Newswise — In a new study, researchers recommend that healthcare leaders address the growing global demand for home care with a greater investment in delivery, affordability and quality.

The study from the International Home Care Nurses Organization appears in the journal Nurse Education Today.

Lead author Olga Jarrín, an assistant professor at Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research and Rutgers School of Nursing, said top issues include leadership development, healthcare system re-design and tackling payment and policy issues. 

The report, which summarizes the perspectives of home care professionals from 17 countries, highlights four priorities for the future of home care:

  • 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).
  • Address payment and policy issues that create barriers to home care access.

“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,” Jarrín said. “A change in healthcare is occurring as the home is recognized 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.

Journal Link: Nurse Education Today