared on Care3, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Like we always say, we’re there for you because you’re there for others.
David S. Williams
Co-Founder & CEO
This weekend has seen unprecedented activity with the US Government ban on immigrants from seven countries. Some of these detainees were doctors who practice at leading healthcare institutions that serve our loved ones, including a hospital system where my sister receives care.
No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we all want the best care we can get for our family and others. We can’t have our healthcare professionals unavailable to care for our loved ones because of poor policy implementation. We work too hard to keep our loved ones at their highest level and they deserve the best possible care.
Please contact your elected officials to raise your voice on behalf of all caregivers and the patients and loved ones we care for.
David S. Williams III
Co-Founder & CEO
By David Williams, Co-Founder & CEO, Care3.
In this post, I am going to show you how you can take the best care of your loved one, get them to their best health outcome possible, and keep you sane and successful at the same time—all with a simple 3-step formula.
The #1 Struggle Primary Caregivers Face Today…
I have talked to hundreds of family caregivers. They’ve told me their stories about the challenges they face and the emotional toll caregiving can take on themselves and their families. I kept hearing the same thing….I even posted on Facebook and the first three comments confirmed what I was hearing.
- Letting family members know about Care3
and what I hear is the #1 struggle:
- Getting family and friends to help.
Family Caregiving in 2017 (and Beyond)
You already know that caring for a loved one has to result in reaching a goal.
- Stay OUT of the hospital
- Stay ON medications
- Live INDEPENDENTLY as an aging adult
Most family caregivers don’t have a process in place to care. They do like I did at first. All of the medications and care tasks are written on paper.
When things change, though, how quickly does that system work? You spend more time updating the paper than giving care.
In 2017, we all use mobile phones. Why shouldn’t there be a mobile app that can help you care for your loved one and keep everyone in your family updated on the progress?
Shouldn’t the same also help organize the care tasks and get others to help?
I guarantee you that putting a process in place will help your loved one reach a care goal while also making your life smoother and easier. Using technology accomplishes this process even faster.
How My Mom Went from 12 Hospitalizations in a Year to ZERO.
This is us the day we moved mom back into her own home.
It was a happy day. We were a little nervous, but we knew that she could take care of herself. That was huge for our confidence…and her dignity.
This 3-Step Process Helped Us Manage the Care for Mom and Get Others to Help.
Here’s the reality:
Most people don’t use technology like mobile apps to manage the care for loved ones and communicate efficiently to family and friends.
If you aren’t organized then you can’t adhere to the care instructions. If you can’t adhere to care instructions, your loved one will end up in the hospital—or worse.
Don’t let that happen to your loved one. Caregiving is TOO IMPORTANT not to do right.
Step #1: Gather All of the Care Instructions and Make a List
First, gather all of your care instructions from all sources. You may have received care instructions via a brochure or printout after a doctor visit. You may have notes written somewhere like a medication list or something (ridiculous) like the BLANK worksheet I received one time from a hospital at discharge. How was this going to be helpful?
The point is, no matter how big or small, gather all of the care tasks that need to be done in one place and make a list.
For my mom, we had to gather discharge instructions, internet research, and written notes into one master list. We had to go through her prescriptions and medication history which was all on paper.
I entered the list into a spreadsheet and entered when each task needed to be done. It’s a bit of work, but having that list made a HUGE difference in Steps 2 and 3.
Step #2: Decide Who You Trust
Second, think about the people who you trust to help you care for your loved one. Get the email addresses and phone numbers for everyone who wants to be kept updated.
Keep them handy for Step 3.
Think hard about who NEEDS to be kept up to date and who WANTS to be kept up to date. Prioritize the needs first. These people may be your family or maybe even close friends, but they have to be people who will help YOU.
When caring for my mom, my siblings and wife were the main care team, but we added my brother-in-law at times as well as close friends.
We used a group email to keep everyone in touch with the big updates. Day to day we just sent text messages. Using the technology made it easier to keep people in the loop, but also for them to respond. I didn’t spend hours on the telephone telling the same story over and over again.
Step #3: Share Care Tasks with Everyone So They See How To Help
When people visibly see what they can do, even if it’s small, they feel like they can contribute. Most of the time, they just need to see how to help ahead of time so they can work it into their schedule rather than someone trying to tell them what to do.
This worked wonders for us as we cared for my mom. Even my siblings who were thousands of miles away, were able to actively help. We would agree on what each person would do. I emailed the spreadsheet to everyone and managed who would do what. It was a bit of a pain, but better than paper to track things.
When we cared as a team, mom got better and better. Nothing fell through the cracks, which is what was happening when she kept going back into the hospital. Technology was helpful in coordinating all the moving parts. Everyone contributed.
That is the secret!
But something was still bothering me…
There had to be a way to avoid using three different technologies, email, text messaging, and spreadsheets. It was easier to coordinate than using paper, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it should be.
And it was THAT revelation that led to Care3.
Care3 Makes The 3-Step Process Faster and Easier
Nowadays using mobile phones comes second nature, especially messaging apps. We already create group messaging conversations with family and friends with the popular messaging apps supplied on our phones.
Why not use the same mobile behaviors of messaging, task reminders, and a calendar to care for loved ones?
That’s why we built Care3. To help you be a better caregiver. And we help you get started with the 3-step process as soon as you sign up and install the app.
Care3 helps you complete the 3-step Care-Sharing process
Step 1: Your Care Team
Inviting your Care Team is as easy as adding a phone number or email address. Having your list of family and trusted friends ready will make this go very quickly.
Step 2: Your Starter Care Plan
Care3 helps you compile your care tasks with our Starter Care Plan. This is a list of eight common care tasks performed daily or weekly. Start with our list and add your own to customize in one step. It’s that easy!
Step 3: Your Care Conversation
When you create a Care Team, Care3 automatically starts the group messaging conversation. When you finish your Starter Care Plan, you will be able to send text messages just like you would with any other messaging app.
Care3 is easy to get started, and works like any other popular messaging app.
The difference, however, is ENORMOUS:
With Care3 your text messages are private, confidential, and protected with industry grade security protocols. Rest assured that we treat your loved one’s personal health information with as much care as you treat your loved one!
You Can Do This!
Right now, you have to take action.
Get started Care-Sharing now.
If you haven’t invited your Care Team, do it.
If you haven’t created your Starter Care Plan, do it.
If you HAVE done these things, then more power to you! You’re ready to help your loved ones reach their highest level of health possible.
Good luck! We’re with you every step of the way.
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org/blog.
Successful caregiving depends on having the goals set and the tasks (medications, ADLs, etc.) laid in a routine that you can follow every single day. The faster you get into that routine, that groove, the better your caregiving will be and the better your loved one will feel.
To help you get into your caregiving groove fast, we’ve created a Starter Care Plan of eight (8) common care tasks that you can enter into Care3 as sequenced Actions. You can accept the Actions yourself or your Care Team can help out.
But once you receive these Actions, you must accept them—and more importantly, complete them! Once you’ve completed an action, you may just let one person know that it’s done outside of the app. Care3 has an easy way to notify everyone that an Action is complete: the “done” button.
In the course of raising funds for three different companies, I have talked to many investors: VCs, angels, private equity, all types. When they asked me, why digital health? Why was I building this? My answer over the years has been consistent. I want to create technology for people who typically don’t have technology built for them—people of color, seniors, the poor, the disabled. These are the people who need the most help.
All too often the response was something like this:
As a startup you need to build technology for rich people, because they can afford to be early adopters.
Each time I heard that, I got a pit in my stomach. I kept asking myself, do all investors think this way? Thankfully, they all do not, but in my experience, the majority of investors believe the path to startup success is through the affluent.
Technology is supposed to help people who can most benefit from it. Technology is supposed to improve productivity and increase quality of life. In healthcare, the people who need higher productivity and better quality of life, are the underserved—people of color, seniors, the disabled and the poor. Those who don’t have access to high quality care, don’t have the best health outcomes. Those are the people who should get technology targeted for them.
Unfortunately, the unwritten rule in Silicon Valley is to create technology for rich people. Call it trickle-down technology, and the investment culture is built on that premise.
My personal experience has been in caregiving for my mother. She almost died having me. As far back as I remember, I always helped my mother take care of herself. She was a highly successful woman, earning a doctorate, two master’s degrees, Ivy League undergraduate and was valedictorian of her high school class. For all of her success, she had health challenges that worsened dramatically as she aged. I cared for her for 10 years prior to her passing, 2.5 of which she lived with me and my family. There wasn’t technology built for my mom as she aged. There were no digital health apps built for me as a caregiver, to coordinate her care and interact directly and confidentially with her professional care teams.
What I’ve also learned as a parent of a special needs child is that there is very little coordination of care services, and even fewer technology options that actually help people who are disabled to get the best outcomes, to get the best education, to get the best attention on their lives, even though they’re the ones who can most benefit from it. I’m not talking about durable medical equipment. I’m talking about digital health solutions, driven by the massive proliferation of mobile technology throughout the world. Until recently, the people who need the technology most, especially in healthcare, have not had access to it. And that’s wrong.
This is the first time in history, in which the people who can most benefit from digital health technology, especially the poor and disabled, those who are most vulnerable, have the ability to get tools and solutions in their hands, because of mobile smart devices. The proliferation of wireless broadband and the ability to drive content and applications to a mobile device are now ever-present. The penetration of these devices into people’s homes, even at lower income levels, has reached a point of saturation, in which there’s no excuse to say that people cannot get access to these types of apps. It’s clear that the Digital Divide is becoming an archaic concept.
The “Digital Divide” is no longer an excuse to ignore investing in solutions for the underserved.
Look at recent data from Pew Internet: 77% plus, of households under $30,000 have mobile phones, of which half are smart technology, and that was as of two years ago. We’re at the point now, where the populations who have the technology in hand, need only the content and the knowledge to realize the promise of technology on their lives.
And here’s the most important development in the quest to serve the most vulnerable with digital health technology solutions: there are massive financial incentives to distribute these solutions to underserved populations for those taking risk for their care. In other words, the buyers for this mobile technology and digital health apps are not the patients and families who may not have the financial means to buy directly, but the entities who benefit financially from their patients’ continued health.
The technology buyers are the payers and providers with incentive to reduce hospital readmissions and avoidable emergency department visits. They gain the most financially. So now you have a financial buyer with a vulnerable and expensive population coupled with the penetration of mobile devices for point-of-care solutions. The power to improve healthcare is literally in the hands of the people who need it most.
Again, this is the first time in history when all of those factors are aligned. It’s more than just an opportunity, it’s a moral imperative to create technology solutions that help the underserved, that help the people who need it most.
As an African-American man with experience caring for an aging parent and a special needs child, who has the skills of an entrepreneur, who has the background in technology management and development, I take it as a personal responsibility to create technology for people who look like me. To drive new technologies in these communities. If I don’t take on this challenge, who will? This is why I do what I do. This is why our team built Care3. Now is the time to meet the challenge, to create solutions, not for the rich people, but for society’s most vulnerable.
About the Author
David S. Williams III is a serial digital health entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Care3, a next generation technology platform inspired by his experience caring for his special needs son and the realization that the most vulnerable members of our society including seniors, people of color, and the disabled do not have equal access to healthcare and receive woefully inadequate quality of care in their homes and communities. Care3 is built to fix these unacceptable and unnecessary disparities. David serves on the Board of Advisors of The Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UCLA. He is a 2013 Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. David earned a BS in Economics and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Digital Strategy with a certificate in Corporate Governance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
As we embark on a new year, and look back at the last, it’s important to recognize that we can’t bring back those we lost. But we can take even better care of those we will have in our lives. Let’s make 2017 a new beginning in how we care for our loved ones.
What You Know That Others Don’t
As a member of Care3, you know something that most others don’t when it comes to communicating with family and friends about the health of loved ones:
You know how important it is to protect your loved one’s health information as you’re having text messaging conversations on your mobile device.
Most people still use unsecure apps for healthcare messaging like iMessage, SMS, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp. NONE of those apps protect the messages from your device to the cloud AND encrypt the stored data for ultimate security. Having your healthcare messaging conversations on Care3 ensures the protection of any personal health information shared as well as any data stored in the app.
Let’s Make This Resolution Together
Let’s make this resolution together: if someone sends you a text message on one of the other messaging apps about the health of family or friends, let them know about Care3. Invite them to the app by starting a new conversation with them. Tell them that it’s not safe to have those kinds of conversations on apps that aren’t secure for healthcare.
If we all do this, then we can provide better care for our loved ones in 2017 by keeping their health information secure, and private from anyone watching while collaborating with family and friends.
In 2017 we will treat our loved ones’ health information with the same love and diligence we use when we care for them.
Share this post with as many people as you can to spread the word. Happy New Year!