Centrica Care Navigators, formerly Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, is beginning a project that will further connect skilled healthcare professionals with patients, caregivers, and staff online. It was made possible by a $228,611 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
The telehealth program provides tablets to staff to better link caregivers and patients. Tools on the tablets will make it easier and faster for patients in Centrica Care Navigators’ 10-county coverage area to get answers to their questions and manage basic needs. Caregivers can receive step-by-step instructions from a nurse via their tablet, even while in-person care staff are on their way to the caregiver’s location.
The telehealth pilot program, exclusively for patients on hospice service, launched in March. Devices will be in the hands of some users by June 1. It’s expected that 300 families will have access to tablets by the end of the pilot period. The program will continue to grow in upcoming years.
“Centrica Care Navigators is excited to receive this grant award,” said Kelly McCormick, Chief Executive Officer. “Telehealth technology will connect caregivers to immediate help. It means less worry for patients and for caregivers.”
There is a need for effective ways to service hospice patients and caregivers beyond face-to-face visits and phone calls. The number of calls from caregivers to Centrica Care Navigators increased 34% between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
This is especially true for patients in their homes and in more rural areas, nearly 90% of all patients served by Centrica Care Navigators. The telehealth program includes hotspots and technology to provide more caregivers with reliable internet connections.
About Centrica Care Navigators
Centrica Care Navigators, formerly Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, is a private, nonprofit healthcare agency supporting individuals and caregivers coping with illness, aging, dying, and loss. Founded in 1981, Centrica Care Navigators provides care of the body, mind, and spirit for the residents of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Eaton, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties. Service is available to everyone, even those without insurance coverage.
Our Mission is to guide and support individuals and their caregivers coping with illness, aging, dying, and loss by providing compassionate medical, emotional, spiritual, and personal care.