What are home health care services?
Healthcare services that are provided to patients at their residences by nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and physicians are called home healthcare services. These services are provided to people who are sick or injured to restore and maintain the maximum level of health, comfort, and function.
How does one benefit from home care?
Home health care services are convenient and accessible. These services can be rendered to patients who need immediate care at home, 24/7 care, or short- or long-term care. Home care services are preferred for those patients who are not critically ill but require supportive care. Patients can receive personal attention from skilled nurses and further benefit from quality services. They can also avoid strain due to long-distance travel for minor services, avoiding unnecessary movement, long hospital stays, and expensive hospital services for procedures.
Why Home care Services?
Population ageing is a global phenomenon and India has 103.9 million elderly, people above age 60, about 8.5 per cent of the population. According to the American Geriatric Society (AGS), 30% of the older population requires geriatric care. Thus 4.14 crore older people in India will require geriatric care.
List of home-care services
Therapeutic care: includes medication administration, injections, IV infusions, wound dressing, tracheostomy care, and urinary catheterization.
Diagnostic care: ECG, BP and blood glucose monitoring, Blood sampling
Long-term care: includes palliative care, care for chronically ill and disabled, supportive care, and end-of-life care.
Rehabilitative care: Physical therapy, assist in lifestyle modifications, routine and follow-up check-ups, health monitoring, documenting and reporting
Preventive care services: Provide assistive equipment, continuous monitoring, health assessment, patient education etc.
Who provides these home healthcare services?
Certified, skilled, and experienced nurses provide these home health care services.
Why is it important to choose certified nurses?
Certified, trained nurses play a critical role in ensuring patient safety and providing quality care to patients. While the doctors make diagnostic and treatment decisions and spend very less time with the patient, the nurse renders more care and spends the maximum amount of time with the patient. Hence, qualified and skilled nurses must be chosen for the essential and long-term care of patients.
What is the role of a certified nurse?
The nurse's role is not just confined to providing care but also to continuously monitor the patient's condition, identify any deterioration, document the finding, and immediately communicate the changes to the concerned authority.
Research suggests that nurses are more focused and vigilant in home care settings and that the possibility of medication errors is lower compared to a highly stressful hospital environment.
Benefits of having a Homecare nurse
In 2020, a study revealed that the national average of time spent by a registered nurse at a residence is about 45 minutes. This resulted in decreased mortality, improved patient safety, a reduction in falls, decreased pain, fewer pressure ulcers, fewer urinary tract infections, and less likelihood of hospitalization (1).
A study showed that those receiving this highest acuity level of home-based care have been shown to experience 19% lower costs, higher satisfaction, and equal-to-better care outcomes when compared with similar inpatients2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan; 18(2): 402. Published online 2021 Jan 6. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020402
The Future of Home Health Care: A Strategic Framework for Optimizing Value. Home Health Care Management & Practice Volume 28, Issue 4, November 2016, Pages 262-278https://doi.org/10.1177/1084822316666368
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