A care manager from Right at Home Northwest Houston uses the SparxConnect platform on her computer

A care manager from Right at Home Northwest Houston uses the SparxConnect platform. The home care organization earned Gold in the Building Bridges category of the 2021 McKnight’s Tech Awards.

In home care, caregivers often work across multiple homes and clients. As a result, communication is vital to organize care for clients and keep families informed.

When COVID-19 hit, Right At Home Northwest Houston, a Texas provider that works in home care, as well as congregate living, realized it needed to make improvements in the area of communication. Many of the clients’ family members were unable to visit due to the lockdown, and aides were also unable to provide care in many clients’ homes. 

SparxConnect, an engagement and collaboration platform for family members, clients and caregivers, turned out to be the critical tool to enhance communication among all three groups. For its incorporation of the SparxConnect platform, Right at Home Northwest Houston earned the Gold Award in the Building Bridges category in the Home Care track of the 2021 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. 

After its debut in May 2020, the program received an enthusiastic response from a majority of the care team, clients and family members. 

“Getting a picture of even an update about how they did that day was a huge help to the families,” Kim Eckerman, a care manager, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse.

In the past, many members would have to give out their personal phone numbers to family members to keep them updated. With the new system, caregivers kept family members updated on client progress and care in a more professional, but still conversational, way, through photos, video calls and a chat function.

“It allowed them to communicate with the family on a more personal level in real-time,” said Sandra Heintz, a facility owner.

The platform also helped caregivers inform each other about patient updates to assess patient needs. The upshot was a more connected staff.

“When your team is out in the field in homes, there is not a lot of camaraderie between caregivers so they feel more connected and feel valued,” Heinz said. 

For more on the 2021 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards winners, go here.