Employee Spotlight: Lexie Wiek

Name: Lexie Wiek 

Title: Customer Care Specialist

Education: I went to the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and received a Bachelor's Degree in both Forensic Science and Biology with a minor in Criminal Justice

Time at Ōmcare: 10 months

1. What led you to Ōmcare? 

I started with Ōmcare by working part time over winter break doing Customer Care. When I was done with school I started to help by testing the Ōmcare Home Health Hub. Last November I was offered a full time job as the Customer Care Specialist.

2. What’s the most rewarding part of working at Ōmcare? 

The most rewarding part of my job at Ōmcare is helping our Lead Users become more adherent with their medications because they can really see a difference personally with their health and wellness.

3. What is your favorite current project you’re working on? 

My favorite project is working on the Lead User Pilot because I love getting to know our Lead Users and I love helping them find solutions that they are proud of.

4. Pick out a core value that means a lot to you. How have you seen this lived out in your time at Ōmcare?

WE are a Team; I love collaborating with different members of our team and learning new perspectives that could help solve a problem or make our product even better!

5. What are you most proud of accomplishing throughout your time at Ōmcare?

I am most proud of the help that we have given to the participants and lead users that we have helped become more adherent leading to them feeling better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

6. Why should someone work at Ōmcare? 

I believe that someone should work for Ōmcare because we are working towards having an amazing product that will truly change people's quality of life and will have a huge impact on the longevity of their lives.

Ōmcare Home Health Hub with the door open

Transitioning to virtual healthcare for senior care facilities: Your ultimate guide

Since January 2020, 400,000 senior care facility staff have quit, but the mass exodus of caregivers started long before then. "We know that even before the pandemic, two years ago, there were already staff shortages," says Susan Reinhard, senior vice president at AARP. "It's a perennial problem." 

Senior care facility staff are leaving the industry due to a number of reasons, including low pay. However, Laurie Brewer, the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman, says "Sometimes money is not the problem. It's working conditions that are the problem." These conditions include taxing physical and emotional demands, especially as they have watched 200,000 of their residents and colleagues die of COVID-19.  

As senior care facilities continue to face staffing shortages, healthcare technology can step in to provide relief to already-exhausted caregivers. Technology delivers high-quality care with less manpower, and seniors actually prefer this blended approach. 53% of elderly patients say they would prefer their healthcare needs to be met by a mix of staff and technology. 

Transitioning to virtual healthcare isn’t simple, but this guide for senior care facilities breaks the process down into clear, actionable steps.  

Transitioning to virtual healthcare

Step 1: Know what problems virtual healthcare can solve

When transitioning to virtual healthcare, be aware of the limitations. While healthcare technology can ease the burden of a lot of tasks, some will still have to be handled by your staff. For example, you’ll still need staff to change bedding, clean residents, and shift patients to avoid bed sores.  

Although virtual healthcare isn’t appropriate in every situation, virtual healthcare can handle tasks including:  

  • Monitoring chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease 
  • Improving medication adherence with automatic pill dispensers 
  • Interactive patient care (IPC) which connects patients with doctors virtually, via calls, messaging systems, or video chats  
  • Remote vital monitoring that can alert senior care facility staff when there are issues 

Technology also allows residents to connect with providers virtually, which means no traveling to and from the appointments.  

Now that you know when virtual healthcare can be leveraged to assist senior care facility staff, it’s vital to pick the right technology.  

Step 2: Picking the right technology for your facility

When you’re thinking about looking for the right healthcare technology, there are a lot of options to consider. As you do your research, focus on: 

Simple implementation 

Technology should make your staff’s jobs easier, not harder. Look for solutions that are easy to implement, and prioritize companies that assist with implementation. Getting the platform up and running into your senior care facility should be relatively easy. 


Another thing to look for is integration of all your needs. It complicates matters if you have to turn to one platform to monitor chronic conditions, and another to improve medication adherence. One interface should allow you to manage all your healthcare needs. 


Look for a user-friendly, intuitive design. Especially for senior patients, who can often feel uncomfortable using new technologies due to the digital divide, ease of use is key. If some of your elderly residents are still struggling, your staff may need to train them in how to use it 

Data analytics 

Without tracking data, it can feel like going through a maze in the dark. When you track analytics, you’ll know what to improve going forward. There are healthcare technologies that automatically collect the data for you, and these are often the best for your senior care facility.  

Step 3: After making a choice, train your staff

When your residents have questions or difficulties using healthcare technology, they will turn to your staff for answers. Your staff should be trained and knowledgeable about the technology you implement.  

Your staff should also be able to handle basic troubleshooting if issues arise. Another way to set your transition up for success is to find a healthcare app that offers ongoing tech support.  

As you’re training your staff, you can pick a few staff members to be on your “super user” team. These team members will know more about the technology than an average staff member, and they can train their peers and offer relief in the face of any issues.  

Step 4: Create documentation

Creating documentation of how to use healthcare technology and the workflow that staff should follow helps you quickly train new staff members as time goes on. Even staff who have already undergone training can quickly and easily access your documentation to answer any questions they may have.   

Documentation can also help you develop a roadmap of how to implement the new healthcare technology. For example, you can outline:  

  • Who will be responsible to explaining the technology to residents 
  • Who will obtain informed consent 
  • Who is responsible for introducing providers to patients 
  • Who will document the needs during the appointment (for example, a medical scribe) 
  • Who will coordinate follow-up appointments 
  • How data will be integrated into your existing systems 

When you have all the steps and processes written down, it’s easier for your staff to implement the healthcare technology and continue to use it properly. 

Step 5: Engage with the residents and their families

The whole process of transitioning to virtual healthcare is for the benefit of your residents. Engage with the residents and their families to figure out any concerns and how to address them, and keep them engaged throughout the process. Similarly to how you’ll train your staff, we also recommend training your residents to allow for easier integration. 

 After you implement your new healthcare technology, continue engaging with residents and their families by asking for feedback. Use their responses to help you make it easier on your residents and for new residents. After all, your residents are your primary concern.  

Ōmcare offers a new standard for care coordination

As caregivers are diminishing, telehealth solutions allow senior care facilities to deliver quality patient care in a unique way. The Ōmcare Home Health Hub® allows you to:  

  • Coordinate: Connect your residents with healthcare providers via live chat. Efficient communication is possible with an interactive interface. 
  • Improve medication adherence: Automatically and accurately dispenses pre-slit packages of multi-dose medication at the right time. 
  • Inform: Dispensing data and video observation allow your staff to be aware of when doses are missed or taken incorrectly. Your staff will receive visual confirmation of the right medicine, at the right time, with the right person.  
  • Effectively manage costs: We’ve focused on creating a customizable, cost-effective solution for your senior care facility that won’t break the bank. 

 Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub® makes transitioning to virtual healthcare easy and keeps your patients healthier. Connect with Ōmcare today to learn more. 

Improve medication adherence: Healthcare best practices for Medicare Advantage

Medication non-adherence is when medication is not taken as prescribed. Especially in patients with a chronic condition, medication non-adherence leads to bad health outcomes and even causes 125,000 preventable deaths every year. 

Medication non-adherence is also an expensive issue. It leads to $100 billion in preventable medical costs every year. Plus, patients who aren’t taking their medicine properly are 25% more likely to be hospitalized—adding more stress to an already overburdened hospital staff. 

All of this begs the question: How can we improve medication adherence? We’ll dive into the details.  

What is medication adherence?

Medication adherence is the ultimate goal. It’s when a patient takes 80% or more of their prescribed medication doses, leading to positive health outcomes and proper management of chronic diseases.  

Currently, only 50% of U.S. adults take their medication properly. This is important especially for Medicare Advantage plans, because 41% of the Medicare Star Ratings is influenced by proper prescription management and medication adherence. Specifically, medication adherence for oral diabetes medications, cholesterol, and hypertension are triple-weighted in a plan’s Star Rating. 

When a plan is rated higher, more people enroll in it. 90% of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a plan with a 4.0 rating or above, which means improving your Star Rating should be your first priority to increase enrollees.   

Here is how to improve medication adherence to help increase your Star Rating:  

How to increase medication adherence

1. Understand the reasons for non-adherence

In order to improve medication adherence, it’s important to understand the reasons why patients aren’t following their medication schedules. Here they are:  

  • Forgetfulness: 63% of medication non-adherence cases are because patients forgot. This is especially a problem for patients with dementia or Alzheimer's 
  • Cost: 1.1 million Medicare patients are expected to die over the next decade due to prescription costs. Even when a patient has great health insurance, their medication might cost too much, so they stop taking them. 
  • Adverse side effects: Many medications cause adverse side effects, such as extreme nausea, so patients stop taking their medication altogether. Unfortunately, not taking the medication provides temporary relief, but it causes more issues down the road. 
  • Trouble managing multiple medications: Many patients have multiple medications–-all with different refills, prescription schedules, and dosages. It becomes too challenging to manage so many medications. 
  • Lack of health literacy: 36% of adults have low health literacy, which means they don’t understand health and medicine. These patients can’t make educated decisions about their bodies and often leads to a lack of understanding for what they’re supposed to do.  
  • Mental illness: Between 40 - 60% of patients who are mentally ill don’t adhere well to their medication schedules. Mental illness is a huge risk factor when it comes to non-adherence.

Knowing the reasons why patients aren’t properly taking their medication allows you to proactively take steps to improve adherence. Ask personalized questions to get a sense of what’s causing the patient to skip medication, and address the reasons head-on.  

2. Simplify communication and education

The average Medicare beneficiary reads at a 5th grade level, which is a problem because most healthcare communications are written at a 10th grade level or higher. Medicare patients need simple, easy-to-read language to help them improve their medication adherence.  

Cut out the medical jargon and focus on clearly communicating the treatment plan in everyday language. Explain in common terms what could happen to the patient if they don’t adhere to their medication plan.  

Another way to simplify communication is by making it possible for patients to reach providers via phone, portal, or video chat. Not every single question warrants an in-person visit, and making providers accessible saves time. It also drives better medication adherence.  

3. Make treatment plans easy to follow

Medication plans should be explained well, and they should be easy for the patient to follow. A patient can’t follow a treatment plan they don’t understand. There should be no surprises for the patient when it comes to how much they need, when they should take their medication, and where they need to pick it up. 

One way to do this is: Print the patient’s medication plan and provide them with a copy. When listening to a diagnosis and medication plan in the office, patients can feel overwhelmed, causing them to forget what you said. Printing out the plan in easy-to-follow steps makes it simpler for patients. 

Another way to keep plans simple is by sending text or call reminders. They might understand their plan, but forget to follow it in their daily lives. Since forgetfulness causes the majority of medication non-adherence cases, sometimes it’s as simple as sending a reminder text. 

4. Use automatic pill delivery and dispensers

Patients often forget to take their medication or order refills. In the Express Scripts medication non-adherence study, 20% of patients did not renew their prescriptions on time, and 10% put off refilling their prescriptions. Automatic pill deliveries can combat this issue. Patients don’t even have to leave their homes—medication gets delivered right to their doorsteps. 

Beyond forgetfulness, another common reason for medication non-adherence is that patients find it challenging to manage too many prescriptions. It gets complicated to sort out all the medication, their refills and doses, and when they need to be taken. One way to overcome this issue is to use automatic dispensers that deliver the right dose of each medication. 

Medicare Advantage Plans: Rely on Ōmcare  

Automatic pill deliveries, dispensers, reminders, and easy accessibility to providers make medication adherence much simpler for many patients. This helps Medicare Advantage plans reach the Star Ratings they need. 

Ōmcare streamlines and simplifies the entire medication management process: 

  • Medication is delivered to your patient’s doorstep. 
  • Prepackaged medication is dispensed to patients in the right amount, at the right time. 
  • Daily (or multiple times a day) check-ins connect patients with caregivers so they can ensure medication adherence on a dose level.  

Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub® keeps your patients on track for positive healthcare outcomes. Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more! 

Chuck Mooty, Minnesota Business Hall of Fame Inductee, Joins Ōmcare Board of Directors

Esteemed business leader, Chuck Mooty, joins the Board of Directors for innovative home health technology. 

[Minneapolis, August 8, 2022].  

Ōmcare announced that Chuck Mooty has joined their Board of Directors. Recently, Mooty was announced as a 2022 Minnesota Business Hall of Fame inductee for his many successes and thoughtful leadership throughout his career.   

Within a six-year window, Mooty was the CEO and Chairman of four major Minnesota organizations. He led the rejuvenation of the Dairy Queen system, re-opened and rebranded the Faribault Woolen Mill, stewarded Fairview Health Services during a period of crisis and completely reinvigorated Jostens Inc.  

Clearly, Mooty has a track record of helping companies thrive.  

“Chuck is renowned for possessing the strategic insight and business acumen to parachute into any business and fashion a strategy for growth and optimization. As Ōmcare prepares for its commercial rollout of the Ōmcare Home Health Hub®, Chuck’s experience and laser-focused mindset will be instrumental for our national growth strategy,” said Lisa Lavin, Ōmcare CEO.   

Mooty is enthusiastic to join a group of innovators who make home the site of care.  

“I am truly excited to join Lisa and the entire Board of Ōmcare at this pivotal time of bringing innovative technology for medical care into the home” said Mooty. “As our world continues to age and our healthcare workforce continues to decline, technology must be able to meet this challenge and I believe that Ōmcare is perfectly positioned to lead in the innovative care delivery with safe and accurate medications within the home.” 

Ōmcare aims to bring care into the home by extending the reach of caregivers and improve medication adherence and outcomes through its Ōmcare Home Health Hub®, which gives caregivers of all types – from physicians and pharmacists to home care providers or family members – the ability to provide remote care and confirm compliance with medication treatment plans from anywhere.  

Ōmcare is currently wrapping up a successful pilot with Ecumen Senior Care and Thrifty White Pharmacy and will move into full commercialization later this year.   

Lonely man looking out the window

The importance of connection: Why social messaging systems elevate healthcare platforms

High blood pressure. Obesity. Heart disease. Anxiety. Depression. A weak immune system. Cognitive decline. Alzheimer's disease… Even death.   

Those are the conditions that affect lonely seniors at higher rates than those who have meaningful relationships.  

Dr. Steve Cole, Ph.D. says, “Loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases.” He continues, “The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease.” 

The statistics: How loneliness affects elderly patients

If you’re the type of person who likes to see the numbers, we get it—so are we. Here are the statistics from the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). Loneliness in elderly patients is associated with increases the risk of: 

  • Dementia by 50% 
  • Heart disease by 29% 
  • Stroke by 32% 
  • Hospitalization by 68%  
  • Emergency visits by 57%  

And the most shocking statistic: loneliness increases the risk of death by four times.  

Overall, the CDC says that the health effects of loneliness rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. It’s known as the “loneliness epidemic.” Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation, says, “This is a very real public health crisis.” 

Connection is essential to keep seniors healthy—both mentally and physically.  

What is loneliness?

Chances are: most of us have felt lonely before. Emphasis on felt. Because that’s exactly what it is: a feeling. The CDC explains that loneliness is the feeling of being alone.  

Loneliness and social isolation are not one and the same. A person could be surrounded by people, yet still, feel alone. Another person could be socially isolated, yet not feel lonely.  

"Loneliness is the discrepancy between what you want from your relationships and what you actually have,” says Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine’s Brain Dynamics Laboratory.  

The goal is to help seniors avoid the distressing feeling of loneliness—even if they’re physically alone. 

A deep dive into elderly loneliness

When it comes to experiencing loneliness, seniors are the most at-risk members of society.  

The CDC notes, “Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation, because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.” Here are some more risk factors for loneliness in elderly patients: 

  • Retirement 
  • Loss of mobility  
  • Lack of transportation  

40% of Medicare enrollees feel more lonely since November 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the isolation epidemic. 

Does technology build connections?

50% of older, educated Americans say the internet has been essential in helping them adjust during the pandemic. But it’s not as simple as just connecting seniors to the internet.   

“The solution is not just to say we are going to give everyone an iPad,” says Laura Trejo, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Aging. “What are they going to do with it?” Instead, here are some of the best ways to use technology to combat elderly loneliness:  

  • Engaging online courses 
  • Virtual senior fitness classes 
  • Online community services 
  • Zoom or phone calls  
  • Classes to teach seniors how to use technology 
  • And finally…healthcare technology is an amazing area to help seniors ward off loneliness.  

Healthcare interventions are key

Loneliness leads to health problems, but the opposite is also true: health problems lead to loneliness. For example, 1 in 3 seniors have hearing loss, which leads to them feeling lonely. 

Another risk factor for loneliness is having a chronic illness. Psychology Today writes, “Symptoms and treatment often require withdrawal from the world.”  

Due to the interconnectedness of health conditions and loneliness, healthcare interventions are key. Medical professionals can help patients manage the underlying health problem that’s causing loneliness. Ultimately, this intervention will lead to less health issues down the line. 

What we’re saying is: Healthcare interventions are extremely important to help seniors ward off loneliness.  

The American Society on Aging writes, “Loneliness and isolation should be assessed and treated in the same way as other issues concerning health—through screening and appropriate intervention.” Here are how healthcare interventions can help lonely seniors: 

  • Periodic assessments for loneliness 
  • Inform seniors of the adverse health effects of loneliness 
  • Make efforts to connect seniors with social care 
  • Determine and treat the underlying health issues that are causing loneliness 
  • Recommend therapy 

And finally, take the time to build a relationship with your patients. 

Be a friend to your patients

Another way healthcare professionals can help is by fostering a connection with elderly patients. In fact, you might be one of the only relationships your patient has left. Taking a few extra minutes to show empathy can make all the difference in your patient’s life.   

When you’re communicating via a healthcare platform—for example, video chatting or messaging—you’ll want to be more verbal. During in-office visits, patients can read your body language. That’s not true when you’re providing healthcare virtually. Here are our tips for being a virtual “friend” to your patients:   

  • Let your patients know you’re listening. 
  • Be curious about your patient. Ask questions to understand your patient—including questions that aren’t necessarily about medicine. 
  • Acknowledge the patient and their feelings.  
  • Show support.  
  • Share extra resources. 
  • Treat the patient how you would want a family member to be treated.  
  • Ask for feedback. 

Even if you’re communicating virtually, showing empathy leads to better health outcomes for patients.  

Social messaging elevates healthcare platforms

Connection is key to helping seniors avoid long-term health problems and needless suffering. That’s why we built a healthcare app that allows patients and providers to build meaningful relationships. And the Ōmcare Home Health Hub® was born. It’s a customizable telehealth portal.   

Here are a few things you can do with Ōmcare:  

  • Connect with patients in real-time via video or chat 
  • Provide face-to-face care 
  • Help patients feel less lonely and manage their conditions 
  • Provide medication management (prescribe medications, provide accurate pre-slit packages of multi-dose medication at the right time, and track adherence)

Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more.  

Do elderly patients want to use healthcare technology?

As we’re considering alternatives to at-home healthcare for elderly patients, medical technology is what we turn to. Age-tech is not only more cost-effective, but it also allows older patients to maintain their autonomy and independence as they age.  

But when it comes to older patients, there’s a stigma that they don’t want to—or can’t—use technology. These are the questions we’re investigating today: Do older patients want to use healthcare technology? What barriers make healthcare technology challenging for the older generation, and how can we overcome them?   

Most elderly patients are using technology in their daily lives

Younger generations have grown up with technology, which makes it less complicated to pick up and learn quickly. But what about older generations who haven’t had the benefit of learning how to use technology from a young age? 

Although we typically imagine elderly patients struggling to use technology, 61% of people 65 and older own a smartphone. Even more—75% of elderly patients—are internet users. And finally, 56% of seniors send text messages daily. While there’s a common stereotype that elderly patients are unable to use technology, the vast majority of them are already using it in their daily lives.  

But what about medical technology specifically? Here are the statistics: 

  • 40% of elderly patients want to use technology for medication management. 
  • 21% of older patients want to use telehealth to video conference with their doctors. 
  • 53% want their health to be managed by a mix of technology and healthcare staff. 
  • 66% of older patients say they’re comfortable sharing their health data with their providers via technology. 
  • 3 in 4 older Americans want to age in their homes with the help of technology. 

Not only are the majority of seniors comfortable using technology, but they’re ready to use it to manage their health. Yet even still, some seniors are being left behind in the new digital age.   

A deep dive into the digital divide

When it comes to developing digital skills, seniors are closing the generational gap and catching up to their younger counterparts. However, there’s still a digital divide among seniors. This gap in technology usage is mainly due to polarizing attitudes toward technology.  

Seniors are categorized into these five groups to help us understand their different attitudes towards age-tech. 

Here are the two senior groups that are least likely to use technology:  

  • Old traditionalists: This makes up 20% of the elderly population. These elderly patients typically don’t have children, are isolated, and have fewer devices than the average senior.  
  • Striving pensioners: These seniors make up 26% of the elderly population, and they’re likely to live alone, have health or financial problems, and have few devices. However, they’re likely to watch TV more often than other seniors.

The next senior group is likely to use technology on an average level: 

  • Sociable grandparents: These seniors make up 25% of the elderly population. They’re likely to be married and socialize often. They don’t often feel lonely in comparison to other seniors. 

Here are the last two senior groups. These two are only about 3 in 10 of all seniors. They’re likely to use the internet and technology more than the average senior:  

  • Mature life connoisseurs: 13% of the elderly population, these seniors are typically married, highly educated, and have steady finances. They’re likely to be more active and social than other seniors.  
  • Aging techies: Making up 16% of the senior population, these elderly patients show a high level of excitement for technology. They’re often well-educated, active, make good money, and socialize often.  

Clearly, there is a large gap in technology usage among seniors themselves. So how can we go about bridging the gap so that more seniors use medical technology? 

How to drive higher age-tech usage in elderly patients 

Among the two groups of elderly patients that are less likely to use technology, we can see some common themes:  

  • They are less likely to have family and friends that can help them navigate new technologies.  
  • They’re more likely to face physical challenges, such as hearing loss, that makes using technology harder. 
  • They often don’t have exposable income, meaning they can’t constantly buy new technologies. 

Here are our recommendations to help these seniors access medical technologies: 

  • Provide detailed instructions on how to use age-tech. For example, create easy-to-understand instructions to help.  
  • If physical constraints, such as hearing loss or visual impairments, are affecting a senior’s use of age-tech, provide them with alternative options to help them overcome that barrier. For example, for patients with hearing loss, a healthcare messaging system may be better than a virtual appointment or phone call. 
  • Help patients understand their financial assistance options. 

Finally, if you’re creating your own healthcare app, focus on making user experience accessible for all. This involves asking elderly patients about their preferences and abilities during research and development phases.  

Turn to age-tech that was created for seniors

While many age-tech options are created “top-down,” with seniors as an afterthought, the Ōmcare Home Health Hub® was developed specifically to help seniors use it with ease. Seniors want to use healthcare technology, so we’ve made it easier for them to do so. The Ōmcare Home Health Hub connects elderly patients with providers and helps them manage their medications. Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more.  

Practicing good “webside” manner for senior care facilities: Our top tips

Telehealth can greatly improve the lives of elderly patients. It’s a cost-effective option that allows seniors to continue living in their own homes, which increases patient satisfaction. Plus, telehealth reduces the need for excessive traveling to appointments, and decreases the stress on caregivers. 

As technology advances, providers are increasingly interacting with patients through phones and laptop screens. It can be challenging for providers to maintain their bedside manner. While virtual provider-patient interaction is different, many aspects do remain the same—providers still need to be friendly, compassionate, and trustworthy.  

First, we’ll explore why bedside manner is important, and then we’ll explain how to apply bedside manner to virtual healthcare.  

Why is bedside manner important? 

Beside manner is the way providers interact with their patients. Good bedside manner is the art of treating patients like people, not just another number in your workday. eMDs writes, “Your ability to communicate with your patients with empathy, understanding, and in terms the patient understands creates a strong foundation for a lasting patient-provider relationship.” 

Healthgrades found that 52% of patients say their doctor needs to have one of the following: 

  • Bedside manner 
  • Compassion 
  • Comfort 
  • Patience 
  • Personality 

“Patients don’t just want to see a doctor, they want to be seen,” says Healthgrades chief medical officer, Dr. Bowman. And when patients do feel seen, they’re more likely to experience  

  • Better provider-patient relationships 
  • Increased treatment and medication adherence  
  • Better healthcare outcomes 

All of these benefits can be applied to virtual visits as well. Even when doctors aren’t bedside, they can still practice communicating with patients in a way that makes them feel seen. “Webside” manner is the bedside manner expressed via telehealth.  

What is “webside” manner?

When delivering virtual healthcare, direct interaction and physical cues are limited. It makes it harder for providers to recognize nonverbal cues. Plus, telehealth can make it more challenging to connect with patients. Webside manner is seemingly harder, because it’s not quite the same as bedside manner. It’s like using a new muscle.   

Dr. Brian Donley says compassion and bedside manner is like a muscle: “The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” And the same goes for webside manner. 

So how can providers practice webside manner? Here’s how:  

  • Ask more detailed questions. Because you’re not able to get as many nonverbal cues, you’ll need the patient to give more detailed answers. And that starts with asking more detailed questions to encourage meaningful patient engagement.  
  • Use positive upper body language. Patients can only see your upper half. It’s important to use positive body language in your upper half. For example, nod your head in understanding, relax your shoulders, lean forward in interest, sit up instead of slouching, and look into the camera.  
  • Avoid fidgeting. Your equipment is most likely sensitive to small noises, even slight tapping or clicking of your pen. Avoid fidgeting, and be transparent with your patients if you’re typing or taking notes about them. They might think you’re multitasking, instead of listening to them. Also, wait to take a bite to eat until you hang up from the call.  
  • Listen intentionally. Being booked with patients can make it challenging to listen intently. Practice listening well and making your patients feel heard. 
  • Present yourself professionally. Even virtually, first impressions matter. Dress and present yourself professionally to show patients that you take your job seriously.  
  • Limit distractions in your background and choose great lighting. A blank wall behind you is best. 
  • Use a light and positive tone. Virtually, the best way to demonstrate empathy is by using a light and positive tone in your voice. The words you say are important too, but the tone you use is key.  
  • Close the appointment by reviewing the treatment plan. Make sure patients understand their plan, and leave extra time for questions to make sure that they have all the information they need. 

Good webside manner starts with picking a great telehealth option.

One key component of webside manner is limiting technological distractions and hiccups. That means choosing a great telehealth option. Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub® a video-based healthcare solution to connect providers and patients. Reach out to Ōmcare today to learn more. 

Sajith Padmaja

Employee Spotlight: Sajith Padmaja 

Name: Sajith Padmaja 

Title: VP, Engineering 

Education: Masters of Science, Software Systems 

Time at Ōmcare: 11/01/2017 - present 

One personal fact about you: I dream big. My idea of a pet while growing up in South India was an Elephant! 

1. What led you to Ōmcare? 

My quest for an opportunity to develop a ground-breaking product led me to Ōmcare. I started my career 22 years ago with a startup developing products for Bluetooth technology which was in its nascent stage then. Throughout my career I got opportunities to develop amazing products for organizations like Microsoft, DHL, and Medtronic. My experience at Medtronic—where I helped developed Bluetooth enabled Pacemakers—introduced me to medical device domain which I fell in love with. When the opportunity to lead Ōmcare’s product development came, I grabbed it with both hands. 

2. What’s the most rewarding part of working at Ōmcare? 

Creating a path-breaking product, the opportunities to learn new technologies, and getting to work with amazing people are equally rewarding. 

3. What is your favorite current project you’re working on? 

I enjoy every aspect of my work. My responsibilities include: 

  1. Project management which means managing scope, schedule, cost, resources, risks, quality, and contracting 
  2. Software development and testing which involves embedded systems and application development 
  3. Site Reliability Engineering, which is a new area of focus for me and involves identifying and using software tools and architectures that enable our product to be more secure and reliable 

4. Pick out a core value that means a lot to you. How have you seen this lived out in your time at Ōmcare? 

All our core values mean a lot to me. But if I have to pick one, I’d choose “Acts with integrity and follows through.”  

My day-to-day work involves resolving technological challenges—part of all product development—and the last thing I want to worry about is whether the other person in the room will do what is right. I see all our core values lived out at Ōmcare every single day. I see our team members proactively picking up difficult tasks, getting it done with good quality, and reporting back without any follow ups. We’re able to work like a well-oiled machine because all members of our team are professionals with high integrity. 

5. What are you most proud of accomplishing throughout your time at Ōmcare? 

I am grateful that working with a small but great team, I was able to make an amazing product that is currently helping people to take their medications on time and stay healthy. Starting with a list of product requirements, I led the effort of identifying the product architecture, choosing the hardware and software components, developing the strategy for quality and product security, and hiring engineers who are highly skilled. I am specifically proud of my contribution towards identifying components which are low priced but of high quality. This enables us to keep the cost of goods sold low, which in turn allows us to make the product more affordable.  

Doctor performing telehealth through a video call

3 Affordable alternatives to traditional home health care (2022 Update) 

3 in 4 older Americans want to stay in their homes as they age. Yet, home healthcare has become increasingly expensive, and it’s no longer an affordable option for the average patient. In 2022, the median monthly cost for full-time home healthcare is $4,500 

That’s $54,000 a year.  

Thankfully, there are a host of technological healthcare solutions available for patients who have conditions that need monitoring and treating. Before you decide to hire a nurse to come over daily, let’s explore other, more cost-effective healthcare options. 

Technology’s role in home healthcare

Technology has opened up a world of possibilities for elderly people with disabilities and chronic diseases. Patients are no longer reliant on in-person healthcare to live independent lives.   

“We’re already seeing some really interesting ways technology is being used to help people as they age,” says Ben Jonash, an author of The Future of Aging. Medical technology is allowing patients to age gracefully and in their own homes, even when they have health issues. These technologies represent alternatives for elderly patients to avoid expensive, in-person healthcare. 

3 alternatives to home healthcare

1. Telemedicine

The first alternative to in-person healthcare is telemedicine. This is what it sounds like: a medical professional can provide their services through video chat, rather than in-person. Telemedicine, or telehealth, provides the following benefits: 

  • Promotes continuity of care 
  • Decreases the cost of care 
  • Improves patient self-management and clinical outcomes 
  • Reduces exposure to illness 

With telemedicine, patients can still get the care they need, without stepping outside their homes. They’ll still receive access to the same healthcare that they would in-person. And at times, care is even more accessible, easier to get, and quicker.  

2. Mobile Health

When a patient self monitors, then transfers the data to an online healthcare platform, it’s referred to as “mobile health.” Mobile health, similarly to telemedicine, represents another affordable alternative to at-home healthcare. Here are some examples of mobile health: 

  • Tracking dietary intake and glucose levels for diabetes management 
  • Remote patient monitoring (in these instances, devices do the monitoring for the patients)  
  • Point-of-care diagnostics  
  • Mobile health applications that connect patients with providers (for example, real-time messaging) 

Another example of mobile health would be when a patient wears an emergency health tracking device. Medical alert systems can alarm doctors and emergency responders when patients can’t do so themselves. 

Mobile health, in many cases, removed the need to have someone in the home, making it an incredible alternative to in-home healthcare.  

3. Medication management

Technology greatly enhances the ability of providers to remotely manage medications, allowing easy access for patients.Online medication management is widely known as “telepharmacy.” These are applications that remind patients of refill schedules and allow them to easily message pharmacists to request refills. 

Using online medication management, patients can have their medicine delivered. Some medication management tools even include automatic pill dispensers and medication reminders. By taking the entire process of managing medicine online, patients are more likely to adhere to their medication schedules, leading to more favorable health outcomes. 

Technology drives better health outcomes

Nowadays, most patients can’t afford to drop thousands of dollars a month on full-time home healthcare. Thankfully, no one has to—with the help of technology. Now that you know the alternatives to home health care, all that’s left to do is find the right solution for you.  

One option that offers telemedicine, mobile health, and medication management is Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub®. It’s a platform that offers patients and providers the ability to form a virtual relationship, checking in regularly, remotely. Patients can also request medication refills and have them mailed directly to their doors.  

Reach out to Ōmcare to get started with telemedicine and online medication management. 

Ōmcare appoints Matthew Grose as CTO 

Ōmcare appoints Matthew Grose as CTO 

Grose will lead the development of the Ōmcare Home Health Hub® to bring remote care and medication adherence into the home.

[Minneapolis, June 8, 2022]. Ōmcare announced that Matthew Grose (MG) has been appointed Chief Technology Officer of the company.

An experienced engineering leader, MG spent the last seven years at Optum of UnitedHealth Group, most recently serving as Chief Engineer, VP Software Engineering. Before that, he honed his software skills at LifeTime — The Healthy Way of Life Company.  

“Ōmcare has proven core functionality in pilot and is ready to accelerate development of its total solution”, said Lisa Lavin, Chief Executive Officer. “Bringing on a CTO with MG's experience and skills will enable Ōmcare to scale existing technologies while continuing to build innovative solutions for the future.” 

While at UnitedHealth Group, MG’s contributions raised the bar of engineering excellence creating efficiency, scale and collaboration across business units. Notable highlights include serving as a Distinguished Engineer, leading the digital provider platform Link used by millions of providers a day, introducing sustainable and secure public cloud adoption and acting as Chief Engineer for the company’s technology platforms powering 40,000 engineers and technologists. 

During the pandemic, MG stepped out of his normal duties and focused on increasing accessibility to COVID-19 vaccinations and the successful completion of CARES Act payments by leading rapid speed cloud projects spanning multiple companies, including fast-tracking a year-long cloud scaling plan in 5 weeks. Now, he brings both his software skills and leadership development to Ōmcare.  

"I joined Ōmcare for the opportunity to create technology closer to the human experience while playing a pivotal role in the company's future. Ōmcare's purpose is a natural fit to my personal passion of improving quality of life through technology. It is exciting to imagine where home health care will be in 5, 10, 20 years and I'm honored to be playing a part here with Ōmcare.  Let’s improve care in the home!” said MG. 

Ōmcare is currently in final stages of pilot and expected to be commercial in late 2022.  

About Ōmcare 

Ōmcare is a digital health company pioneering a customizable home health technology platform that extends the reach of caregivers and enables one-touch access to telehealth services, aggregated remote patient monitoring and medication dispensing with visual confirmation of medication adherence.