BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 6, 2020)—Caregiver training matters for retention. But providers say the process can be time-consuming to complete. A new app, MedFlyt, hopes to help alleviate these concerns with built-in training, onboarding and compliance tools. The company also recently introduced a COVID-19 screening tool to help keep patients and caregivers safe. Levi Pavlovsky, Co-Founder and COO of MedFlyt shares more about the company and homecare technology, below.
HomeCare: What is MedFlyt and how does it differ from other homecare support apps?
PAVLOVSKY: MedFlyt is a cloud-based web platform and mobile app that changes the way homecare agencies staff, train, and onboard caregivers to improve in-home care for patients. MedFlyt’s technology helps to facilitate and streamline operations, while also properly holding caregivers accountable for their work. Having recently won Gold in the 2020 MassChallenge HealthTech (MCHT) Accelerator Program, MedFlyt not only brings convenience to what is typically considered a time-consuming process, but helps to increase retention of caregivers and provide proper training, which often results in an advance in the level of care for patients. MedFlyt has served over 100 agencies with 120,000 active caregiver users.
HomeCare: How do you see homecare adapting to the pandemic and beyond?
PAVLOVSKY: COVID-19 has served as a health care innovation catalyst as many physicians are now referring their patients to in-home care agencies over skilled nursing facilities, due to both safety and cost. Over the past several months, in-home health care has become more prominent as many adults have come to prefer alternatives to visiting their doctor during the pandemic. At the same time, societal and cultural changes have propelled and welcomed the development of new ways to take care of the elder population who are staying at home, especially during the pandemic. Increased emphasis on reducing the burden on the health care system and on hospitals has created a demand for homecare like never before that will only continue to grow.
The pandemic has forced the homecare industry to adapt sooner than expected, creating a skills/training gap as patients rely on at-home health care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some industry officials say this is a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic after nursing homes were brutally hit earlier this year given their vulnerable populations. MedFlyt's COVID-19 pre-screening tool and training app with the aim of streamlining operations across all branch locations has helped companies—like Humana—to rapidly implement the necessary training and leverage this solution to ensure their in-home associates readiness to work by answering present questions and deliver training modules.
HomeCare: What are some challenges that you’re trying to alleviate with technology?
PAVLOVSKY: Many of the major challenges in the homecare industry stem from staffing and compliance issues, along with a time-consuming training process. The issue that stands out the most, however, are turnover rates which reached an all-time high of 82% in 2018. [Editor’s note: rates fell back to 64% in 2019.] Turnover in the homecare industry happens for numerous reasons unrelated to the work of serving others, including lack of career advancement opportunities, dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, and the challenges and financial burden associated with arranging childcare or eldercare for one’s own family. MedFlyt’s software brings the convenience of a native mobile app to caregiver staffing, training, remote onboarding, COVID-19 screening and clinical documentation.
HomeCare: Why is technology critical to providing value-based care?
PAVLOVSKY: As patients’ needs continue to change, technology must evolve to reflect these shifts. Now more than ever, we need homecare providers more readily available and more easily accessible for patients and their families. MedFlyt utilizes Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) software to modernize the agency-to-caregiver coordination process, increase convenience and provide the necessary resources to ensure quality care for every patient—all with a smartphone.
HomeCare: Where do you see health care technology heading in the next five years?
PAVLOVSKY: Like any industry, health care is constantly evolving. Even more so, the entire landscape has drastically and rapidly changed as a result of the global pandemic. Health care technology, specifically, has been pushed and challenged in unprecedented ways to cope with the current climate. As we move forward, in-home care will continue to be a viable and growing option for patients, with employment of in-home aides expected to grow 41% from 2016-2026. Further, health care will continue to become even more accessible and readily available via smartphone.