National Association for Home Care & Hospice Announces the Completion of The BlackBerry Report

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today announced the completion of The BlackBerry® Report: The National State of the Home Care Industry Study. The study, conducted to provide insights into essential advances and reforms in the delivery of home health care services, is intended to help providers of these crucial services prepare for pending overall health care reform.

The study, the largest of its kind, is designed to drive best practices that can be shared for the benefit of the whole industry. The study demonstrates the collaboration within the home care industry to prepare for proposed reimbursement cuts, and to retool to use technology and data to improve quality and patient care.

"Health care reform is already happening in home care," said Val Halamandaris, President of NAHC. "Home care has been an innovation leader in health care services. With the use of modern technologies, patient-centered outcome measures, and evidence-based best practices, home care is uniquely positioned to effectively meet the needs of a growing senior population. With the viability of home care as an effective solution for the unsustainable growth in costs of health care, this important study will help drive the promises of the home care solution into a reality."

Marcia Reissig, chairperson of study cosponsor Hospital Home Care Association of America (HHCAA), noted that, "The study was intended to identify best practices in home care to allow all home health care providers to realize efficiencies and quality of care to the nation's most vulnerable seniors." She committed to "share the data and insights with all of home care to jump start health care reform at the direct service level."

The study was sponsored by Research In Motion (RIM), developers of the BlackBerry wireless solution, and co-sponsored by NAHC and its affiliate, the Hospital Home Care Association of America (HHCAA), along with Fazzi Associates, one of home care's leading consulting, benchmarking, training and research firms.

The first analysis of the BlackBerry Report (available at http://fazzi.com/research/state_of_industry_study.html) revealed key insights that underscore the home care industry's commitment to the utilization of technology to enhance quality and improve efficiencies and productivity through the adoption of Electronic Medical Record Systems, Point of Service (POS) Systems, hand held devices and telehealth.

-- Just over 65% of all agencies now have Electronic Medical Record Systems. Eighty-three percent of these agencies report that the use of these systems has led to improvement in quality of care coordination.
-- Nearly 40% of all agencies now use some form of POS system in the field.
-- Handhelds account for 6.3% of hardware presently being used and 36.8% of those agencies seeking to purchase new hardware report that they are interested in handhelds.
-- Twenty three percent of agencies report using telehealth systems.

Home care enables patients to recover or live with illness in the comfort and familiarity of home, surrounded by the people and things they love. The BlackBerry Report revealed that 21.9% of agencies give more than 5% of revenue for free care. This demonstrates that home care agencies are generous with their commitment to providing care for people in need.

About the National Association for Home Care & Hospice

NAHC is the nation's largest trade association representing the interests and concerns of home care agencies, hospices, home care aide organizations, and medical equipment suppliers. NAHC is particularly dedicated to making home care and hospice providers' lives easier. One of the major roles NAHC performs is sponsoring and supporting research that responds to the needs of the field and disseminating this information to home care and hospice organizations throughout the country. Visit www.nahc.org for more information.

About the Hospital Home Care Association of America

HHCAA is the leading voice for hospital based and hospital affiliated home care agencies. The Association is dedicated to promoting quality improvement through model programs that reflect cooperative care planning and clinical partnerships between hospital and home care providers and to sponsoring and supporting efforts to conduct national research and collect data that can be of benefit to its member agencies and the field as a whole. Visit www.nahc.org/hhchc for more information.

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