What’s the Problem?
In the U.S., shortages of 100,000 physicians and up to 1 million nurses are projected in the next 10 years; professional schools will only produce a fraction of these numbers. With health care reform, an estimated 29 million more people (13 million children and adults newly covered by Medicaid) will have health care insurance coverage, without the physicians and nurses to provide timely access. As a preview, consider the state of Massachusetts, which provided universal coverage: the uninsured rate decreased from 10% to < 3%, and the waiting time to see a primary care physician has ballooned from 33 to 48 days. Hospitals have become more crowded, some with unneeded readmissions.
Throughout the world, the health workforce is short at least 2.3 million physicians, nurses and midwives. Virtually every country has urban areas with overcrowded emergency departments and public hospitals (many with too many readmissions), as well as rural areas that are economically and/or geographically isolated with shortages of practitioners. The need for health care is growing as the population ages with increases in chronic disease and greater expectations for health. As the mismatch of supply and demand worsens, access to care will deteriorate further. A new approach to workforce and health care delivery is needed that improves access, reduces cost and improves quality.
Our solution: Grand-Aides
Innovative health care delivery with experienced, caring people connecting the patient and care team quickly and cost-effectively.
Grand-Aides, regardless of age, have the temperaments and personalities of a good grandparent. Grand-Aides have had prior training in medical care (such as a Nurse Aide) and then take an added Grand-Aide curriculum. They are generally paid. Under close supervision by a nurse or physician, Grand-Aides use telephone protocols and home visits with portable telemedicine; they provide transitional – hospital discharge -- and chronic disease management, as well as primary and preventive intervention to improve access to needed care and reduce unnecessary emergency, clinic and hospital visits, reducing costs. Grand-Aides are known by patients and families as trusted partners that assist in improving their health one step closer to home.