The All-Important Caregivers

BusinessWeek recently wrote about a new public service announcement campaign from AARP and the Ad Council portraying the growing number of caregivers and the resources available to them.

From the article: "An AARP report found family members provide a staggering $450 billion worth of unpaid care annually." This remarkable support system navigates thousands of patients through all the complexities of the healthcare system, ensuring continuity of care through procedures, transitions, and all forms of recuperation and recovery.

Gigaom reported on a Pew report last month that pointed out that these caregivers are more likely than other Internet users to look for health information online and take advantage of social tools related to health. The report showed 88 percent of caregivers look for health information online and are increasingly involved in the care partnerships with patients and providers.

Almost any health management process that involves patients also should take into account caregivers’ needs. That’s why the Patient Guidance System involves a patient’s entire care team in the program, including doctors and caregivers, that need to communicate and share information.

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