We heard a story recently about a day program for older adults called the Wellness and Arts Center at Iona Senior Services in Washington, DC.
This is the type of thoughtful service that is run all over the country by caring providers. It's for people who can still live on their own but need or want help, companionship, or meaningful activities during the day. It's one of those ordinary, extraordinary social services that are being created day in and day out.
We happened to hear about this program recently, though, and we were inspired about a couple of the specifics. These lessons resonated with us as important practices in long term care, and in healthcare collaboration (especially using telemedicine) in general.
3 healthcare collaboration lessons you can take from this adult day services program:
Involve the whole family.
In the case of Vivian Weeks, she was involved in her care, as was her niece, her care givers, and other family members. We created iClickCare to be intentionally inclusive. If you're looking for a telemedicine platfrom to support healthcare collaboration, look for one that gives you the ability to effectively include the family in the collaboration group.
Prioritize connection and communication.
Just as the participants in the Iona program need human companionship during the day to be happy and healthy, medical providers need to communication with each other. We've known this: research shows that people with strong ties to family and friends have a 50% lower chance of dying during a given period. Similarly, human connection can help medical providers prevent burnout. Medical care -- especially long term care -- can be isolating, so you have to intentionally seek out connection.
Good long-term care attends to happiness, too.
At Iona, they have art therapy in addition to physical therapy because our abillity to thrive goes beyond just the "medical" aspects of our care. For that reason, we encourage iClickCare users to involved doctors, nurses, but also teachers and therapists into the collaboration for a given patient. Just as good long term care also cares for the social components of a patient's wellness, we believe that a good collaboration platform should support the collaboration of all of the people who contribute to that wellness.
Interested in using telemedicine for healthcare collaboration in long term care? Get our free ebook here:
Photo used under Creative Commons rights from gazeronly on Flickr