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With the advent of “silver tsunami,” a rise in the number of long-term care facilities is witnessed across the nation. The industry has already started responding to the pressures of these growing patient volumes.
Fremont, CA: According to a press release in the year 2018, the population of 65 years and above is expected to exceed the population of children—with a projected 1 in every 5 residents of retirement age by 2023. Definitive Healthcare has added near about 1,500 new assisted living facilities to the long-term care database in the past two years. This rise in the aging patient demographic has started to impact the healthcare industry in various ways, and the physician and healthcare staffing shortages to an increased number of opportunities in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and telehealth markets.
Wearable technologies and remote monitoring solutions, for example, represent a high-growth sector in the telehealth market, especially for rural, at-risk, or elderly patients. Although the cost and compatibility concerns is slowing down the integration of these devices within a clinical setting, long-term care facilities are still leveraging technology solutions in other ways.
With less than 7,000 locations, hospices podcast the smallest share of long-term care facilities. Those facilities, furthermore, reports 79 different technologies used throughout hospice organizations. Hospice information systems have the highest number of technologies used, with a total of 994 reported installations in 2019.
The most crucial part of technology trends in long-term care facilities is how different they are from one facility type to another. A host of various factors might influence the technologies a long-term care facility picks to utilize for better patient care and experience, including the cost, facility size, and number of personnel, type of inpatient care, or the average length of stay.
The residents of an assisted living facility, for example, does not need supervision from the nurses or medically trained personnel and are instead provided limited support with daily living activities. Due to this, ALFs utilize fewer electronic health records or clinical technology systems compared to other long-term facilities that offer more intensive patient care. Human resource technologies are, in fact, the most reported among assisted living facilities.
In contrast, skilled nursing facilities that provide inpatient nursing care to patients undergoing medically-necessary rehabilitation treatment depend largely upon clinical support technologies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, home health administrative and home health clinical systems are two of the most-reported technology installations among home health agencies this year.