According to Carers Trust Wales, carers play a fundamental part in health and social care, with at least 370,000 people in Wales alone caring, unpaid for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. The dollar value of this support amounts to some £8.1bn of care every year, notes Carers Trust Wales, referencing, Buckner, L, Yeandle, S, (2015).
Recognising the considerable value of carers’ services and the fact that health authorities worldwide are under growing financial pressure—what with the ageing population, rising hospital admissions for people with chronic disease and the increasing cost of health care—it stands to reason that increasing support for carers will go a long way in improving overall health and social care and in reducing the population’s burgeoning health bill.
The Carers Trust Wales’ publication says evidence shows that commissioning support services for carers can:
- “Reduce admissions to hospital and residential care.
- “Reduce the costs of delays in transfers of care.
- “Improve wellbeing of both carers and the people they care for.
- “Reduce carers’ need to access primary care as a result of their caring role.
- “Reduce overall spending on care and health services.”
Certainly, from our vantage point, ehealth services and health technology software programs fall directly within the types of support services necessary to reduce the strain that today’s carers feel, and would also play a big role in improving the efficiency of care programs.
Let’s focus on points one and two listed above to review how software apps — such as AssessPatient’s ehealth software—can:
- Improve the ability of carers to provide more efficient care, thereby reducing admissions to hospitals and the cost of delays in transfer of care
- Assist carers to manage their workload thereby reducing stress and enabling better care
At the core of AssessPatients’ software is a team-based, integrated health-care approach which allows all individuals involved in a person’s care to keep abreast with the person’s current treatment status; track outcomes and care assessments; be immediately alerted when necessary, all from their mobile device.
This collaboration enables greater efficiency, while reducing the instances of people being unnecessarily admitted into the hospital.
For example using the mobile software a person’s primary carer/physician will complete various care assessments to determine his or her specific long term condition care needs (eg dementia, diabetes, or stroke). Based on those assessments the carer/physician will complete various care outcomes (i.e. care goals for the older person to aim for) inclusive of an action plan of what activities should regularly be conducted to achieve this care outcome. Once entered into the AssessPatients software, this information will in turn be readily accessible to all members of the person’s care circle on their mobile devices, including the carer who interacts on a daily basis.
This feature and others can be viewed in our online demo video .
As can be seen, a commission of greater technical support for carers will better the carer’s ability to provide more effective, thorough, efficient care. This in turn leads to reductions in hospital admissions, reductions in delays in transfer or care, improved patient well-being, less stress on the carer, which in reduces overall spending on care and health services.