When patients are transferred from a hospital to nursing homes, rehab, or other facilities, their health records are sent by courier, fax, mail, or USB memory stick — if not carried in manila envelopes by the patients themselves. “The whole process is inefficient and fraught with possibilities for errors,” said Eric Chetwynd, director of product strategy at Newton-based Curaspan Health Group Inc., which offers technology that tracks patients as they move from hospitals into other facilities, and also streamlines payments, referrals, and transportation. Chetwynd spoke about smoothing the hand-off procedure between medical providers.
“In many ways, the term health care ‘system’ is a misnomer. When patients are discharged from a hospital, often they need the help of so many different players – home health aides, physical and occupational therapists, visiting nurses, and doctors – but there aren’t any standardized mechanisms to coordinate care. . . .
“Recently my mother had hip-replacement surgery and had a number of glitches as she got ready to go to a rehab facility. The first was getting a doctor to sign off in a timely matter; then her ride was late because of rush hour. Finally, her medication was not in the dispensary when she finally did arrive. These gaps happen all the time, but Curaspan is alleviating a lot of these challenges by facilitating communication and eliminating the failure points.”
Cindy Atoji Keene can be reached at email@example.com.