When it’s time to leave the hospital, what’s next?


Imagine you have been hospitalized for any serious condition and after receiving emergency intervention, treated, operated on or attended to for less serious conditions but likely going through any number of bewildering experiences where you’re monitored, medicated, moved from doctor and nurse to scans and x-rays, followed by whatever therapies are required by your individual case, there comes a time when the decision is made — you are cleared to “go home.”

What happens as you are discharged?

Almost inevitably you are given medical advice, then handed discharge papers with tips on your condition and ongoing treatment that you are responsible for once you exit the hospital. Your personal belongings are gathered up and a family member or friend and vehicle arrives at the hospital and often you’re wheeled or assisted out. For the most part you’re on your own when you leave.

Let’s ask what could be better, significantly, measurably better, than the current discharge, post-hospitalization system?

Digibod’s editor believes Kaiser Permanente is on the right path to answer this question with its ‘Journey Home’ system with mobile connectivity and personalized programming that’s in initial test phases.

Here’s how a new ‘mobile health’ solution could become a DigiHealth option at the time of your hospital checkout.

Picture having a connected wrist band, for example comparable to some of today’s fitness band products, that monitors your vital signs and actions and is attuned, via tablet/laptop-netbook or smartphone connectivity, to your post-hospitalization (and/or chronic condition) needs. Your doctor and health care practitioners, hospital – primary care – ancillary services, would be connected to your personalized treatment plan. Picture having the attention of ongoing care via eHealth systems in an era where mobile devices and connectivity are ubiquitous.

When you check out of the hospital you would have a ‘lifeline’ that is personalized — a doctor-approved plan to guide your post-op/after hospitalization care.

Wouldn’t that be great? Instead of a sheaf of discharge paperwork and a wave good-by.

We think it’s about time within the DigiMed/DigiHealth fields that the major players and institutions look to the eHealth model being pioneered by Kaiser-Permanente.

Take a look at this excerpt from an article in MobiHealthNews. Excellent reporting from the field focusing on an Orlando HIMSS conference ending today, Feb 27, 2014. Amid hundreds of talks and discussions, here is one that we think could, and should, portend the near-future.


KP discharge app is early step in future care vision
By: Jonah Comstock | Feb 25, 2014

Two new Kaiser Permanente hospitals will be opening soon in California and will roll out the Journey Home Board, a tablet application that serves as an outpatient education and engagement app. The Journey Home Board is the latest technology to come out of Kaiser’s Imagine Care Anywhere program, an innovation center based out of Kaiser’s Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, California.

“For those of you who have never been hospitalized, when you’re a patient at the hospital you don’t really feel like you’re in control,” Danielle Cass, Innovation Evangelist at Kaiser Permanente said in a presentation at HIMSS in Orlando, Florida. “You don’t really know what’s going on, when do I get to go home, what tests are happening, who’s my care team. The Journey Home Board puts the member at the center…”

In the Imagine Care Anywhere vision of future care, the Journey Home Board is just the first step.


Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Danielle Cass – Kaiser Permanente

HIMSS Conf_1

HIMSS Conf_2

How can we support a patient’s care and health no matter where they are? Kaiser Permanente technology innovation executives describe the Imagining Care Anywhere experience where care teams are seamlessly integrated to members, not to places; and personalized health experiences are enabled through technology.

~ Influence leaders to engage frontline staff in designing the future of care
~ Discuss how technology can support patient care and health no matter where patients are
~ Demonstrate how mobile / digital devices in everyday life can increase patient self-care and home diagnostics

KP Care Anywhere