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Visiting Nurse Health System CEO: ‘Tech Means Nothing’ If Consumers, Caregivers Don’t Understand It

By Patrick Filbin | February 14, 2024

AI and other future-facing technologies will hopefully help move home health care forward in the coming years. But that’s not a reason for providers to rest on their laurels.

Visiting Nurse Health System CEO Dorothy Davis, for instance, believes there’s a lot else that has to evolve outside of technology.

“We hear so much about tech in the home,” Davis told Home Health Care News. “Not that I don’t think that’s an important piece, but I think the revolution is going to be on the consumer side and on the caregiver side. Tech is an enablement. If the user and the person impacted doesn’t understand it, the tech means nothing.”

Based in Georgia, Visiting Nurse Health System provides home health and hospice to more than 7,000 patients across the greater Atlanta area.

Davis pointed out a lack of awareness among both consumers and practitioners when it comes to post-acute care options in the space — both from personal experiences and observations.

“Most doctors don’t know what home health is,” she said. “My mom had a health event last year and before I could get there and assist her doctors told me, ‘You can only get home health if you’ve been hospitalized.’ Knowing there’s not that consumer understanding — or even a practitioner understanding — about the post-acute care space is important to keep in mind moving forward.”

As consumers and caregivers become more informed, they will play a more active role in navigating the complexities of home health care, Davis said.

It’s also beneficial for providers to keep consumers in mind when looking through a dollar-and-cents lens.

“Consumers are price sensitive,” Davis said. “There are expectations on the consumer side about what they’re purchasing and what they’re paying for.”

Still, that enablement is still appreciated.

Visiting Nurse Health System is heavily involved in predictive analytics, for instance.

“It has been a huge foundational part of how we think in that broad sense of that patient journey,” Davis said. “That’s really an important cultural thing that we’ve set in motion. At the end of the day, that’s what people are using it to do: cut costs and predict. So from that standpoint, it’s been very helpful.”

Patrick Filbin

Patrick Filbin is a reporter for HHCN. Prior to joining Aging Media Network, he was a reporter with the Chattanooga Times Free Press and a features reporter for the Gillette News Record in Wyoming.