The pandemic continues to drag on and changed the way we live, work, and play. More people are staying indoors doing their grocery shopping online and prefer paying for their dues through digital payments. Even the way people seek healthcare has changed completely. More patients and those aging-in-place are seeking healthcare at the comforts of their home. If there is one thing for sure, that is the fact that the crisis sealed the deal and accelerated our need for at-home healthcare services.
Why More People Are Opting for At-home Healthcare Services
People from all over the world continue to fear for their health and safety. People are scared to leave their homes to work, run important errands, and even to visit their doctor for a regular checkup. Seniors aging in place are seeking extra care, be it health-related or not.
Some caregivers of patients are not able to be there for their loved ones 24/7. Some are still going to school, are working outside, or needs to be away for multiple hours each day to run some errands. Home healthcare services enable them to live a normal life and ensure their loved ones can live a comfortable life.
Multiple home healthcare companies are now scrambling to meet the demands of people who need extra care at the comforts of their home. People are given peace of mind knowing they can enjoy healthcare services without visiting clinics and hospitals, thus exposing them to the virus. Even medical healthcare professionals and the like are taking advantage of the growing demand for at-home healthcare.
Technologies Used to Make At-home Healthcare Effective
Some technologies commonly used to make effective home healthcare services are as follows.
- Electronic Health Record (EHR)
This enables healthcare providers to exchange the necessary information to provide a safer and higher quality of care to patients. With EHRs, healthcare providers can have easy access, update, record, and review a patient’s health record remotely. This is a legible and complete documentation of a patient’s records, thus helping diagnose patients more effectively while reducing medical errors.
- Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH)
During the pandemic, a Mobile Integrated Healthcare model became more prominent due to the number of people unwilling to leave their homes in exchange for medical care. This was originally designed to provide care limited in rural areas. It enables streamlining of patient care visits, thus results in the patient’s improved quality of life.
Now, MIH improves community health by providing adequate care to people who call the 911 hotline not because of emergency reasons but also for their health needs. Thanks to MIH, paramedics can reach the homes of people who require care. This helps minimize the patient’s potential expenses by reducing unnecessary tests and costly hospital admissions.
- Personal Health Apps
Some healthcare providers recommend patients to use personal health apps. This is to help patients record, organize, and secure their medical information efficiently. Some health apps allow patients to record vital signs, schedule notifications for prescriptions, calculate calorie intake, and even record their physical activity.
Medical professionals now offer telehealth services to both old and new patients. They use technology to make healthcare accessible and more convenient for people seeking healthcare remotely. This allows them to schedule appointments, access to communicate with the right medical professional, request prescription refills, and even review summaries and results of previous tests and visits.
The Future of Home Healthcare
The future of at-home healthcare services looks bright. Hospitals are struggling to accommodate every possible Covid-19 patients needing immediate care. They can use all the help they can get to ensure all these patients are taken care of and still provide healthcare to other patients who are not infected with the virus.
Some senior homes even stopped accepting new residents and closed their doors after some members got the virus. People are making the conscious choice to stay at home while some have no choice but to head home. Licensed nurses and home healthcare aides are increasingly becoming more in-demand as families want to ensure their loved ones get the necessary care they need without visiting the clinic or staying admitted to the hospital.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job outlook percentage for home health aides and personal care aides will increase up to 34% by the year 2029. If this continues, at-home healthcare will continue to dominate the healthcare industry. A shortage of such professionals is possible as more people are expected to take advantage of at-home healthcare services even after the pandemic.
At-home healthcare services used to be a dream most patients used to have in the past. But thanks to today’s technology, such services are made possible and effective. Little did we know that a pandemic will come to accelerate the need for home healthcare. We can only expect that such services will continue to be in demand and that the healthcare industry will need to improve at-home healthcare solutions to serve the community better.