(Photo Courtesy Drew Clark)
Keswick Multi-Care Services has a long history in Baltimore providing healthcare services for aging populations from its campus location in Hampden where it provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
But four years ago, the organization saw a shift toward providing services to a person before they needed to leave home. A big focus, said Keswick President and CEO Carmel Roques, was on extending care to people who were still living at home, and taking steps that focused on preventative care and how a person’s environment influences their heatlh. To provide this care, the organization spun out a new nonprofit called Keswick Community Health.
“Our board made a decision that we could have the kind of mission impact we wanted to have by addressing programs and service initiatives to those who were living in the community, and integrating that with the campus based services,” Roques said. Over the next few years, Roques expects the nonprofit to grow. It recently opened a hub called the Wise & Well Center for Healthy Living that emphasizes classes and coaching, rather than treatment.
“This is tracking completely with the way federal and state government are funneling resources and also policy on where care should be delivered, and how care should be delivered,” Roques said.
Part of carrying out that mission, however, required technology that would allow them to track data.
“We were already doing this really beautiful work with patient in terms of providing them with customized care which we know tends to lead to very good outcomes,” Roques said. But they didn’t have a system that would allow them to keep track of data – both medical and non-medical – on patients, as well as analyze the data and draw conclusions. Being able to demonstrate the outcomes, Roques said, was especially important. There’s also information that’s key for getting reimbursements from Medicare and other healthcare programs.
While platforms exist to manage healthcare data, Roques said they couldn’t find a system that performed what was required for their community organization.
However, meeting the local tech community provided a boost. At an Aging 2.0 Baltimore event, she saw a presentation from Drew Clark of Aperio Health. The Baltimore startup’s enterprise platform was designed for community-based organizations working with substance abuse and mental health services. Clark acknowledged that Keswick Community Health wasn’t necessarily the company’s initial “target market,” but they found common ground around creating a system that integrated data and saving on cost.
“Our premise was aligned with [Roques’] vision for an integrated delivery model around geriatric population health,” Clark said.
The two organizations started working together on a platform that’s made for community-based care. Along with addressing needs of patients and Keswick Community Health, Clark said it’s also important extend to other nonclinical providers, as well as integrating new technology like wearables.
“This is about saying, This is a new way of delivering healthcare and we want to make sure we have a technology platform that can support that,” Roques said.
With Aperio providing tech expertise and Keswick Community Health’s knowledge of providing the services, the organizations have worked closely. Aperio is also based at Keswick’s facilities. Though they remain independent businesses, the emphasis has been on collaboration.
“From the very beginning it was about developing this together,” Roques said.
Now, they see potential to develop the platform for use by others in Baltimore beyond Keswick, as well. Larger platforms aren’t typically working with the community-based organizations, Clark said, and the new forms of reimbursement required by
“We think this could be very much a game changer,” he said.-30-
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