The landscape of patient care is evolving, extending beyond traditional healthcare settings, which promises improved outcomes but also introduces new demands on healthcare provider networks and digital technologies. The emergence of care-at-home models, bolstered by initiatives like the U.S. Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acute Hospital Care at Home flexibilities, signifies a significant shift in healthcare delivery. This transition, though still in its early stages, has the potential to transform how care is administered, with McKinsey estimating that up to 25% of Medicare spending could be redirected to care-at-home models.


Advantages of Home-Based Care: Enhanced Patient Comfort and Operational Efficiency

The advantages of providing care in patients' homes are manifold. Patients experience greater comfort and familiarity, while the risk of hospital-related complications diminishes. Technological advancements in diagnostics and remote monitoring facilitate seamless data transmission, enabling care teams to closely monitor patients without constant physical presence. This model is particularly beneficial for patients with acute conditions who do not require round-the-clock supervision, offering them a safer environment with a reduced risk of hospital-acquired infections and falls. Moreover, it allows for better identification and management of social determinants of health, such as inadequate access to food or housing. From an operational standpoint, care at home leads to cost savings and lower readmission rates. Studies have shown that providing care at home can be up to 40% cheaper than equivalent hospitalisations, with reduced 30-day readmission rates. Despite these benefits, successful implementation requires robust operational and technical infrastructure.


Navigating Technical Challenges: Connectivity and Customised Solutions for Home Care

The technical demands of care at home are significant, necessitating reliable connectivity and access to patient data. CMS mandates immediate remote audio connection with care teams, posing challenges given the short duration of patient stays. For chronic condition management, patients require access to technology for monitoring vital signs and sharing data with their care teams. Additionally, caregivers often need support in medication management. Furthermore, the diverse composition of care teams, including paramedics, social workers, and therapists, necessitates tailored solutions to accommodate varied clinical workflows. A one-size-fits-all approach to connectivity and data access is inadequate for multidisciplinary care teams. A customised, scalable healthcare technology infrastructure is essential for seamless coordination and communication. A well-executed infrastructure enhances connectivity, ensuring fewer interruptions to care and better patient outcomes.


Optimising Care-at-Home Models: Leveraging Technology for Continuity and Accessibility

The success of care-at-home models hinges on continuity of care and accessibility. Patients' experiences improve when care is predictable, accessible, and supported by continuous follow-ups. Effective technology infrastructure enhances access to data, decision support, and collaboration tools, enabling care teams to meet patients' needs efficiently. This not only improves patient satisfaction but also demonstrates the value of care at home to healthcare organisations. Partnering with trusted technology providers can facilitate the implementation of digital infrastructure that secures health data and fosters seamless information sharing among clinicians. By simplifying IT infrastructure through managed services and scalable networks, healthcare organisations can focus on their core mission of delivering transformative patient care programmes.


The transition to care-at-home models represents a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery, offering numerous benefits for patients and providers alike. However, successful implementation requires robust technical infrastructure tailored to the needs of multidisciplinary care teams. By investing in scalable, secure technology solutions, healthcare organisations can maximise the potential of care at home and improve patient outcomes.


Source: McKinsey

Image Credit: iStock


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