30 years ago, a Colorado entrepreneur named Paul Sauer identified a growing need for personal care services provided in people’s homes. Seeing this empty space in the caregiving world, Sauer developed a program to provide in-home staffing for people managing an illness, recovering from a medical procedure, facing the challenges of physical decline, or challenges of ongoing caregiving demands. Over the years, Homewatch CareGivers has morphed into a comprehensive care model for delivering a full-range of support and care services for people of all ages within a large range of needs.
Innovation in Aftercare
As an innovator in the field, Homewatch CareGivers responded to the growing demands for caregiving services for people traveling for medical treatment and procedures both domestically and abroad by developing a comprehensive Aftercare Program. This program is designed to educate the medical tourism community and patients worldwide on the benefits of working with a medically trained home care company.
Unlike most other private duty home care companies, Homewatch CareGivers has a comprehensive education system with over 2000 specific courses for training caregivers, has a credentialed social worker responsible for quality and compliance and retains a nurse on staff to oversee caregiver recruitment, support and training. In addition, many of the franchise offices around the US and abroad have a nurse on staff to insure proper medical care when needed.
The Homewatch CareGivers Aftercare Program is being coordinated globally by Jean Forbes, Director of International Sales & Business Development, a recognized expert in innovative program design and administration. Forbes said, “Based on the astounding statistics related to medical travel, we see this program as the clear solution for completing the spectrum of care for all patients.”
Medical Tourism Applications
Homewatch CareGivers is first in recognizing a clear need for integrated caregiver provision in the scope of medical tourism. “Our goal is to work effectively with the facilitators and all the other people involved in care to insure the most successful treatment outcome,” Forbes said. “We are working diligently to ensure that we have a team of caregivers who are trained on the intricacies of working with people with greater medical needs, worldwide.”
The Homewatch CareGivers Aftercare Program is designed to work with patients who fit into two specific categories depending on their medical needs. All clients are either short-term or long-term clients. When working with a short-term client, we know their caregiving needs are often intense on the outset and resolve quickly. A typical short-term client might be traveling for some type of plastic surgery or other orthopedic procedure.
On the other hand, long-term clients might be traveling more frequently for ongoing treatments several times a year. The Homewatch CareGivers Aftercare Program recognizes the different needs of the different clients in all stages of care, and works for a seamless and coordinated plan of care for each client.
“We believe strong relationships with facilitators, physicians, and facilities are critical to the overall successful care of patients,” said Forbes. “The primary goal of all services,” she added, “is to increase post-surgical or post-treatment compliance by supporting clients with highly trained caregivers, providing the highest quality of care possible.”
Homewatch CareGivers currently has 179 offices throughout the US and in Ireland, Panama, Costa Rica, Canada, and New Zealand. This extensive network enables them to be capable of meeting the aftercare needs of most people traveling for care.
“We have a clear strategy and system to meet the needs of our medical tourism clients whether they are ‘outbound,’ ‘inbound’ or ‘intra-bound’ clients,” said Forbes. When working with inbound patients, Homewatch CareGivers has leveraged its network of offices to provide the same standard of care and educational information for facilitators and others involved in coordination.
With outbound clients, Homewatch CareGivers is currently working primarily with travelers from the US who are having procedures done in Costa Rica, Canada and Panama. It is clear that a significant number of the estimated 750,000+ Americans who are leaving the country for procedures are traveling to Latin America. Intra-bound client care is provided through clear cross-office communication among the network of US offices and caregivers.
Homewatch CareGivers understands the different care dynamics and financial aspects for every type of client. Through research, they know that clients have different objectives: some are pursuing medical tourism options as a means of saving money and others are motivated more by the customer service elements. The Homewatch CareGivers Aftercare Program clearly helps clients (in conjunction with their facilitator or physician/ clinic) work to establish the best care plan for healing and rehabilitation from treatments or procedures.
Indentifying New Hubs
Homewatch CareGivers continues to expand the program by identifying the appropriate networks for care coordination by studying the most prevalent locations for procedures and treatments, identifying frequent travel patterns, growth areas around the globe, and strategic partners. Homewatch CareGivers has identified emerging “hubs” in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, India, and several other areas around the world.
“We know the industry of medical tourism is growing significantly and we believe the caregiver component is a critical aspect of the overall care coordination. We want highly trained caregivers who understand the diseases, conditions, procedures, and cultural differences to serve as ancillary support to the patient experience. Homecare services complete the cycle of care by insuring patient safety and compliance,” said Forbes.
For more information about this innovative Aftercare Program or to discuss a strategic partnership, please contact Jean Forbes at Homewatch International firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (800-777-9770). Please visit our booth at the World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress in L.A. and participate in the educational session with article author Trey Malicoat, MS.
Trey Malicoat is currently the Vice President of Communications for Homewatch CareGivers International and is responsible for all global branding, marketing and PR strategy for international operations and 105 franchisees. Malicoat previously served as President of Signature Hospice in Portland, Oregon and served on the faculty at Oregon State University and Clackamas Community College. He has worked in healthcare and non-profit management for over seventeen years providing clinical and administrative oversight of multiple comprehensive programs for adults and children. Trey has worked as an administrator, clinician, consultant and educator focused on the effects of change on life functioning since the early 1990’s.