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NHIA partner Eitan Medical: Remote monitoring is future of home infusion

NHIA partner Eitan Medical: Remote monitoring is future of home infusion

The National Home Infusion Association recently welcomed Eitan Medical to its Future of Infusion Advisory Council, giving the small, global manufacturer of the Sapphire Infusion Pump and other products a window into what home infusion providers are facing. 

“We want to listen and we want to hear what the providers are seeing, and we want collaborate with them and our peers,” said Ben Noonan, general manager, North America at Eitan Medical. “We want to be with NHIA to understand what they’re doing and take what we are doing from a technology standpoint and meld it into better, safer and easier solution for patients.” 

Noonan spoke with HME News recently about how Eitan Medical envisions using data and technology to help providers better manage their business – and, ultimately, reshape the reimbursement model. 

HME News: What is the biggest challenge facing the home infusion industry right now? 

Ben Noonan: Right now, it is some combination of supply chain issues and labor shortages. Everything is short right now – syringes, tubes – putting a large strain on all of health care. That is a major challenge for the industry and feels like it will be around (for a while). The other challenge is labor and getting enough nurses and pharmacists. There’s been a lot of growth (in the industry) and they’ve had to scale. When there’s a nursing shortage, that can exacerbate the situation. That’s a tricky two-step right there. 

HME: Can using data and technology help alleviate certain challenges? 

Noonan: We want to use data in two ways: real time data, having the ability to see that treatment in the home, allows caregivers to keep an eye on things to make sure nutrition or medication is delivered in full at the right rate or the right time. It allows them to do that through technology, instead of sending a human. Longer term, there’s certainly a trend of shared data. Say the provider is using the Sapphire for TPN therapy: After hundreds of treatments, they can trend their data to see what percentage of patients complete or had their therapy interrupted. They now have ability to look at and tweak protocols or do adjustments that allow them to manage their business more effectively, theoretically. 

HME: Has the pandemic highlighted the need for a better reimbursement model for home infusion? 

Noonan: The whole spirit behind home infusion nursing is teaching the family how to use the device. These are simple designs to be used by people, not clinicians. Make sure the patient is comfortable and continue to monitor them. That’s why we’re trying to add (the virtual piece) so the nurse does not have to come back for treatment B, C or D. All the problems we are seeing with overwhelmed hospitals, it feels like we have a ready made solution and if they could set up a reimbursement that could be fair, it would alleviate some of the issues.




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