Home Health Programs Sample Paper
Home health care agencies provide skilled care to patients or clients in their homes. Such services include therapy, nutritional review and advice, physical therapy and medical care. Delivery of care at home differs from hospital care in that the patient has direct and maintained contact with a nurse who works alone. The physician only visits on medical reviews, and hence relies on the nurse’s competence.
Quality of care provided by the agencies tasked with delivering home care services therefore defines the patient’s recovery progress. All medical home health care agencies provide a licensed professional, either a nurse or therapist, depending on the type of care needed. However, some agencies could be operating unethically, illegally, or using non-professionals (Kemp et al, 2019). The referring hospital must therefore assure the client of quality services under the recommended agency. This paper reviews factors that clients should look out for before hiring a home health-care agency.
Credibility in healthcare assures quality and safe services to the unsuspecting public. The agency responsible must be certified by regulatory bodies to provide such services. The client can also check on the awards and additions certifications issued to the agency to determine its suitability. According to Kuluski et al. (2017), the working nurses must have a valid practising licence, with an appropriate working experience.
The patient’s doctor or nurse could help verify the validity of the licence before hiring. The client could also look at the agency’s reviews and testimonials present online. Ratings provided by previous users of the agency offer insights on quality of care. Licences of both the agency and the care provider indicate capability and qualification to provide the service. This acts as insurance that the client could report any case of unprofessional practice or misconduct.
The agencies clearly differ in terms of the type of services provided. The two main categories are home health care and home care services. The former is provided by a licensed healthcare professional, with a valid licence. This type of care is recommended and supervised by a nurse practitioner or a licensed nurse. It involves provision of medical and nursing care similar to that provided in hospital setup. Home care services, on the other hand, involve services that do not require any medical or nursing practice background.
Such services are often for companionship, to clients who are either housebound or isolated (Kuluski et al., 2017). Additional activities in home care services include cooking, cleaning and laundry, transport services and assistance with activities of daily living. A home health care service agency could provide both types, hence employing more than one primary caregiver. The client must therefore understand the type of care needed by the patient, in relation to type of care the agency has the requisite license to provide.
Procedures of the agency are vital to the client. The agency needs to provide the client with a list of specialists provided, the frequency and costs. The client and the agency need to agree on terms of operation before commencing. Some agencies offer 12-hours shift, while others will provide a caregiver round the clock. The two also agrees on involvement and role of the family members in planning for care of the client (National Association for Home Care & Hospice, n.d.).
The agency introduces the supervisors and care providers to the family of the client early in advance. Financial procedures are agreed upon, and terms of the contract discussed before signing. During the agreement, the family also states their expectations towards the agency.
Credibility, type of care services provided, needs of the patient and terms of the agency are among they vital optics to look for in selecting and evaluating a home healthcare provider. These aspects assure the client of quality and optimal care to the patient at home. It also helps to gain trust in the provider once the client is certain that the agency has a positive history record.
Thus, when seeking the services offered by home health care and home care service agencies, clients must assess their reliability, associated costs, and terms of services before entering into a contract. See appendix for a summary of the vital questions one should consider asking before making the decision to engage a home health care or home care service agency.
- Kemp L, Bruce T, Elcombe EL, Anderson T, Vimpani G, Price A, et al. (2019) Quality of delivery of “right@home”: Implementation evaluation of an Australian sustained nurse home visiting intervention to improve parenting and the home learning environment. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0215371. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215371
- Kuluski, K., Ho, J. W., Hans, P. K., & Nelson, M. (2017). Community Care for People with Complex Care Needs: Bridging the Gap between Health and Social Care. International Journal of Integrated Care, 17(4), 2. https://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.2944
- National Association for Home Care & Hospice (n.d.). How Do I Select the Right Home Care Provider? Home Care and Hospice. Retrieved from https://www.nahc.org/consumers-information/home-care-hospice-basics/right-home-care-provider/