Meeting the health-care demands of the elderly community is already a challenging job, but patients who miss appointments add to that challenge. Unlike 20 years ago, today there are more independent seniors who live remotely from immediate family. At the same time, more surgical procedures are now done with patients going home the same day. Relying on friends and family members to get to and from the health care facility just doesn’t work anymore and seniors are being left to fend for their own care.
As physicians and caregivers, we need to change our mindset on how care is going to be provided and look at the future of healthcare. There is a recognized need for high quality extended post-surgical care beyond the hospital recovery unit. Enter a PostOp Concierge service.
To alleviate the stress of having to ask family and friends for help, the only subscription-based car and driver service in the United States, called RubyRide, has been launched in partnership with board certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Karl Frindrich, MD. The service, which is being piloted in Phoenix, Arizona, hopes to partner with senior centers and healthcare facilities around the country to extend the service area.
So what is PostOp Concierge and what benefit would a service such as this provide to the senior community?
PostOp Concierge supports all patient transportation and service needs for pre-operation as well as post-operation. In addition, all drivers are extensively background checked to ensure a safe environment from a ride, recovery and healing process standpoint. Staff has to be CPR, ADA, and First Aid trained.
As an extension, there is a Home Safe Program™ encouraging a safer home environment by making sure all passage ways, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen are free of obstruction and well lit. Trained providers can help interpret post-operative instructions to make them clearer, decreasing non-vital phone calls to the surgeon’s office. When patients do need help with medical problems such as nausea, vomiting or excessive pain, the patient quickly reaches the right person in the doctor’s office to get the help they need. This combination of services is intended to create a safer environment for the patient, as well as reassuring them that they are progressing as expected for the procedure.
Some patients resort to asking family or friends to deliver them to the surgical procedure as well as back home. According to Dr. Frindrich, the minimum time needed to take a patient to and from a procedure is approximately four to six hours, including round-trip drive time, pre-operative procedures, the surgical procedure, and recovery. With today’s busier lives, the patient needs a driver care service he or she can rely on. Patients not only have someone to ride along with them to and from a procedure for emotional support, but physicians do not have to worry about how they are going to transfer the post-op patient home.
The future of the senior medical industry is headed in the ‘concierge’ direction. Communities need to embrace new models of care that are both safe and affordable options providing that continued piece of mind. After all, we are all going to be seniors one day and we only hope that the level of care and attention makes sense.
Jeff Ericson is the CEO and Founder of RubyRide, a membership-based transportation provider that specializes in scheduled, local, regular trips on a recurring revenue model.