The emotional, psychological, and physical stress associated with caring for an aging, sick parent is draining, frustrating, and leaves one feeling helpless when navigating the seemingly endless bureaucracy within the American healthcare system. You become the one in charge because no one within the healthcare systems is, no one in the healthcare system has responsibility for seeing that every doctor, nurse, therapist, aide, and family member has current information on medications, care instructions, or what to do just in case something happens.
A new online service, Kingery Health, was conceived to relieve the stress, frustration, and time consumed when managing the care of an aging, sick parent and provide peace of mind from knowing your parent receives the care they need.
Having lost both my mother and father in the not too distant past, I can speak firsthand about the toll decline, illness, and death take on a family. It’s one the most sorrowful experiences one can have. Previous life experiences do not prepare you for the challenges faced when struggling to help the people you love through their final stages in life.
It seems as if you have nowhere to turn for help. You want answers from doctors, insurance companies, and a host of other service providers, and wind up spending your days playing phone tag. Compound that with a distributed family that you need to keep in the loop, and being the primary caregiver soon takes almost all of your time.
It’s not that people in the healthcare system want to be unhelpful. The pressure associated with declining Medicare reimbursements means doctors have to see more patients to keep their office doors open and still take home a decent salary. Federal requirements for information systems to track and improve quality of care means they have to purchase, implement, and learn new systems. Healthcare providers are stretched thin on time, and much of it is not necessarily focused on patient care as they deal with compliance administration. Who, then, can you turn to for help?
It used to be that someone in the family had to become an advocate, ensuring that all of the patient’s needs were met—from going to doctor appointments and filling prescriptions to wading through insurance red tape and helping loved ones make critical decisions. Kingery Health, takes over much of the heavy lifting usually left to one or two family members.
Gail Embt founded Kingery Health to solve the systematic problems related to eldercare after having to work through issues on her own when her mother became ill. She knew there had to be a way to simplify communication and coordinated care among healthcare providers and family members. The easy-to-use service enables families to create a care community that:
- Saves time
- Gives peace of mind—you can see changes in care as they happen
- Delivers answers without playing phone tag
- Creates continuity of care across facilities
- Improves communication across the patient’s community
- Stops the paper shuffle—authorized people have access to data they need
- Navigates the complexities of the healthcare system in general
Embt likens the MyKinergy service to a Facebook community with privacy.
“Caring for a sick parent is an emotional time. The caregiver gets all of this information thrown at them, which they have to then go home and put into a database to track all of the moving pieces,” states Embt. “If the caregiver has the time, energy, and systems to manage the data, then one person has a full set of information. That’s why we created MyKinergy. It connects the patient’s community and simplifies communication so that everyone can be on the same page. The process of keeping information up-to-date needs to be as simple as reaching out on Facebook to ask how your high school friends are doing.”
“When I talk to families, they say we’ve got it right. Our service allows a team to bring an elderly individual out of the nursing home and back into her house so she can live out the end of her life at home. My company will have done a good job as long as we can give our patients’ families comfort and confidence as they face a very challenging time in their lives,” concludes Embt.
Kingery Health is HIPAA compliant, and will soon roll out a feature that gives 1-click access to HIPAA authorizations. The service gives providers an easy way to communicate with other doctors, hospitals, patients, families, home care providers, assisted living facilities, and other people who are authorized to see patient data. MyKinergy makes asking questions and receiving answers easy for patients and their families. Providers pay a monthly subscription fee and post information once in a central repository. Patients and their families gain knowledge and peace of mind. Providers save time and reduce the cost of delivering high quality care. Just think. No more phone tag!
Kingery Health recently launched a Navigator program (currently in beta) for families that want additional support addressing the complexities of the healthcare system. The Navigators offer a cost-effective alternative to hiring a geriatric care manager, help families figure out next steps when patients face new problems or receive conflicting advice. As experienced health managers and nurses, the Navigators can offer a shoulder to lean on, yet do not give medical advice themselves.
Unlike most other cloud services, Kinergy Health’s patients retain full ownership of their personal data. Per Embt, “The patient controls access to their communities. We do not touch, own, or view the patient’s data. To us, the patient’s health information is as critical as financial data.”
Kinergy Health is located in the DC Metro area. MyKinergy is available anywhere in the country, and is in fact, designed to enable distributed families to communicate effectively during healthcare and eldercare events. It’s nice to know Kinergy Health is there when you need them.