Pushing toward its third year of operations, Denver-based VisibleHand is a behavioral health decision support startup dedicated to solving some of the sector’s most challenging problems.
Their flagship offering, Foresight, is a healthcare data delivery and tracking tool that supports caregivers in skilled nursing, memory care communities and psychiatric hospitals across the United States. The app supplies users — ranging from frontline caregivers to administrators — with real-time, usable behavior data supporting the development, communication and tracking of best practices for each resident, with the additional benefit of simplifying compliance across communities.
Who They Support
VisibleHand is poised to support psych hospitals, LTC facilities and skilled-nursing organizations of all bed sizes and structures, particularly with needs in dementia, Alzheimer’s and locked unit behavioral care. Spanning Medicare/Medicaid to privately funded organizations, their team has broad experience helping administrators and system executives increase efficiency, achieve quality goals and enhance the level of care they offer to residents, families and care communities.
Due in part to their partnership with Samsung, VisibleHand is able to offer a highly-scalable, self-sufficient, secure and HIPAA-compliant solution that causes little disruption to existing IT environments and requires no additional capital investment. Their data-forward approach, 24/7 support and flexible, location-independent installation and training options have made them a favorite with leaders looking to tackle the most pressing challenges in modern behavioral healthcare as their needs evolve and their support network grows.
The simple and straightforward nature of Foresight’s implementation allows for quick and complete deployment across organizations ranging from small care facilities to large communities. So far, VisibleHand has had 30 deployments of the cloud-based Foresight platform, covering 690,000 unique patient observations, and is working to increase that number.
When you think “assisted living technology,” you probably envision EHRs and workflow software, but new innovators in the industry are leveraging technology to address some of behavioral health’s biggest challenges. Overmedication is still a massive problem for, and drain on, the U.S. healthcare system, especially in assisted living facilities where residential populations present increased prevalence of cognitive impairment and memory issues. To tackle this issue, healthcare technology company VisibleHand has developed a data-focused behavioral healthcare delivery tracking tool that addresses this challenge head on.
A Painful Lack of Data
Founder Harvey Morris, a licensed clinical psychologist, recognized a pressing challenge in nursing homes — there was a deep need for better data around practices like medication adjustments, types of interventions and effectiveness of the decisions caregivers and administrators were making.
As things stood, behavioral health data was largely an afterthought in the industry. While many facilities were tracking some behavioral health patterns, most were doing so in EHRs with tacked-on behavioral health components, generally only documenting major incidents. Consequently, leadership and caregivers were left doing detective work and making decisions around patient care that could benefit from better, real-time information.
Harvey’s son and co-founder, Matt, has a strong background building data-centered software for skilled nursing facilities, experience that was useful in developing a new, non-pharmacological way to monitor the effectiveness of behavioral health treatments.
Their resulting development, Foresight, empowers front-line caregivers to provide individualized care for their residents. It creates a centralized home for building a complete picture of a patient’s behavioral health, eliminating a large amount of uncertainty around clinician and caregiver decisions.
Now, when caregivers begin their shift, they are no longer coming in blind — they have a complete idea of what’s going on with a patient since the last time they saw them.
Foresight’s simple, icon-heavy interface allows for quick documentation and automated, real-time updates of patient situations. Aggregated information is available, via a dashboard, to all levels ranging from resident staff to unit managers to remote administrators of multi-facility systems, all to help improve accountability across the organization.
The company currently works with 30 facilities ranging in size from small to large, including skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) as well as assisted living, memory care facilities and psychiatric hospitals. The solution is customizable to the needs of each facility regardless of region or connectivity options, can be rolled out across multiple sites simultaneously and offers remote training at no additional cost. VisibleHand also provides the opportunity to connect interested customers with an existing client that closely matches their community context or demographics.
The VisibleHand team also recognized the need for a portable, adaptable, familiar hardware solution to facilitate their healthcare analytics platform. More than anything, they needed a solution that was mobile, fit in the pocket of caregivers and was able to collect information immediately at the time of care, even in areas with unreliable cellular connectivity. They decided on a smartphone, specifically the sturdy Galaxy J3, largely because it greatly reduced the amount of training required for caregivers, as many are already familiar with Android-based technology.
A Huge Win for Assisted Living Technology
VisibleHand, which is currently involved in 30 facilities across three markets in the U.S., has already produced results that are nothing short of revolutionary in the behavioral health space.
Foresight has changed the way its nursing home partners address challenges. For example, one facility noticed an uptick in aggressive behavior from residents during 2-4 p.m. The app helped them look deeper into that information, identify the fact that it was during a staff shift change and adjust their processes accordingly. Across over half a million unique observations, VisibleHand has seen the following improvements:
- A 300 percent increase in documentation
- Improved collaboration among staff
- Notable boosts in compliance
- Reduced hospitalizations
- Up to a 30 percent decrease in the use of antipsychotics
- Positive impacts on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement
- Drastic improvements in staff insight (compared to paper-based systems)
- Steady engagement levels over time
The reduction in medication use stands out most to their clients, largely because it allows them to avoid the drawbacks of a one-size-fits-all solution. Foresight gives clinicians the ability to use medication only when necessary for their patients.
VisibleHand also boasts benefits for staff. Since the interface is simple and inputs are made at the point of care, caregivers are able to almost completely eliminate end-of-shift paperwork obligations, saving social workers almost a week of time per quarter. Some caregivers have seen as much as a 40-fold increase in documentation levels, and clients have saved up to 20 percent of time spent in expensive consulting meetings with pharmacists.
Foresight has also leveraged health information technology to allow caregivers who might use English as a second, or even third, language to more accurately and frequently record observations, trends and opportunities to improve care. As Jay Treuhaft, head of marketing and business development, puts it, it all comes down to empowerment: “It’s more than a data collection tool … it engages and empowers the staff.”
The Future of VisibleHand
VisibleHand plans to improve its assisted living technology in the future by investing in enhanced security through custom solutions such as Samsung Knox Customization and other management solutions. The growing company plans to delve even deeper into patient-centered care with a more prevention-based approach through the use of AI, and begin tracking positive resident behaviors. Behavioral health is just beginning to see the benefits that health information technology has to offer, but this area offers promising growth and development as providers and innovators unite to imagine new solutions to pain points.
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