Health Care Aides and Technology

 
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The Challenge:

Health care aides address an important need within the provincial health care system : working under the supervision of a nurse or other health professional, they provide basic health services, including physical and emotional support, for clients who have long-term medical conditions or functional limitations. However, it is becoming more difficult for aides to fulfill their duties given the limited communication resources available and increasing workloads. 

The Solution:

The Health Care Aides & Technology (HCA-T) project used information communications technologies to assist with remote contact between aides and the patients’ care teams. Using tablet-based Android apps, this project allowed for streamlined communication between the HCAs and their supervisors off-site, enablinbg them to receive up-to-date lists of tasks and duties that needed to be performed. Cybera worked with the HCA-T team to explore the feasibility and benefits of using wireless and Cloud technologies to transmit and store important information securely and quickly. 

How HCA-T affects you:

HCA-T, which ran from 2011-2012, was an example of how communications technology can be used to improve the day-to-day lives of patients and health care workers. Second to nurses, health care aides make up the largest group of front-line health service providers in Alberta. By 2016, it is projected that there will be a shortage of 5,000 of these workers, while demand for their services will continue to grow as the number of older adults living at home with chronic conditions increases. 

HCA-T developed the first pilot app in Alberta for tablet devices that allowed health care aides to digitally receive real-time instructions from a patient’s health care team. Aides all over the province, and especially those working in distant and remote communities, may one day no longer need to physically check-in with office staff to receive instructions and ensure that the correct services are being given, which will save time and enhance productivity. This project also provided individual patients in rural communities with more responsive health care support.

Investment:

This project was funded by Alberta Health and Wellness.