Updated: Mar 22
Up until relatively recently, whenever a person required medical care, the default setting would be to seek treatment at a hospital or other medical facility. In today's high-tech, fast-paced world, however, healthcare is shifting considerably. More and more people are opting for nurse-to-home services or other home healthcare solutions, accessing medical care and support in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
The rise of home health care is being driven by a number of factors, including advances in medical technology, an aging population, and the increasing demand for personalized, patient-centered care. In addition to the already increasing demand for home healthcare options, the pandemic became the catalyst for fundamental shifts in the way healthcare is approached.
The technological advances making this shift a reality are part of a staggering boom in the digital health market; venture funding for companies in this sector surpassed $29 billion in 2021 - a colossal increase from the $8.2 billion in investments just two years prior.
Benefits of Home Health Care
According to the 2021 McKinsey Consumer Health Insights survey, 16% of respondents over the age of 65 reported being more willing than before the pandemic to opt for home healthcare services. The report also outlined that some conditions could be treated and managed at home at significantly less cost than the facility fees they would attract.
Convenience and comfort
One of the primary benefits of home health care is that it affords patients the convenience and comfort of receiving medical care, and health and wellbeing-related support in their own homes. This can be especially beneficial for elderly or disabled patients who may have difficulty traveling to a medical facility. It can also provide a more convenient option for patients who live in remote areas or who are time-poor for various reasons.
A more personalized approach
Home health care also offers a more personalized approach to medical care. In a hospital or medical facility, patients can feel that they are treated as part of a larger group, which, for some, can lack the personalized individual attention they want or need. Conversely, in a home healthcare setting, the focus is on the individual patient; their unique needs, their individual comfort, and their particular preferences.
Another benefit of home health care is that it can be surprisingly more cost-effective than traditional medical care. Hospital stays and medical treatments can be expensive, and many insurance plans only cover a portion of such costs. Home healthcare services, on the other hand, are often more affordable, and many insurance plans are willing to cover them in full.
How to Hire a Nurse for Home Care
If you or a loved one are in need of home healthcare, the first step is to find a qualified nurse or home healthcare service provider in your local area. There are many resources available to help you find a nurse or home healthcare provider, such as online directories, referrals from your doctor or other medical professionals, or recommendations from friends or family members.
When choosing a nurse or home healthcare provider, it's important to do some thorough research and ask plenty of questions. Factors to consider include:
Whether they hold the relevant licenses
How much experience do they possess
What their professional reputation is like in the community
Whether they can provide you with the level of care and support you require
It's also important to consider whether the nurse or service providers are a good fit in general - after all, receiving healthcare in the home can feel invasive and uncomfortable if you can't feel at ease with the person or team you are placing your trust with.
Medical Products for Home Health Care
In addition to the care provided by nurses or home healthcare providers, there is an ever-increasing variety of medical products that are available for home healthcare use. These products help patients manage their conditions and monitor their health, all while remaining in the comfort of their own homes. Such products include:
Blood glucose monitors - used to measure blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes
Oxygen concentrators - used to provide oxygen to patients with respiratory conditions
Blood pressure monitors - used to measure blood pressure levels in patients with hypertension or other cardiovascular conditions
Wheelchairs and mobility aids - are used to help patients with mobility issues move around their homes more easily and safely.
Patient lifts - used to help caregivers move and lift patients who are unable to move on their own
As home healthcare becomes more commonplace, it becomes increasingly important to take measures to ensure the safety and security of patients and their caregivers. In addition to medical-related products and mobility aids, there are physical security products to be considered for home healthcare settings.
Considerations should include office building security surveillance systems, as they can provide real-time monitoring and recording of activity both in and around the home. This level of security helps to ensure round-the-clock patient and caregiver safety, as well as evidence in the event of theft, burglary, or other criminal activity occurring.
There is a range of security products available online that can be used in a home healthcare setting. These include:
Video door phones - allowing patients and caregivers to see who is at the door before opening it
CCTV Cameras - these cameras can be used to monitor activity in and around the home, providing a visual record of any incidents that may occur
Access control systems - these systems can be used to restrict access to certain areas of the home and to provide specific entry authentication permissions to authorized care staff and other health and homecare professionals
The Future of Healthcare
The pandemic brought about significant changes to life as we knew it, causing many changes that were progressing at a steady pace to accelerate substantially, including the trend towards increased home healthcare options. Advances in medical technology, such as telemedicine and remote monitoring, will likely play a key role in the evolving future of home healthcare.
As healthcare continues to evolve, we can expect to see continued growth, new innovations, and tech advances that will further improve patient outcomes and quality of life.