By David Crist, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Brother Mobile Solutions
Fueled by aging Baby Boomers, the need for coordinated, team-based patient care is spilling beyond hospital walls into the quickly expanding realm of home health and hospice care. Approximately three million Baby Boomers will reach retirement age each year for the next two decades1, and the great majority say they want to stay in their home as they age2.
Given their longer life expectancy and tendency to have multiple chronic conditions including hypertension, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes 3, it's no surprise that home care services are expected to continue to be the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy through 20224. At the same time, this demand for home care exacerbates the increasing shortage of experienced registered nurses, many of whom are also retiring.5
Increasingly, forward-thinking home health providers are recognizing that equipping nurses and other field clinicians with mobile technology toolkits can improve the quality of patient care by facilitating teamwork, communication, and care coordination among multiple care providers. Tools that boost productivity, improve safety, reduce the risk of error and support compliance are a necessity in the burgeoning mobile healthcare industry. These toolkits typically include mobile workforce basics like computing devices, software and peripherals such as mobile printers. In the near future, mobile cloud security systems and smart diagnostic tools which monitor or predict the activity and wellness of the homebound patient may become mainstream.