Web Site to Target Health Care Needs

February 20, 2007
Rocky Mount Telegram

An online information and communication database for the older generation, their physicians and their caregivers is gearing up to launch next week.

The Web site, called Network of Care, will provide residents with resources to find low-cost prescription drugs and a place to keep family members and doctors updated of their condition. And those are only a few of the system's features that will be available free of charge beginning February 28.

The Web site's launch in the area is the product of a partnership between the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging and the California-based company Trilogy. The company will serve as host to Network of Care.

"I think it's more comprehensive than what we see most of the time," said Heather Proctor, director of the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging.

To celebrate the launch, the agency is sponsoring a breakfast celebration from 9 to 10 a.m. Feb. 28 in the Brown Auditorium at Nash Community College. The hour-long session will demonstrate Network of Care and allow time for questions, and will be followed by a training session that ends at noon.

Network of Care will launch that day in the Twin Counties, and in Wilson, Halifax and Northampton counties.

Residents and caregivers can use the Web site to find companies that provide prescription medicine at low costs, and conduct research on assisted devices for home and recreational use.

"It can be something as important as grab bars for their shower, and they're trying to figure out what would be the best model, etc., ... but it also can be important in other ways, such as recreation," Proctor said.

It also contains a section where residents can e-mail their elected representatives and find information on health-related items.

"There's a piece where people can track legislative bills to see what's happening in the state and federal level on aging issues," Proctor said.

Network of Care also can help family members keep in touch, such as an older sister who is taking care of a parent and wants to keep her siblings apprised of what's going on. They can post that information on the Web site, where it will remain encrypted to everyone except those who have access to it, Proctor said.

Also, doctors can share their patient's information with another physician – provided they have permission from the patient.

Network of Care will give people more than just information, Proctor said.

"It really helps people handle their own decisions and manage their situations for themselves," she said.

Anyone who wants to attend the breakfast should call 446-0411, extension 257.