Homecare service providers as an organizational form of support for the elderlyPolona Šprajc
, Iztok Podbregar
, Alenka Brezavšček
, 2017, original scientific article
Abstract: Background and Purpose: Different studies have highlighted health care allocation problems in Slovenia that indicate the increased need for homecare services for the elderly. It was also found that Slovenian municipalities differ dramatically in the availability of elder care services. A number of older people with diverse unmet needs for care remains. Therefore, the need for the establishment of an additional type of formal homecare services for the elderly exists.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Although many positive effects of home elder care against institutional care are stressed in the literature, the results of many studies performed in recent years have indicated that accessibility of homecare for elderly in Slovenia remains scarce, and it is not equally accessible throughout the country. To mitigate this problem, a new organizational form called “elder homecare service provider” is indicated. The aim of the provider is to offer a variety of different services for the elderly (e.g. homemaking, social networking, transfer services, basic life needs, basic health services, etc.). The establishment of such an organization needs to be designed carefuly, while the unique characteristics and specific needs of the target population must be addressed to optimize desired outcomes.
Results: The aim of the paper is to provide fundamental guidelines for the establishment of elder homecare service provider. All essential characteristics of such an organization are defined. To ensure an appropriate level of service quality, the primary focus is oriented towards the planning of personnel team capacity. For this purpose, the service provider was described using the stochastic queueing model, which enables service capacity optimization considering different performance measures. The usefulness of the model was illustrated with a numerical example, which has shown that the results obtained provide valuable information for decision support.
Conclusion: The establishment of a homecare service provider network would have many positive effects on society in general. The quality of the everyday life of the elderly is expected to be improved considerably, particularly in the rural areas where a lack of institutional care support is reported. Guidelines proposed in the paper together with the quantitave model for planning of its optimal capacity provide useful information, which are especially relevant in the preliminary phase of the establishment of service providers.
Keywords: elderly, service provider, performance measures, capacity planning
Published: 01.09.2017; Views: 381; Downloads: 54
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