Kevan Mabbutt: Welcome to Intermountain's Thanks For Asking Podcast. I'm Kevan Mabbutt, senior vice president and chief consumer officer. And every week, I'll be bringing you this podcast, where caregivers ask our CEO, Dr. Mark Harrison, anything that's on their minds. Look out for a new episode every week, and listen at the end to learn how to be a part of the podcast.
Today, I am with Tim Jensen, an occupational therapist who works with Intermountain Homecare in Cache and Box Elder Counties. Tim, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. Then I'd love to hear what's on your mind today.
So, I have been working in Homecare for about eight years. I worked as a nurse's aid, as a home health aid, for five years, and then received my license in occupational therapy and have been doing that for about three years now. I really enjoy Homecare. You get to see a lot of different people, and see them in their natural context, which is nice. It's just a very rewarding job.
Dr. Harrison: I bet it's really personal to be in somebody's home like that.
Tim Jensen: Exactly.
Dr. Harrison: Do you ever find you identify other things that are going on that you need to let somebody know about, like maybe there's not food in the cupboard, or maybe it looks dirty and they need some help to keep their house clean and safe?
No doubt. There's a lot of contextual cues you can look at to see how caregivers are doing more effectively, and to see their sanitary needs and other things like you mentioned.
Dr. Harrison: What question you have for me today, Tim?
I’m wondering about our service delivery in people's homes. I've heard you speak about this, and through my schooling, and other things I've read, it seems that the general thrust of healthcare is towards Homecare and providing services in people's homes. And so, I wonder two things. One, where do you see healthcare delivery in the next 10, 15 years? And two, what does that mean for a lot of our outpatient and inpatient services we provide?
Well, this is a great question, Tim. I actually, really believe people need to be seen where, when, and how they want to be seen, and in the least restrictive, least expensive environment possible. Increasingly, people are responsible for a larger and larger proportion of the cost associated with their care. And it's incumbent on us to be thoughtful about that, and actually provide them with options that are both convenient and affordable.
So, as you might expect, I'm very bullish on Homecare and less traditional ways of people being seen. We certainly know that our millennial population is very interested in affordability and access. And the idea that they could be seen at home or seen over their phone, or some other mechanism, I think is going to be a necessity for us going forward. So, do you think I'm crazy, or not?
Tim Jensen: No, no. Bingo. A millennial, myself, I'm on board with that.
Dr. Harrison: Right. When you think about what's important to you, as you get your healthcare, what are the criteria that are attractive to you about, because I'm much older, I could be your dad. Probably much different for me than they are for you.
Tim Jensen: Sure, sure. I think what's important to me is ease of access, ease of scheduling. I know a lot of people would rather text to set up their appointment than, or set it up online, as opposed to talking to somebody on the phone. Those type of things are important to-
Dr. Harrison: So, it sounds like you're supportive then, of our efforts as we move towards a much more digital platform?
Tim Jensen: Definitely.
Dr. Harrison: And a much more consumer centric-
Tim Jensen: Certainly.
Okay. Now, as far as what specific services are going to get taken care of in hospitals versus clinics, versus via Tele, or in the home, or a combination of those ... so, I could actually foresee a day where, maybe you're even doing it already, where you run into a sticky problem in somebody's house, and you actually pull up somebody else via Tele to help you work through it. I can't predict exactly what's going to be where. I think there are a few things, we are probably not going to do heart surgery in the home. That may be messy, and probably not very effective. But I'm shocked by the things that we are able to achieve at this point in time.
The fact that we can do TeleOncology between a small rural hospital and a major center that allows a person to get their chemo 15 minutes from home as opposed to three hours from home, I would've never predicted we’d be doing that. But, hey, it's going great. And I think, I encourage our caregivers to be as thoughtful and innovative about new services that we can provide, and new ways of helping our care be of higher quality and more affordable. Are you liking the way this sounds?
Tim Jensen: Yes.
Now, I will encourage all of us to, let's grow this Homecare business for all the right reasons. I worry every time somebody goes to an outside home care group. Not that the care's not very good, but we could have problems with continuity. I want to make sure that at all times, our care is as seamless and thoughtful as possible, in the best interest of people live the healthiest lives possible.
Tim Jensen: Sure.
Dr. Harrison: So, anything else on your mind? Any advice or things you want to ask me about or share with me?
Tim Jensen: I do want to say, as far as the continuity factor with Homecare, iCentra's been great for the hospitals and clinics. I think it has been a challenge, where Homecare operates on a different electronic medical records than rest of the system. And I understand they are in the process of looking at different options, but-
Dr. Harrison: Yes, we need to get that harmonized.
Tim Jensen: Yeah.
Dr. Harrison: You're 100 percent right.
Tim Jensen: Yeah.
Dr. Harrison: One of the things you describe is actually one of the challenges with digitalization. We experience such convenience on our personal devices, the standards for devices and products that we use to take care of people's health is much different. And there's a gap between the two. And moving as quickly as we can to narrow that gap, so that the frustration level with using iCentra or another EMR is a small as possible, I think it probably would be wise, and actually good for our patients.
Tim Jensen: Sure.
Dr. Harrison: Anything else, Tim?
Tim Jensen: I don't have anything else.
Dr. Harrison: Great. It was really very nice to speak with you. And thanks for all you do.
Tim Jensen: Yeah, thanks for your time.
Dr. Harrison: My pleasure.
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for more caregiver questions and answers. You can find this podcast and others you may enjoy on Intermountainhealthcare.org/podcast. Or, subscribe to the Intermountain podcast on iTunes. If you're a caregiver with a question you'd like to ask, please send an email to Healthyfuture@imail.org. We'd love to hear from you.