The aging population needing care continues to climb at a staggering rate. The peak of these services still lives in a faraway place above the clouds. The expansion of healthcare services, for the foreseeable future, will be centered on taking care of our seniors. But senior care management has gone from hospital-to-nursing home trajectories to multiple providers all working together to help seniors age in place instead of a skilled nursing facility.
A decade ago swanky little living communities were erected to take seniors out of their homes and into assisted living spaces where they could convalesce in a place where care and assistance came with their new residence. This type of arrangement still does have its place.
The cost of an assisted living facility has a price tag that a large population of aging seniors can’t afford. The average cost of living in an assisted living community is $4,000 per month or $48,000 annually. Most assisted living companies will argue the cost contains much more than just rent. Either way, the fact remains that given the choice, most seniors would prefer to stay right in their own homes.
A Network Of Providers Is Needed For Senior Care Management
For seniors who are aging in place, oftentimes multiple home care providers are needed to make that happen. Besides personal care, medical care and nutritional care are usually required to make home visits to seniors being cared for at home. With a network of providers comes an avalanche of information and too often redundancies in some information and not enough for others to be able to continue care across all providers in a seamless way for all.
How can multiple providers make this happen in a way that provides good medical workflow management and excellent senior care management at the same time? Most mid-sized to larger providers have EHR systems that collect, organize and disseminate information to providers within the same organization. This does not work for any other provider outside of the individual organization’s IT environment. This interesting hurdle creates a messy path to communication through archaic fax machines and email strings. There has to be a better way.
Communication Remains A Problem For Senior Care Management
By the time someone reaches the level in life of being a senior citizen and therefore requires care to be able to age in place, there is a long medical history that has been built over time. Decades of information, recorded in a myriad of places, needs to be consolidated into one place to be able to be useful for the next provider or the network of providers all caring for them currently. For example, it would probably be very useful if the nutritional care provider could let the primary care physician know that their patient hasn’t eaten well in 3 days.
There are lots of little things that change over time in a senior’s life that can tell a story early on about health changes. If no one is recording them for all eyes to see, lots of these little pieces of information get abandoned until the little somethings become something major. This scenario currently plays out all too often, and unfortunately, it’s the senior who suffers for the lack of communication.
Home care providers could be much more useful to the medical care team if they had an effective way to let them know that something happened with their client in their daily routine that someone should act on. It is the daily home care provider that notices troubling changes most often, but if they don’t have a direct way to communicate with their client’s medical care team then they are just relying on a family member to take the information seriously enough to do something about it. These hiccups in communication can end up being costly medical expenses for everyone involved.
An Agnostic Communication Platform Is Needed For Effective Senior Care Management
What would medical workflow management look like if an agnostic communication solution was the axis by which a network of care providers could revolve around? EHRs do little good for providers outside of the organization who is using it. A solution that both fed an EHR and allowed everyone else to communicate and collaborate would essentially solve the inter-organizational communication dilemma we are facing with senior care management today.
eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind to do what is needed to make senior care management nimble and effective for anyone on the senior’s care team, including their family caregivers. Finally, there is a HIPAA compliant solution that any care provider can use to communicate and collaborate with when it comes to the seniors involved in their care.
If you’d like to know more about how eCare Vault can help your home care service agency with better senior care management, we’d like to show you how easy it can be today. Contact us for a demonstration of how eCare Vault and put the power of communication in your hands.