If the title of my blog caught your attention, it caught mine, too, when I saw those two words used together in a recent Wired magazine article. It stated, “Technology and the elderly go together like peas and guacamole, which is of course to say, they don’t go together at all.”
The article was about how the government is looking for ways to better utilize technology to manage the aging baby boomer population, and their movement to find new ways to scale senior care without compromising quality of care.
Utilizing technology to help people sums up the CareTouch business model, and is also one of the biggest motivators behind our recent acquisition by ResMed, a world leader in products and solutions to improve the quality of life for patients.
CareTouch has always been about combining technology with personal patient care. We use our IVR (interactive voice response) technology and the Web to reach out to patients on behalf of Home Medical Equipment (HME) providers. But, the real quality of care aspect comes from combining personal, human contact with the best technology. Our goal is to ensure that the people we reach out to have the equipment and supplies they need to remain on whatever therapy they’re on. That can be CPAP therapy, diabetic therapy, or maintaining supplies needed for other conditions like incontinence.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, in order to create a true connection with the person on the other end of the phone, we have to always remember that the customer is king. Everything we do revolves around that mission, and combining technology with our interactions with people – no matter what their age – is the way that we gain efficiencies for HME providers.
Why are quality patient interactions important? Simple. People who are on therapy for sleep apnea, diabetes or other conditions must remain vigilant to their therapy in order to remain healthy. If a piece of equipment isn’t working properly or supplies are running low, patients are in danger of not remaining compliant with their therapy. Maximizing state-of-the-art technology – like an IVR that sounds human and always lets you get to a live person – enables patients to feel cared for and keeps them compliant. This is critical for the HME provider’s resupply program as well, since 78% of providers say that they’ve used technology to increase compliance rates, as a recent HME News article points out.
So, while technology and the elderly might not always go together, there is a way to make the two work in harmony so as to benefit people’s lives. Simply stated, even though peas and guacamole are very different, they’re both green!
Matthew Dolph is CEO for CareTouch Communications, Inc. and brings 20 years of management experience to the company’s operations. He has helped design, implement and manage numerous patient communication solutions for CareTouch customers and business partners. He coaches multiple competitive soccer teams and lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.