Home care agency owners know that when a client has to be admitted to a hospital for an acute illness, the stay can be days or weeks. However, a recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, recently evaluated a problem that could get seniors in and out of the hospital more quickly, more cost effectively and without an increased risk of being readmitted.
The “Acute Care for Elders” program, called ACE for short, is designed to create a specific environment within a hospital, dedicated to caring for seniors with an acute illness. While the changes in care are seemingly minor on the surface, changing the course of care to avoid waking senior patients in the middle of the night for evaluations, or getting seniors up and moving to reduce bed sores and depression, were reported to have significant impacts by UCSF researchers. As proof, a control group of patients in the ACE program showed that the average length of hospital stay was reduced from 7.3 to 6.7 days, while the cost of stays were reduced by over $970 per patient. Nationally, that savings could add up to nearly $6 billion dollars of savings in Medicare hospital spending.
Home care can also play a role in reducing spending on post-discharge care, and reducing the risk of readmission. How?
1. Home Care Software to Manage Post Discharge Care:
When your agency utilizes home care software or home care systems to track client conditions and needs, you can quickly update shift tasks, add new medications and likewise, quickly cancel shifts for seniors during their hospital stay – or add more for assistance with post-discharge care. By providing quick, reliable service to seniors and their families in the face of a hospital stay, your agency and your home care software and home care systems can help ensure that re-admission cost and occurrences stay down.
2. Managing Care to Improve Senior Health:
Like the ACE program, home care is often designed to best meet the needs of seniors. For example, seniors who sleep best in the early hours of night and wake early can be equipped with tasks within your home care software and home care systems to arrange early dinners, and assistance with bedtime routines that ensure they get the proper rest. Additional tasks like new dietary restrictions, or therapeutic exercises can also be incorporated into daily post-discharge home care routines via tasks in your home care software or home care systems, like ClearCare, to ensure that no need goes overlooked.
With combinations of specialized hospital care and home care designed to keep seniors healthy after a hospital stay. And with the assistance of home care systems and home care software, such as ClearCare, you and your technology can play an integral role in reducing hospital readmissions and keep your clients healthy at home.