The National Council on Independent Living advocates for those that are at risk of becoming institutionalized or otherwise cut off from their communities due to mobility issues. They also conduct research into current conditions. In their recent publication (you can read it in its entirety here) they reveal that 85% of these at-risk individuals are kept out of institutions due to the phenomenal work of Centers for Independent Living (CILs). This is the type of work that everyone in the senior care community is doing every year to great success. As we all know, access to transportation plays an integral part in maintaining independence and connecting seniors to their communities. In particular, transportation to and from regularly scheduled medical appointments is essential for maintaining one’s well-being. As we all age, transportation issues are going to affect us all, young and old alike. The practices and advocacy we engage in now will ultimately affect our quality of life.
The results from the Berkeley SafeTREC study show that “additional transportation services are often not available and that more support for utilizing NEMT may be needed.” Transportation issues account for the majority of missed or delayed medical appointments. Missed appointments have a direct impact on the need for more emergency services and health-related issues and they contribute to an overall decrease in the independent lifestyle sought by those in the senior population. A key way that your senior center or PACE site can make an impact in your members’ lives is to ensure that your transportation operation is doing the best job it can.
In order to better manage transportation events, you need managed care software in order to properly book, edit and monitor scheduled or recurring trips to and from medical appointments. Your service needs to be dependable and predictable in order to provide care to the level your participants require. The right vehicle type needs to be deployed to ensure that each participant’s unique special needs are addressed. When sending a healthcare provider to a home, you need to schedule these events in concert with transportation events to prevent errors. This type of predictability is the cornerstone of automated scheduling and dispatching as part of managed care software.
The fact is, we’re all aging and will likely need more healthcare in the future. Much of the advocacy and work that is done now will enable us to continue to live independently and maintain our quality of life when the time comes. By remaining connected, mobile and independent, we reduce the burden on our families and on our healthcare system. But more importantly, we can actually look forward with confidence and optimism to our senior years.
Managed care software for coordinating health care and transportation services should be part of the plan to improve lives now and in the future. With better trip booking and event scheduling processes, participants are guaranteed to get the best care your transportation operation can provide. Many of these points are expanded upon in our whitepaper, “The Case for Automation.” For more information on the power of managed care software, download our document here.