As the aging patient population continues to grow in both size and medically complexities, health leaders are looking for opportunities to overcome the barriers hindering patients from receiving prompt and effective care.

A recent Advisory Board report asked leaders across the country, “Is the healthcare industry's current approach to caring for older adults falling short? If so, how?”1 Some of the responses include:

  • A lot of the reason for why we are failing has to do with the outdated idea of aging. We’re operating in a 60-year-old system designed for the needs and wants 60 years ago, which doesn’t reflect current reality at all.”

  • “We’re doing a good job, but we have a long way to go. There’s more to healthcare than just physical health. We fall short in behavioral and mental health issues.”

  • We are falling short, but we are making progress. We are stuck in the old model of focusing on just physical factors, instead of social determinants of health. The status quo is a state of evolution.”

A common denominator centers on the use of an outdated care model. Fortunately, there are strategies to overcome this challenge and meet the growing need within the aging patient population. These strategies include:

  1. Prioritizing preventative care and chronic disease management.
    Many of today’s care models are based in treating illnesses rather than preventing them. Shifting offerings to include preventative treatment plans is vital to not only help the aging population remain healthy for longer, but to also avoid multiple or extended hospital stays. Doing so will also help reduce care costs and improve patient satisfaction.

  2. Increase collaboration.
    A major factor helping break down barriers between care settings is the collaboration between acute and post-acute care providers through a strategic partnership. The report notes that partnership can help relieve capacity problems. A suitable partner will be able to place the right patient, in the right care setting and at the right time in their care journey. This allows the patient to have all of their health needs met in one care episode without expending unnecessary resources.

Learn how we can help your hospital effectively address the needs of the aging patient population by contacting us today.  


References:

Culver, E. (2022, February). Are we failing America's seniors? here's what industry executives have to say. Advisory Board. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.advisory.com/blog/2022/02/senior-care
By Kindred