Home health care has made a reappearance as doctors reinstated the practice of making house calls due to the increased need for heightened medical safety, ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. People of all ages and abilities, including those with positive vaccination statuses, are still at risk of contracting Covid-19, and other illnesses, in their day to day activities. With that in mind, many consider medical facilities to be far more dangerous than local gyms and shops due to a perceived higher likelihood of transmission as these facilities tend to be sites of treatment for sick patients.
Still, for many at-risk people, the chance of contracting Covid-19 outweighs the benefits of seeking necessary medical attention, often changing their typical response to a medical requirement or emergency.
“According to a recent Kaufman Hall survey, 54% of consumers cited fear of contracting Covid-19 as a primary reason to delay care,” highlighting the mentality change of the population (Forbes).
Unlike pre-covid, people prefer to wait for a medical complication to pass rather than seeking medical help when symptoms initially arise to avoid going into crowded offices or hospitals. Due to this change in behavior, there has been an increase in the amount of patients who are requiring a higher level of care, which decreases the total industry spend for in-office experiences, hospital visits and medications requested.
Furthermore, the pandemic has forced healthcare professionals to adjust their usual follow-up care recommendations and consider the capabilities of at-home care options.
“According to a recent William Blair survey, 81% of physicians responsible for discharge planning now prefer to refer their patients to a home health agency versus a skilled nursing facility, a figure that is up from 54% before the pandemic,” showing that physicians are aware of the new patient preference towards in home rather than in office care (Forbes).
This pivot by referring physicians, highlights the patient centric approach that is changing the way that medical treatment is provided—if it can be safely performed in the comfort of one’s own home, then home care will be recommended before in-office treatment.
While Covid-19 brought to light the growing need for at-home care due to fears of disease contraction from being in the general public, it also brought popularity to others who are requiring home care medical services—the country’s aging population. Statistically, “one out of every four home health patients is over the age of 85... according to the 2020 Home Health Chartbook” and that number is steadily growing (Home Health Care News).
With the forecasted increase in population over the age of 85 in the coming years, “the U.S. home care market is expected to grow from $100B in 2016 to $225B by 2024” showing a direct correlation of the primary users of home care being those over 85 and the industry income they generate (Forbes).
Beyond data highlighting the aging generations as the primary users of home care services, what separates the elderly population from the general population in terms of home care is their likelihood of being repeat patients due to age related long-term care necessities.
Compared to the general public, the country’s aging population is more susceptible to diseases such as Covid-19 and more likely to require long-term, pre-emptive, and/or follow-up care relating to underlying conditions and/or accelerated age, which makes them primary users of long term at-home care.
For the elderly population, there is a higher reliance on home care capabilities because, for some, it is physically impossible to easily seek medical aid in an outpatient care facility due to physical impairment and/or lack of ability.
According to Home Health Care News,“Home health users are...more likely to live alone and have two or more functional limitations” meaning that unless these patients can independently get to an in-office appointment or find round trip transportation, they will have no choice but to forgo any office based required medical assistance.
With no way to obtain the medical help they need, Field Service solutions can make all the difference for elderly patients by enabling medical teams to schedule home visits and perform the medical tasks that these patients would have otherwise forgone.
Salesforce Field Service helps to improve a practice’s overall efficiency by automating a team’s home-care scheduling and on-site service capabilities, all while providing the right tools to provide top-notch care to patients.
With Salesforce Field Service, patients can receive the best experience possible because this tool matches their medical needs with a practitioner who has the right skill sets to help. By automatically matching the practitioner with the patient case they are most equipped to handle, Salesforce Field Service allows teams to create more time in the day so they are able to service more clients without compromising on the quality of each home visit.
For a long-term patient, the Salesforce Field Service App is a great way for practitioners to keep track of daily medications and routines so that regardless of which team member is providing care, patients will always get the care they deserve. This app also provides home care practitioners with the ability to update the patient’s information, daily treatments, and/or step-by-step daily requirements in Salesforce so that teams are up to date on any changes that may have occurred.
In the event of a patient emergency, Salesforce Field Service can automatically schedule an appointment, reschedule existing appointments, and even alert teams to the situation. To enhance the patient experience even more, the Salesforce Field Service app gives visibility to practitioners’ arrival times. By allowing patients to see where their caretakers are geographically located in real time, the anxiety of waiting will be diminished and there will be a decrease in the amount of calls the team gets regarding when practitioners will get to the site. This increases the positive experience for clients, freeing up call centers for more urgent matters, and saving on overall company spend!
When integrating Salesforce Field Service to create the best experience for patients, it’s pivotal to find the right partner to align with who will help you achieve your goals—that’s where NeuraFlash comes in.
We are a team of experts dedicated to creating memorable experiences through integrating and enhancing Salesforce Field Service. With over 300 active customers, and an average customer satisfaction score of 9.96, we believe in exceeding field service expectations and creating solutions that truly benefit the end user—keeping them at the center of everything we do.
Food for thought: “The U.S. home care market is expected to grow from $100B in 2016 to $225B by 2024,” says Forbes on the future of healthcare (Forbes). What are you doing to make the most of this opportunity?