What COVID-19 Has Revealed: Medical Professionals and American Healthcare Consumers Gravitate Toward

Interim HealthCare survey finds more than two-thirds of licensed medical professionals may seek job change and consumers increasingly prefer to receive care at home
 
SUNRISE, Fla., November 9, 2021 – Interim HealthCare Inc., the nation’s leading franchise network of home care, senior care, home health, hospice and healthcare staffing services, released a new national study examining the shifting perspectives around access to medical care and changing opinions on healthcare careers brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
To help better understand consumers’ knowledge of the scope of home healthcare services and how those sentiments may have changed after the onset of COVID-19, Interim HealthCare commissioned the online Home Health Insights Study of 2,070 U.S. adults, among whom 186 are licensed medical professional, conducted by The Harris Poll. Among the findings, it revealed that more than two-thirds (71 percent) of licensed medical professionals have considered a career shift to home healthcare as a way to reconnect with why they originally entered the field. Additionally, 67 percent of Americans have thought differently about their own healthcare options or those of a loved one as a result of the pandemic, with 65 percent agreeing that they would have considered home healthcare as an alternative to a past hospital stay if they knew it was an option.
 
“We have seen a tremendous amount of stress being placed on those working tirelessly in every corner of healthcare since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jennifer Sheets, CEO and president of Interim HealthCare Inc. “This survey highlights the very real effects of the burnout we’ve been observing across the industry. In addition, it emphasizes consumers’ growing interest in the superior quality and accessible services that home healthcare can provide, coinciding with a greater need for skilled, passionate individuals to join us in delivering home healthcare.”
 
Pandemic Shifts Consumers’ Preferences for Care
Over the past 20 months, people across the country have witnessed the unprecedented strains on medical facilities and the enduring tragedies taking place in hospitals, nursing facilities and long-term care centers. This has resulted in a paradigm shift when considering how to approach end-of-life care, with 82 percent of Americans preferring to face end-of-life at home versus at a hospital more now than they did prior to the pandemic. In addition, 61 percent indicated a fear of dying alone more now than they did prior to COVID-19. Due to strict hospital and facility rules for visitors at the bedside over much of the last two years, popularity in home healthcare has increased, especially for those who are chronically ill or reaching the end-of-life stage. Home healthcare is unique in providing the balance of critical care with less restricted access to loved ones in a known environment.
 
Notably, 79 percent of seniors ages 65-plus say that their quality of life would be significantly better if they could receive healthcare at home rather than in a hospital or nursing facility if needed. These results signal the need to educate healthcare decision-makers on the evolving wishes of the aging population.
 
Lack of Knowledge Around Home Healthcare Persists
Despite COVID-19 prompting consumers to reconsider how they may receive care in the future, a widespread lack of knowledge around home healthcare’s varied services remains among both patients and prescribing medical professionals. The survey found that only 32 percent of licensed medical professionals believe home healthcare is an option for acute illnesses, like COVID-19. However, home healthcare’s customized, patient-centered care can cater to individual needs more effectively, boost emotional health and mental acuity, and provide other benefits including improving overall spiritual well-being and the quality of family interactions.
 
Furthermore, only 30 percent of Americans have used home healthcare services either for their own care or that of a loved one. Many Americans don’t know that home healthcare is an option for medically complex individuals, such as those with ALS or spinal cord injuries (62 percent each). Home healthcare supports a wide variety of healthcare needs, from companionship to 24-hour care, including hospice. It provides nearly the same level of care and similar, if not better, outcomes to a hospital or long-term care setting through more cost-effective means and in the more preferred site of care: the patient’s own home. Since early 2020, Interim HealthCare has facilitated the transition of countless individuals from the hospital into home healthcare to continue receiving medical treatment while reducing the ongoing strain on ICU capacity.
 
COVID-19 has reminded the healthcare industry and its stakeholders that the home can be a viable center of our complex healthcare ecosystem. Along with the widespread challenges the pandemic presented, home healthcare emerged as the preferred option for many individuals as they consider future care needs. Interim HealthCare’s full continuum of services meet a variety of requirements, from home care to hospice, in addition to providing staffing services. Moreover, the company’s commitment to caring for a patient’s mind, body, spirit and family through its HomeLife Enrichment® standard of care has led to a higher quality of personalized care that facilitates a joyous, fulfilling and engaged life.
 
During November’s National Home Care & Hospice Month, Interim HealthCare invites the public to discover the unique benefits and full continuum of care available with home healthcare through its campaign, “The Difference is Home.”
 
For those interested in exploring how home healthcare can assist with comprehensive, individual care needs, please visit: www.differenceishome.com. To learn more about what sets Interim HealthCare apart, click here.
 
About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Interim HealthCare from September 14-16, 2021 among 2,070 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 186 are licensed medical professionals. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected].
 
About Interim HealthCare Inc.
Founded in 1966 and First in Home Care®, Interim HealthCare Inc. is unique in combining the commitment of local ownership with the support of a national organization that develops innovative programs and quality standards. The only major franchise brand in its category to offer the full continuum of care, the company strives to improve the delivery of home healthcare and staffing services through 330 plus locations servicing the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Ranked #1 for the third year in a row by Entrepreneur magazine, franchisees employ nurses, therapists, aides, companions and other healthcare professionals who provide 25 million hours of home care service to 200,000 people each year, meeting a variety of home health, senior care, hospice, palliative care, pediatric care and healthcare staffing needs. For more information or to locate an Interim HealthCare office, visit www.interimhealthcare.com.
 
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Media Contact: 
RH Strategic for Interim HealthCare  
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: (206) 264-1703 
 

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