Study identifies global priorities for improving home care


Home care experts have called upon global leaders to address the growing demand for domiciliary care with a greater investment in leadership development, health care system redesign, and payment and policy issues.

In a new study, published in the journal Nurse Education Today, researchers at International Home Care Nurses Organization, which works to support home care nurses worldwide, summarise the perspectives of home care professionals from 17 countries.

It found that the top priorities of these professionals are to generate and use evidence-based guidelines to ensure home care quality; re-design health systems and electronic records to include home care; develop home care leaders at all levels (patients, providers, policymakers); and address payment and policy issues that create barriers to home care access.

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Lead author Olga Jarrín, an assistant professor at Rutgers Institute for Health in New Jersey said: “Across people’s life-spans, home care exemplifies the intersection between seeking the best outcomes at the lowest cost and what matters to patients and families.”

“A change in healthcare is occurring as the home is recognised as the preferred, safest and best place for individualized care of patients and families.”

According to the World Health Organization, the demand for home care will increase over the next 10 years as the average life expectancy increases and number of people over the age of 60 doubles by 2050.

The global population of people aged 80 and older is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050, growing from 126.5 million to 446.6 million. The oldest population in some Asian and Latin American countries is predicted to quadruple by 2050.

The International Home Care Nurses Organization’s mission is to develop and support a worldwide network of nurses who promote excellence in caring for patients living at home.

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Sarah Clarke

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