PainChek launching trials in home care

Elderly mother and daughter image

At PainChek, our mission is to give a voice to those that cannot verbalise their pain.

PainChek’s adult app has transformed pain assessment for over 3,875 professional carers in 612 Residential Aged Care facilities across Australia. Now, we are exploring opportunities to bring our app to a home care setting for use by carers, healthcare staff, and family members.

The challenges for pain assessment for home care providers

Home care is rapidly growing in Australia, as more elderly people desire to remain independent for as long as possible. Data from the Department of Health revealed that over 145,320 people had access to a home care package at the end of December 2019 — a 38% increase on the previous year.(1) The Federal Government is also continuing to support the drive towards Consumer Directed Care, which requires home care providers to work in partnership with individuals to determine the type of care and care services they wish to receive. Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this trend is likely to accelerate as more older Australians opt to receive care in their own home.

Older Australians and those with a disability have the highest rates of chronic pain in our community, with 1 in 3 living with chronic pain(2). Pain is an important clinical indicator to detect deterioration in individuals and escalate care accordingly. This ensures they can enjoy the benefits of living at home, while also receiving the best care possible. However, many of these cannot self-report their pain, which makes it challenging for those looking after these individuals to assess their condition and escalate care accordingly.

Home care providers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to accurate pain assessment and management. Many Australians living in a home care setting often have multiple carers, from case managers and healthcare staff to family members or others in the community. Each caregiver may use a different pain assessment tool, which could lead to inconsistency in reporting and subsequent treatment. In addition, the majority of family members and relatives are not trained to recognise signs of chronic pain — putting an individual at greater risk of undetected deterioration.

Home care providers also face hurdles when it comes to balancing high-quality care with the ongoing need to manage costs, workforce efficiency, and consumer retention in a fast-growing market. The latest Home Care Packages Program report found there are now more than 925 approved home care providers in Australia providing more than 120,000 home care packages. As the home care market continues to rise in popularity, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to balance the need to remain competitive with the importance of delivering positive patient outcomes. The lack of standardised pain assessment and management can lead to inefficient communication processes and missed information between case managers and healthcare professionals — ultimately costing both time and money for the provider, whilst also compromising the customer experience and quality of care.

Improve home care and reduce risk with intelligent digital pain assessment

Until now, PainChek has only been available for residential aged care facilities under license. In response to the growing demand for tools to help families better manage and care for their loved ones at home, PainChek is launching pilot trials of the adult app for those living with dementia in a home care setting. The PainChek app empowers carers and caregivers in the home setting with a clinically proven pain assessment tool.

PainChek harnesses artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to intelligently automate the pain assessment process. Our pain assessment tool facilitates continuity of care between healthcare professionals and caregivers: It empowers carers to easily and rapidly conduct pain assessments in a home care setting, while also enabling consistent pain assessment and reporting from family members in between the visits. 

The tool is also easy to access and get started, even for those without any healthcare knowledge. PainChek is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and can be operated via any compatible smart device at the point of care. All carers and family members also have access to on-demand training with PainChek®’s robust online suite of training tools, which includes tailored live tutorials suitable for all learning styles.

Furthermore, all data and reporting is stored safely and digitally in the cloud, so the information is easily accessible for the individual, GP, case managers, care team members and relatives. This also helps providers improve operational efficiency and eliminate manual processes: Using PainChek, home care providers can generate a consumer and employee experience report in real-time, to drive Quality Improvement (QI) planning initiatives.

Expressions of interest now open for PainChek Home Care pilot trials

We are calling for expressions of interest for providers looking to be involved in pilot trials of our adult app in a home care setting. The trial is available for all existing residential aged care providers and home care providers. Simply fill out the form below, and a member of the PainChek team will be in touch. Alternatively, email us at support@painchek.com or call 1800 098 809 to learn more.

 (1)Department of Health (2020), “Home care packages program data report 1 October – 31 December 2019”, GEN Aged Care Data [online]. Available at https://gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/Resources/Reports-and-publications/2020/April/Home-care-packages-program-data-report-1-October-%E2%80%93 (accessed 22 June 2020).

 

(2) Painaustralia (2019). “The cost of pain in Australia” [online]. Available at https://www.painaustralia.org.au/static/uploads/files/the-cost-of-pain-in-australia-final-report-12mar-wfxbrfyboams.pdf (accessed 22 June 2020).

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