As the home health industry charges forward with rapid growth, the same old challenges seem to grow with it. A lack of qualified workers and ever-shrinking reimbursement rates are forcing new strategies for efficiency and cost savings, but choosing the right technology and managing it well can have a significant impact on both these areas.
Because mobile devices are now a key tool in almost every workflow in home health, caregivers’ mobile devices must be powerful and user-friendly to achieve maximum productivity. Fast processors and connectivity ensure that there are no delays as caregivers access patient records, input data, and use scheduling apps, navigation tools, and collaboration platforms. Cameras are increasingly vital, so choosing a device with the right configuration and capabilities ensures that wound measurement is quick and accurate.
Ease of use is also significant. Using the same operating systems as consumer devices helps because users are already familiar with how they work. Connecting to Bluetooth peripherals like thermometers and blood pressure cuffs should be easy, and the healthcare applications used must be intuitive and straightforward to navigate.
HIPAA-compliant security is a must, but security measures can’t be so burdensome that they interfere with workflows. Solutions like single sign-on mean users only have to log in once, and they have access to all the applications and information they need.
Device choice also affects operating costs, and it goes beyond just the price of equipment. You want reliable tools that will hold up well. There are no savings if you pay less upfront but then find yourself constantly replacing failed devices. More powerful equipment also cuts costs if you can consolidate multiple workflows into one device. For example, a Google Pixel is a cost-effective extension of your desktop, allowing you access to needed platforms on the go.
Another way to control costs is by partnering with a managed service provider. Not only does robust support minimize downtime and potentially extend equipment lifecycles, but services like telecom expense management can help you find and root out unnecessary spending.
Finding the Right Balance
The challenge for administrators is picking mobile devices that are powerful enough to ensure high productivity and good user experiences without busting budgets. Google’s Pixel 8 devices are a good example. With super dependable all-day battery life, Google’s Tensor G3—Pixel’s most powerful chip yet—for fast processing, Google Translate for live language translation, the AI-driven Google Assistant to streamline workflows, Android Enterprise zero touch enrollment, and zero bloatware*—all at a reasonable price. Longer lifecycles mean less replacement and lower total cost of ownership.
If you pick versatile tools that enhance communication, streamline tasks, improve patient care, and empower caregivers with valuable resources, then you improve efficiency and the bottom line—while also helping to attract and retain valuable staff.
*Estimated battery life based on testing using a median Pixel user battery usage profile across a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of other features. Average battery life during testing was approximately 31 hours. Battery testing conducted on a major carrier network. For “Up to 72 hours”: Estimated battery life based on testing using a median Pixel user battery usage profile across a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of limited other features that are default in Extreme Battery Saver mode (which disables various features including 5G connectivity). Battery testing conducted on a major carrier network. For both claims: Battery testing conducted in California in mid 2023 on pre-production hardware and software using default settings, except that, for the “up to 72 hours” claim only, Extreme Battery Saver mode was enabled. Battery life depends upon many factors and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower.
Google Translate not available in all languages or countries. Not available on all media or apps. See g.co/pixel/livetranslate for more information. Translation may not be instantaneous
Google Assistant not available in all languages or countries. See [g.co/pixel/googleassistant] for details. Based on tap and voice typing in English. Voice typing is not available in all languages or countries
Pixel updates for 7 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US. See g.co/pixel/updates for details