COVID-19 And Home Care, Two Years Out
2 years ago, the NBA shut down, flights were canceled, states released stay-at-home orders, mask requirements, and SARS-COV-2, COVID-19, was named a global pandemic. For nearly every industry, operations were drastically derailed. However, Home and Community-Based Services were able to prove their importance to protecting our most vulnerable loved ones.
In 2022, we stand battered by grief but not beat down. Here’s what we’ve learned in the past two years about working from home, providing care in the home, a5nd the future of long-term care.
Home is Safest, and Best.
Especially in times of highly transmissible disease, COVID-19 has shown the importance of isolating vulnerable individuals from contagious illnesses. From the beginning of the pandemic, people worldwide were told that the best defense was to stay home. In large facilities with common areas, shared spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms, isolation was not easy to achieve. According to the Illinois department of Public Health, “Older adults living in congregate settings are at high risk for infection by respiratory and other pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2. Even as nursing homes and other long-term care facilities resume normal practices, they must sustain core infection prevention and control (IPC) practices and remain vigilant for SARS-CoV-2 infection among residents and health care personnel (HCP) in order to prevent spread and to protect residents and HCP from severe infections, hospitalizations, and death.
By providing care at home, we can help limit our loved ones’ exposure to contagious disease, allowing the focus to remain on the original care tasks.
Providing care at home has proved to be a more successful care delivery method than facilities, and as technology improves, we continue to find more reasons to say yes to Home and Community-Based Services.
Caregivers using an integrated mobile documentation solution can easily make progress notes to identify changes in patient condition, offering opportunities to better support the patient and reduce preventable hospitalizations.
According to a survey by AARP, about three-quarters of adults aged 50 and older want to remain in their homes long-term. So, not only do we know that our aging population is safer at home, but they’d prefer to be at home too.
It’s no secret that the U.S. population is aging. Today, there are more than 46 million older adults in the U.S. aged 65 and older. By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will reach this age demographic. By 2050, that number will grow to almost 90 million. Knowing this, it is time we stop thinking of those needing care as a small portion of society and consider the wants and needs of our changing population.
A Remote Care Delivery Plan Is More Relevant Than Ever
Knowing the improved satisfaction and safety that aging in place provides, having a good remote care delivery plan for your business is more relevant than ever. Between emerging EVV mandates, keeping patients and staff safe, and cutting down on paper, here are our best recommendations to jumpstart your remote care delivery plan.
- Include Mobile Solutions for paperless documentation – If your office will be favoring a remote or hybrid office environment, consider going paperless. This will ensure you have access to visit data sooner and that visits are turned in on time.
- Use a Field-Force Management Solution With a Secure Mass Messaging Platform – While your workforce is remote, making them feel connected is important to employee satisfaction, personal safety, and communication. Tools like CellTrak’s Secure Messaging can help you do just that! Secure Messaging is HIPAA compliant, and allows office staff to quickly send a message to any and all staff with a device. This is great for announcements, Weather warnings that may cause travel delays, and notifying staff of security threats in the area.
- Get Real-Time Access To Visit Data – with the 21st Century cures act going into effect for Home Health Providers in 2023, EVV isn’t just for Medicaid users anymore. Real-time access to visit data via a mobile documentation app can help you identify errors and avoid claims denial.
Home and Community-Based Services are the Future of Long-Term Care.
Though many offices in and outside of the Home Care industry are returning to office life, many are becoming open to hybrid and remote operations for office staff members, especially when COVID-19 cases spike. To learn more about remote care plans for the office and field force, Check out our webinar below: