Elder patients like their homes: It’s a well-accepted fact that Patients get much better in a healing environment at home than a hospital. When we want to feel loved and cared, we prefer being at home. It feels safe, it is secure and is also the refuge of last resort. Recent trends indicate Home Health Care is fast becoming the next frontier for Healthcare professionals.
Under the ACTION program, in an initial pilot, Agency for Integrated Care in Singapore reported success with 81 care coordinators handling more than 28,731 patients since 2008. Not surprisingly, over 70% patients rated the overall service as being Good or Excellent.
…and it costs less too: In a study by author Cryer L, it was mentioned that the Home Healthcare Division of Presbyterian Healthcare Services recently reported 19% lower costs for ‘hospital at home’ patients, with equal or better outcomes compared to similar inpatients (Source: US National Library of medicine).
In another article the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that homecare, directed by Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs), reduced total costs of care for patients suffering from heart failure and co-morbid conditions, attributable to fewer and later hospitalizations and fewer deaths. The costs were 37% lesser!
With better outcomes and lowered cost, it’s no small wonder that increasingly policy makers in Governments across the world prefer Active ageing at home in their citizenry. WHO believes Active ageing allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course.
Despite spending 17% of its GDP on healthcare, the outcomes in the United States are no better than in countries which spend far less per capita, opines Prof. Regina Herzlinger in an article in HBS. Singapore has chosen the path of targeted subsidy, preventative health and personal responsibility in trying to achieve Active ageing among its citizens. Family members are also being roped in to support Active ageing as filial piety is a key socio-cultural value in the country.
Technology greatly impacts outcomes
All over the world, that Family and Home Care is the best way to support Active ageing, is not lost on individuals, policy makers and technology providers alike. In providing desirable outcomes, technology can be leveraged to the hilt and this presents a great opportunity for software firms.
Preventative home care solutions resulting from Connected devices that monitor vitals and send that data to a Care Coordinator for timely intervention are quickly gaining acceptance. Software solutions and technology then loop this information into clinical pathways ensuring the Continuum of Care. A per-month per-patient pricing for such technology goes a long way in keeping transaction costs transparent, allowing providers to lower their capital costs and pass these savings to the Patients.
In summary, all aspects of healthcare services delivery have to “Go Home” as rapidly expanding silver societies globally demand structural changes to traditional approach.
-By Karthik Tirupathi
The author is the CEO of Napier Healthcare, a healthcare software solutions company that offers MU2-compliant Care Transition technology solutions.