How has mobile technology impacted the modern world?
Chances are more than good that you have used a mobile device today. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens have smartphones, and their availability is becoming more widespread with each passing day. Mobile devices have changed how the world functions. Once, people spent hours in libraries and on home computers to find the answers to their questions. Now, practically anything is available at their fingertips.
How many apps are on your smartphone? Do you have games, budget tools or Google Now? Can you even imagine what it would be like to step aside from your digital life?
These questions can sound like the prep-talk for a mobile-free workplace. But, they are filled with aspirations of a better standard of living. They emphasize how increasingly connected the world has become. Mobile assistants and voice recognition are becoming cornerstones of society, and the concept of a physical calendar is obsolescent. However, mobile technology (mobile tech) is adding to the world, and for seniors, it is expanding access to health care.
Before you jump to conclusions about the privacy or safety of using mobile tech in the care of seniors, consider these critical benefits.
Mobile-Based Employees and Seniors in Their Care
The benefits of mobile-based employees may appear most obvious when considering how it would impact seniors. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, mobile technology directly improves the lives of those in need of health services by eliminating many of the hassles and constraints of traditional health care. For seniors, this can include improved access to health care in several ways.
Remote Areas Prevent Frequent “Outings.”
Depending on their home address, seniors may be incapable of leaving their homes for extended periods. In rural settings, a simple trip to the clinic or community health center could be a day-long ordeal, especially if he or she lives a fair distance from the center.
Meanwhile, problems with health can impact a senior’s ability to get to appointments independently. They may have to ask family members or friends for a ride, or they may not have the income to reasonably travel to a health center. Ultimately, mobile-based caregivers go to the senior’s home, eliminating the need for travel.
Caregivers Can Stay in Contact With Supervisors and Health Providers.
Mobile-based caregivers also have the ability to stay in contact with supervisors virtually around the clock. If an emergent situation arises, a mobile-based caregiver can be immediately notified and arrive on the scene as soon as possible. This will provide a higher standard of care to seniors.
In cases where caregivers are located at a senior’s home for an extended time period, such as an overnight shift, having the ability to quickly communicate with supervisors can mean the difference between unnecessary hospital admissions and resolving problems quickly. This real-time standard of care also has implications for the overall health of the community.
Better Management of Overall Community Health.
The health of seniors as a community is dependent on the ability of caregivers to ensure optimum health across a large geographic area. Since mobile-based caregivers can provide services to many different caregivers within shorter time periods, the overall health of the senior community can be improved. This also leads to better management of chronic diseases and promotion of independent living, explains Healthcare IT News.
Mobile-Based Employees and the “Company.”
The benefits of mobile-based caregivers are also directly related to success of the caregiver’s parent company. In other words, mobile technology is helping companies improve their bottom lines by creating a positive, healing environment in the homes of seniors.
Fewer Overhead Costs
When a company has access to recent documentation and real-time communication about a senior’s level of care, overhead costs are reduced. This goes back to the management of chronic diseases in the population. Overhead includes costs associated with hiring more staff members, training of staff members, processing of paperwork, such as insurance or Medicare claims, and transportation means for staff members.
For example, a company automatically tracking a senior’s blood glucose levels could theoretically predict future need for diabetic supplies, explains engineering giant, EASi. As a result, the company can avoid over-ordering or under-ordering of supplies, reducing overhead costs.
Access to More Seniors in Need and Potential Staff Members
Another key benefit of mobile-based employees is the ability to reach more prospective seniors in need of care and staff members. Essentially, companies can expand their “footprints” and services to areas that may not have previously been available. As a result, more seniors will be able to access their services, improving profit margins and enabling better care for the community.
Ability to Provide Caregiver Training Remotely
Mobile-based employees already have a vested interest in reducing the amount of time spent in the office or administrative setting. As a result, these employees will be more likely to prefer mobile learning and training to in-classroom sessions. This reduces costs for the company by eliminating the need to hire a trainer and use time and materials in managing training sessions.
The Big Picture
Mobile technologies are creating more connections in society than ever before. Senior caregivers in this connected world have the opportunity to touch the lives of more seniors and ensure the best quality of care is delivered as quickly as possible. Simultaneously, they can help companies strengthen their corporate missions and improve the health of an aging population, which is the ultimate goal of most health care organizations.
Access to health care is improving, and mobile technology is leading the way by creating a new type of caregiver, the mobile-based provider. In addition, the push toward independent living in society is strong, and mobile tech is serving to strengthen this resolve. Rather than turning away from the trend, your organization should embrace the age of the mobile caregiver, and use it to your advantage.