Home Healthcare: A Fast-Growing Industry with Complex Scheduling Needs
Home healthcare services is the fastest growing industry in the United States, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Right now, the homecare industry includes around 417,966 businesses with an annual revenue of $96 billion. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts there will be 13 million personal healthcare and home care aids by the year 2020.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to this growth, including:
- An aging population
- The prevalence of chronic illnesses
- Rising treatment costs
- High cost of inpatient hospital care
- Lack of affordable nursing homes
- Growing physician acceptance of home care
- Medical advancements
- Home healthcare technologies
- Cost-efficient treatment options from public and private payers
Population trends, like the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, and personal healthcare preferences are also contributing factors. According to the AARP, by 2030 one in five Americans will be over the age of 65, adding up to 71.5 million seniors. Ninety percent of these individuals want to stay in their home as they age, rather than being placed in a nursing home.
Aging in Place: How Technology Helps Seniors Stay at Home
Independent living, non-assisted living, and aging in place are three terms for the same thing: an elderly person receiving home healthcare in their own home. Advancements in portable healthcare technology are bringing advanced care right into patients’ homes, helping to make this a reality.
Technology advancements that are driving the growth of home healthcare include:
Quality care and communication tools: Modern healthcare management solutions often include devices and/or features that help caregivers communicate with patients, collaborate with each other, and monitor patient progress over time. Some healthcare providers use Internet-enabled home monitors, and others may use mobile apps (such as the AARP Caregiving app) to keep track of medications and appointments. Providers also offer online support groups and social networks to help seniors share advice and talk to others in similar situations.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine allows a senior to stay at home while being monitored by a physician. Scheduled appointments are conducted via electronic communications (smartphone, email, and two-way video) instead of in an outpatient facility. Two types of mobile telecommunication technologies are:
- Store and forward services: Medical data is collected with an in-home device or wearable medical sensor and transmitted to the provider over a wireless network to access offline for assessment.
- Remote monitoring services: Monitoring devices that transmit medical information to provider, such as cardiac rhythm management (CRM) or sleep therapy monitoring.
These and other advancements in healthcare technology enable seniors to stay in the comfort of their own homes while receiving advanced medical care, and they continue to propel growth of the entire in-home healthcare market.
Three Things Healthcare IT Can Do To Support Home Healthcare
Home healthcare providers are facing increased demand for services, as well as stiffer competition for quality practitioners from other healthcare agencies to hire and retain quality practitioners. IT departments for in-home healthcare organizations can do a few key things to support healthcare workers in this growing field:
- Evaluate tech stack and integrations: Calculate how many collection points there are for your organization’s data and how they connect—or don’t connect. Take inventory of separate legacy systems, file systems, spreadsheets, and any other incoming data, so you can understand what it takes to make them work together.
- Evaluate mobility in your organization: Evaluate who is on the go and who is in a static location at any given time, then determine what devices and workflows are required for each. Make sure you know if employees have unique needs, such as offline capabilities for remote areas, so you are prepared to address them.
- Get off paper and point solutions: Create a centralized system for your data so you can replace spreadsheets or other disparate ways of collecting information. Data consolidation is not always easy with healthcare systems, so make sure you look for solutions that are interoperable with others to make the effort easier.
How Skedulo Drives Growth for Home Healthcare Providers
Skedulo offers a healthcare scheduling solution that is designed for providers on the move. With our robust scheduling platform and mobile app, home healthcare workers can stay in touch with back-office administrators and get updated appointment schedules at the click of a button.
With the Lens API, healthcare organizations can pull Skedulo functionality into existing apps and systems, giving you the flexibility to focus on patient care and stay competitive in the highly regulated healthcare environment.
Home healthcare organizations have seen tremendous results from Skedulo’s mobile workforce management system:
- John Hopkins Medicine International saw an 80% increase in matched allocation accuracy and a 45% decrease in appointment no-shows and cancellations across more than 200 care providers in 30 countries.
- Healthstrong, one of the largest healthcare providers in Australia, integrated the Skedulo app with Salesforce and experienced a 30% increase in scheduled appointments across more than 300 practitioners.
- New Jersey Respiratory Associates (NJRA), a 24/7 respiratory therapy provider, experienced a 33% increase in accounts per therapist, as well as greater efficiency in back-office operations, invoicing, and sales.
Skedulo’s scheduling system for mobile healthcare employees is 100% secure and HIPPA-compliant. Use it to create new appointments, send real-time updates to providers in the field, and create robust reports to analyze your performance.
Request a demo to see Skedulo in action today!