‘Aging in Place’ collaboration is created in Kansas City’s Northland

Cerner is one of the groups cooperating to provide technology and services for Aging in Place.
Cerner is one of the groups cooperating to provide technology and services for Aging in Place. The Kansas City Star

A program in Kansas City’s Northland called Aging in Place has been launched to help older adults return to — and stay in — their homes after hospital stays.

It will use health monitoring devices and special attention from health professionals to help people avoid rehospitalization or expensive care facilities. Cerner, North Kansas City Hospital, Northland Shepherd’s Center, LifeWise Renovations and K2 Consulting Solutions are cooperating to provide the technology and services needed.

The effort ties in with long-term goals of many local social service and health organizations to reduce the costs of health care and give people more preventive care information. Closer monitoring by health professionals also is expected to detect small medical or mobility problems before they escalate.

The hospital is developing a case management system to help patients with the transition from hospital to home, providing information about local health care resources, overseeing remote health monitoring and possibly providing home evaluations to check on safety factors.

Judy Springer, a vice president at North Kansas City Hospital, said the program aims to reduce the risk of hospital readmission and allow people to live independently longer.

Cerner’s HealtheLife software will be used for patient education, tracking and monitoring.

Bonnie Dean, Cerner’s director of life sciences consulting, said Cerner’s software will be augmented by its eventual data analysis of the project to determine what assistance or interventions have best met the goals.

Varying levels of technology will be involved, she said, depending on whether a person has Internet access and computer capabilities or simply uses some kind of monitoring device that can be monitored by health professionals.

Follow Diane Stafford online at Twitter: @kcstarstafford.