NYC businesses mull digital tools to aid home-bound employees

Two large organizations are collaborating to work with employers who want to offer digital tools to employee caregivers in New York City who are working from home.

Working together on the initiative are the NorthEast Business Group on Health in New York City and AARP.

A survey of metropolitan employers found that nearly all were interested in providing employed family caregivers with the technology they need to work at home, such as digital platforms that connect caregivers who are treating loved ones to each other, medical management tools and in-home patient monitoring tools.

The need for such tools is great—it is estimated that one in six employees, on average, is working from home.

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“Digital tools are an important component of a forward-thinking benefits package that can significantly ease the burden on caregivers’ time,” says Mark Cunningham-Hill, NEBGH medical director. “Employers should consider that the cost of these tools can be offset by increased employee engagement and retention, as well as lower absenteeism related to caregiving.”

Also See: Final rule to pay home health agencies for remote patient monitoring

A 36-page guide, available here, walks employers through the process of creating a digital tools program covering the challenges that caregivers face, how tools can help caregivers, and how to analyze the value that offering tools brings to the organization.

Additional guidance walks through enrolling employees in the tools program and sustaining their engagement.

“This guide provides employers with the information they need to better support the 24 million family caregivers who are currently balancing work and caregiving responsibilities, and many more who will come after them,” says Nancy LeaMond, chief advocacy and engagement officer at AARP.

To further support at-home employees, Northeast Business Group on Health and AARP suggest the consideration of employing a technology coach and a care coordinator.

The tech coach can set up the platforms being offered to employees and help them enter data, learn how to use an information system or an app, and answer any questions that arise later on.

The care coordinator can reduce burden on at-home providers by helping to source third-party care services such as case management, care coordination, legal, medical and financial planning, along with documentation assistance and other logistical services associated with being an employed caregiver.

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