Home Care Agencies: Technology as a Critical Success Factor
It has become increasingly apparent that one of the most critical success factors for home care agencies is the use of technology. This is particularly important as the agency industry undergoes a period of unprecedented change.
The nature of the business has fundamentally changed as the number of home care enrollees continues to grow while the number of caregivers continues to shrink. The need for robust technology to improve the home care service has become even more critical as a result.
On that note, let’s take a look at how technology serves as a success factor in the home care industry.
What is a home care agency?
Home care agencies provide in-home health care to individuals who could otherwise not access such care. They are the primary care providers for those who are unable to access traditional health care services like hospitals or wellness centers.
Home care agencies are responsible for providing the services and assistance necessary to ensure that their clients remain as independent as possible.
The home care agency industry is the largest in the U.S. by a significant margin. The number of home care agencies in the country is estimated to be around 2.3 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This number only accounts for home care agencies that are formally recognized as such. It is a huge market and home care agencies must be ready to adopt any means necessary to improve their services.
How Technology Is Changing The Home Care Industry
Technology has impacted the home care industry as various health care management software and other digital tools have emerged in a bid to simplify the business model.Lets take a look at a few.
Telehealth is a digital tool that allows patients and medical professionals conduct medical consultations without leaving the comfort of their homes and offices.
The way it works a patient is put in contact with a medical professional via a digital platform and a medical consultation takes place, if there is need for an in-person consultation one is scheduled. This is a cost-effective and stress free method and it also offers medical professionals flexible hours.
Electronic Health Records
The electronic health record has become a critical component for the home care agency as it allows for the digital tracking of the health of the client. This has opened up a world of possibilities for the home care agency in the form of improved documentation and the ability to provide better service to their clients
Electronic health records also lay the basis for other forms of technological breakthroughs in the healthcare industry such as e-prescription systems and artificial intelligence diagnoses.
Home cameras and monitors
Home care agencies are increasingly using home cameras and monitors to enable them to provide better service to their clients. This enables the agency to provide round the clock care and supervision to the clients at an affordable cost.
The use of home cameras and monitors has also opened up a world of possibilities for home care agencies in the form of round-the-clock care and supervision of clients.
This also means that for those clients that do not need close monitoring it can be done remotely. Home care systems are also often equipped with a means of contacting emergency services if the need arises.
Leveraging technology also has the potential to dramatically reduce overhead costs, making it a smart investment for both the agency and its clients. The right technology can also help an agency build a strong online presence, which can be a key differentiator in the home care landscape.