It is best that long-term care services be individualized, integrated and coordinated in the most efficient way possible. These healthcare elements are essential to the delivery of care given to patients, and for good reasons.
First, long-term care must be individualized because every patient’s needs are different which necessitates specialized care that caters to a specific patient’s condition or illness. Also, each patient is on a different level of self-sufficiency and may need varying levels of assistance. For example, a patient confined to a wheelchair will need more hands-on care than someone who is ambulatory.
Secondly, integrated long-term care consists of combining different levels of care to meet the diverse needs of the patient such as consolidating in-home care with community-based services or inpatient care. Patients are more comfortable when they can stay in familiar surroundings as much as possible, and this may even help them heal quicker. Additionally, integrated long-term care can cut down on costs associated with continual long-term hospital or nursing home stays.
Lastly, long-term care must be well-coordinated to ensure accuracy, timeliness and quality in the level of care given to patients. Long-term patient needs can include proper administration of medications, managing medical appointments and follow-ups, scheduling therapy sessions and ensuring the safety of the patients, as well as other needs. All of these efforts need to be coordinated so that no appointments or medicinal protocols are missed. Also, coordination of care is essential to maintaining the trust of the patients and to ensure that they are getting the best care possible, whether it is in the home, at a long-term care facility or in the hospital.