When you hear the phrase “in-home care,” you may picture an old-time house call from Marcus Welby MD, or perhaps even a visiting nurse or in-home aid. Today’s in-home care is expanding and benefiting from advancements in technology that allow providers to care for their patients without even being in the same room. Let’s discuss in-home care, its benefits, and two of the tech tools that are making virtual in-home care a reality.
What is in-home care?
In-home care, as it sounds, is patient care that occurs inside the patient’s home. Under the umbrella of in-home care, there is home care and home health care, which sound the same but have slight differences. Home care is defined as assistance with daily activities that allows an individual to safely stay in their home. This service is often offered to the elderly, those with disabilities or chronic illnesses, and those recovering from surgery. Home health care, on the other hand, is defined as medical care services provided in a patient’s home, typically to those who are unable to travel to their doctor for medical reasons.
In the past, house calls were a common way for patients to receive medical care in the home, but over the years that became less and less common to where now it’s mostly unheard of. However, thanks to advancements in technology today, patients are receiving virtual care in their home, giving the idea of in-home care new life.
5 Benefits of In-Home Care
The resurgence of in-home care, most often provided virtually, can be attributed to the many benefits that can be gleaned from this service. Here are five of those benefits:
- Better patient care: With in-home care, providers can maintain strong relationships with patients, regardless of their mobility status. Additionally, when providers can view a patient’s environment, even through virtual means, they can get a better understanding of the factors impacting their patient’s health and make more informed decisions, leading to improved outcomes.
- A good reputation: Offering more options for in-home care today gets people talking, and “word-of-mouth” advertising is often more effective than expensive ads. Being more open to virtual in-home care than other providers in your area will certainly differentiate you from your competition.
- A greater sense of fulfillment: Prioritizing your patients’ needs and making sure they get the care they need in a way that’s convenient for them is likely to make you feel even more fulfilled as a provider. Most clinicians entered this field of work to help people, and for many providing in-home care feels like the exact definition of helping people by meeting their needs in a way that’s best for them.
- Avoid unnecessary hospitalizations: Because in-home care allows patients to more easily receive the care they need, issues are often addressed earlier, before hospitalization is required. This helps to lower care costs across the board in addition to improving health outcomes.
- Better infection control: If there’s one thing we learned during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s the benefit of virtual care for limiting infection spread. Allowing patients to stay home instead of sitting in a crowded waiting room will help to keep your patients and staff healthier.
2 Tech Tools for Today’s In-Home Care
Again, in-home care today isn’t likely to look like the house calls of the past with a provider and a little black bag visiting patients all over town. But thanks to technology, the same feel can be achieved in a much more efficient way.
- Telehealth: Allow patients to get the care they need without having to come into the office. This increases convenience for patients and gives providers the opportunity to see a patient’s home environment which can provide enlightening information. For best results, choose a telehealth solution that has telediagnostics capabilities in a portable case, such as medpod’s MobileDoc or Medpac. Tools like this offer compact, on-board diagnostic tools that allow a telepresenter on site to transmit the results of the diagnostics to the remote provider in real time, making detailed in-home care possible through virtual means.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Manage patient conditions such as diabetes, asthma, cardiac disease, and hypertension outside of traditional office visits with RPM. Using digital medical devices, providers can gather patient generated health data and notice readings outside of the normal pattern, allowing for quick action and better health outcomes.
With patients seeking more convenience in their care and providers looking for ways to streamline their busy schedules, virtual in-home care can be a game changing solution that satisfies both parties. Knowing the value of providing quality care from a distance, Henry Schein MicroMD is dedicated to offering best-in-class solutions to help your practice implement virtual care in a way that benefits patients and providers alike.
For telehealth, MicroMD is proud to offer medpod, an outstanding telehealth platform that not only offers virtual visits integrated directly into your MicroMD EMR, but also has telediagnostics capabilities that can allow practices to reach the highest levels of virtual care. When it comes to RPM, rimidi is a SMART-on-FHIR platform that gathers and analyzes data, providing valuable, actionable insights to providers.
For more information or to get started with a new solution for in-home care, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832.
About the author,
Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.
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