The home care industry has played a pivotal role in healthcare in these recent years as more patients prefer and even foundationally require care from home. Accordingly, the demand for home care services has increased rapidly over time, and healthcare leaders and policymakers have worked around the clock to expand the current infrastructure and workforce to meet the rising need.
The home care industry growth only received a strong nudge when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. Hospital care at home increased as hospitals and medical facilities experienced an overwhelm because of the rising Coronavirus cases. Today, it’s hard to deny that home care industries will remain the same, and agencies and key players in providing home care will need to adapt to the changing times. One way to do that is to adopt more technologies to help streamline processes and respond to rising challenges.
6 Trends in the Home Care Industry
To understand the future of home care agencies and businesses need to know where the trends are heading towards and adjust their businesses accordingly. Here are some important industry trends you should know and the necessary steps to take to adapt to the changing times and circumstances.
1. The Rise of Franchising
One of the emerging trends in home nursing is the rise of home care franchises. When running an agency, your system and process is your core competence. Some companies take that core competence and bundle it up into a franchise package for people to invest in and deploy.
Franchising remains to be one of the fastest ways to scale a service, but it’s also not an overnight affair. It can take months or even years to perfect a franchise offer, but many companies are getting close to that. They take care of important processes, like hiring nurses with a nursing degree, providing coaching and training, and offering peer networking opportunities.
Tip: Consider franchising out your business to scale your services and reach other cities or areas as a way of expansion. If you’re planning to enter the home care business industry, consider being a franchise first to access all the systems and know-how of the existing business.
2. Automation and Technology
Technology for home care businesses has moved down the artificial intelligence road for some time now, but the applications are quickly accelerating. Predictive analytics can now be used for internal processes to attract and retain more qualified caregivers. It’s also radically reducing administrative costs and making the back office operation more streamlined.
Artificial intelligence also improves the caregiving aspect of the business. Digital solutions can create automated notifications to the agency and family members on a recurring basis. These softwares can also help in medication management by informing caregivers when medications are close to depleting. Some solutions are also a few months away from perfecting an automated workflow that will automatically put in the order once supplies reach a predetermined level.
Tip: Look into implementing certain tools that will help you automate repetitive tasks and improve some of your business’ administrative aspects. Caresmartz is a good option to consider.
3. Safety and Health Protocols
Current home health care trends also point to the importance of maintaining safety and health protocols such as mask-wearing, disinfection, and regular testing. Even as COVID-19 slowly dissolves into history, many healthcare institutions say they don’t intend on letting up on disinfection and cleaning guidelines.
Tip: It helps to assume that these safety and health protocols won’t be going away, so build your processes around keeping these policies in your workflow for the long-term.
4. Companionship Remains as a Rising Need
Many people will get home healthcare for psychological reasons on top of physiological ones.
Up to a third of adults from ages 45 and older feel lonely. The same study shows that 25% of citizens aged 65 and above are socially isolated.
Home care provides a certain level of companionship that keeps patients, especially the elderly engaged. On some level, this need remains a linchpin offer that will keep human healthcare providers relevant amidst a time of robotic revolution. Meaning, if you don’t want artificial intelligence to replace your job or business, maintain a human touch.
Tip: Upgrade your staff’s compassion and empathy skills by providing training that will help them interact with patients in need of care.
5. Changes in Home Care Employment
Direct care home health worker employment increased by 145% from 2009 and 2019, and the new administration will soon be rolling out policies that could put more structure and boundaries to home healthcare such as higher wages, and so on. Keeping these in mind as an outsourcing agency will be key to staying relevant as a business in these changing times.
It’s also important to have a healthy arbitrage on caregiver salaries and administrative fees are key to maintaining healthy profitability as an agency. That’s where productivity tools in home healthcare technology come into play.
Tip: By cutting on costs and improving efficiency, agencies for home healthcare can keep their arbitrage and edge. Delegate as much as you can to software so you can save on other manpower costs for administrative operations.
6. A need for more Acuity in Home Healthcare
With up to 50% of home healthcare patients having five or more chronic health conditions, there is now more urgency placed on greater acuity of home care. People are looking to the hospital at home options more now with contamination scares in hospital facilities a looming reality.
Software in home care also has a direct factor in this as tools can help with information and accuracy in healthcare. Moving away from manual processes removes the element of human error from more accuracy-sensitive elements such as dosage reminders, schedules, and others.
Tip: Use automations to provide more acuity. Set up cloud-based documentation and notification systems to ensure that care and medications will be given on time.
The Future of the Home Health Care Industry
Looking at the future of home health care industry, it’s hard to deny that it’s looking a lot more digitized. So a business or agency in home healthcare should start applying digital solutions if they want to remain efficient and relevant in these fast-changing times. Nowadays, technology isn’t an add-on feature or a luxury. It’s a necessity for a necessary industry.
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