In a growing world of technology, it’s not surprising there are a number of new options to make it easier for in-home healthcare providers to schedule appointments, manage patient care and improve self-care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.9 million people receive home healthcare each year. Many patients have been discharged from the hospital and need extra support, but the fastest growing segments are made up of older adults who wish to remain at home for as long as possible.
Technology is now critical to facilitating the role of home healthcare and fostering community-based independence. Although you might imagine robots dispensing medication, technology today has less of a big brother approach, and more flexibility to meet the needs of providers and patients.
One of the benefits of residential healthcare services is that patients can be monitored 24 hours a day. However, when an in-home contract staffing provider visits just a few hours each day, gaps remain where things can go wrong. Remote monitoring tools, such as Fitbit type sensors, can transmit data so healthcare providers can monitor their patients from a distance. These devices can remotely monitor in real-time, and ping updates based on the severity of the information.
Web-Based Information Management
In a similar fashion, in-home healthcare providers have access to web-based management tools that make it easier to prioritize, monitor and report healthcare conditions. Having these tools available reduces the potential for errors and improves the quality of care and documentation. They also give contract staffing caregivers’ access to images and videos to share as they educate patients and families.
This is providing healthcare using telecommunication technology. While it does not replace in-home care, it can be used to help providers remotely monitor chronic disease and address minor ailments. Having access to telehealth while in the home helps the in-home healthcare provider communicate directly with the patient's doctor and provide immediate necessary care.
Although it may seem strange, social media does have an influence on home healthcare. As more seniors adopt the use of smartphones, social media sites help the elderly and disabled stay connected with friends and family, all having a positive impact on mental and physical health.
Smart sensors are commonly used on individuals to monitor heart rate, temperature, and sweat based chemical analysis, but specialized sensors can also be placed on appliances to alert caregivers of risky behavior. These sensors can be used to track an Alzheimer's patient movements, detecting inactivity or falls, and trigger an alarm for assistance.
Integrating smartphone apps allows patients and caregivers to communicate easily and reduces potential emergencies. Patients can request a nurse to visit, get access to educational videos, request medications to be shipped or order an Uber to take them to a doctor's appointment.
Technology is changing every aspect of life, and especially in the world of in-home contract staffing healthcare. This means, while in-home caregivers will continue to provide necessary physical care, they will also likely assist their patients and families to integrate new technology to improve healthcare and reduce risk.
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At Harmony Home Care we work with our professionals and patients to provide the highest quality compassionate care at home using current technology to make the job easier and safer for patients, families, and caregivers.