Development in technology and its use across all industries have ensured better results, more effective and result driven practices and most importantly, precision in the job. Whether it is automobile or health, all industries seem to have benefitted from the wide and extensive use of technology in their respective processes.
Home health care industry is no exception to the rule. Technology in fact has benefitted the health care industry the most, whether it is home based or hospital based. It has ensured different things such as:
- Appropriateness in their care processes
- Better and faster results as well as
- It has helped them to overcome the innumerable challenges that this specific industry is accustomed with.
However, in order to make the best use of the technology, the home health care industry needs to follow a few basic principles.
Benefits of using technology
The home care or home health care industry has benefitted a lot by using technology in their services. It has helped them to care for a wide range of patients more reliably, efficiently and professionally. Considering the prevailing healthcare setting and based on different interviews with several innovative home health care agencies it is suggested that:
- There is an increasing need in this industry to provide more specialized and customized health care services
- It is required by the health care agencies to know how to deal with different clinical conditions as well.
According to these experts, both general as well as steward health care jobs involve dealing with medical conditions such as:
- Heart failure and
- Major joint replacement as per the requirement of the CJR model
These care processes are mainly under condition-specific bundled payment provisions. On the other hand, the health care agencies should also be critically competent in gerontological or palliative care.
The need of the hour
All these knowledge and competencies will ensure that the transition from institutional or facility-based care to complete home based care seamless and provides more value to the care processes as well as the patients at large.
- That means, the home health care industry must be more flexible to accommodate the changes and responsive to the in-patient population.
- They must shift their focus now on providing more reliable and high-quality care to the patients on a consistent basis.
This will allow the patients to receive the best and desired care services as well as stay at home and get well safely and as quickly as possible.
Useful effects of technology
The use of technology in the healthcare industry has not only benefitted the industry and the caregivers but also has also helped the general patients as well as the beneficiaries dramatically as well. The technology enabled home healthcare has changed the entire concept of how health care is performed and provided in the country now.
This specific change has allowed the patients to:
- Establish a connection with the health care professionals much more easily
- Receive more intensive health care services in entirely new settings and
- Access to a large variety of care process.
Most importantly, the use of technology has enabled more and more patients to avail such services, sometimes even remotely. It has in fact changed the way care is delivered today whether it is for any chronic conditions or any general ailments that needs to be treated.
The ‘catch 22’ effect
Most of the healthcare agencies interviewed. Innovative or traditional, reported that with the use of the latest technologies in their care processes such as remote monitoring has enabled them to improve patient care significantly and to take it to the next higher level. However, they also reported that Medicare, in general, does not reimburse the cost of using such advanced technologies.
In spite of this significant issue, the health care agencies continue to use health information technology and others in order to keep their promise of providing the highest level of care to their clients. This they do because it helps them in several important aspects of healthcare such as:
- It helps them to improve the care coordination
- It enables them to ensure better quality of care and
- It also facilitates in improving their efficiency by a significant margin and assure better results always and every time.
However, looking deeply into the matter it is expected that the home health agencies will soon face the ‘catch 22’ effect if they go forward this way and continue to implement these new technologies without expecting any accompanying reimbursement from Medicare. More surprising is the fact that they are also not considered to be entitled for a more evocative use of the incentive payments to implement Electronic Health Records or EHRs!
Appropriateness in care process
No matter whatever is the issue, use of technology in home care is considered to be the most cost-effective and result-driven move that enables the individuals to receive the best care services always and every time.
- It helps those patients who are recuperating from a hospital stay ensuring them a faster and a better healing process.
- It also helps those specific patients who are incapable of taking care of themselves especially due to any cognitive or functional disability.
Therefore, technology ensure precision in health care and it is this appropriateness in modern technology-based home care that supports and supplements care services provided by the family members or friends. It helps the recipients of care to maintain their dignity and independence while recovering from a medical condition or aging with illness in their homes.
Since the care process is precise and in accordance to the needs of the respective patients who receive such services in their homes, they are far less expected to be readmitted to a hospital for further care.
With all these benefits technology has brought into the home health care industry it is no wonder well appreciated by the home care agencies as well as the recipients of such care, in spite of the issues in reimbursements by Medicare.
If the home healthcare industry has to survive and develop, then more such technologies are required to implement in the services.