The Ways in Which Home Healthcare Providers Are Improving Their Service Standards

nurse jackie with a patientBefore home owners face the possibility of going into hospital or a residential nursing home for a long-term stay, there is often the option to have home healthcare professionals visit to provide a care giver role. This is usually a nurse who can provide a type of outpatient care to the elderly, or in some cases the disabled, to ensure that their needs are well taken care of.

The situation for care givers and the healthcare providers who deal specifically with providing healthcare in a home environment face some unique challenges that are either not present or not as difficult to manage as when operating in a fully functional hospital or elderly care nursing facility.

Improving Care Standards from Home Healthcare Providers

In many respects, standards for healthcare begin with the healthcare providers. A steadfast focus on improving patient outcomes, investigating problems with falling standards, and isolating the cause(s) in order to rectify them are some of the core responsibilities of a home healthcare provider.

Whilst a home care giver is not able to have access to the kind of medical equipment and medicine available to doctors, there is still the need to provide the staff with sufficient equipment and treatment options to deal effectively with the more common problems experienced over time when dealing with patients and their ongoing care needs.

Billing & Informational Improvements Through Software Vendors

One of the technical improvements lately with home healthcare is billing software that care agencies can use to schedule staff appointment times, track the cost of provided care, and provide easy access to appropriate levels of information to staff. In many cases, healthcare software is now accessed on a PC, Mac, iPad or Android device making it easy to pull up patient information even over a secure cellular connection.

The improved access to patient and billing information whilst on appointment helps to support the home healthcare care giver and prevents them feeling like they are cut-off from the rest of the service staff.

Security Checks for Nursing Staff

Patient confidentiality is not something that healthcare providers can afford to be lax about. Home healthcare providers continue to improve privacy standards with security checks to verify whether nurses are only referencing the information they need to do their jobs.

Nurse in hospital

It was previously discovered that multiple breaches into confidential patient files from the UCLA health system indicated celebrity patients like Britney Spears and Maria Shriver lost some of their remaining privacy. A collection of trainee nurses and older nursing staff became too curious for their own good. Indeed, more than 1,000 patients have had their records reviewed improperly and 165 staff were caught accessing patient records unnecessarily. Furthermore, the UCLA health system also suffered a recent data breach in which the medical information of 4.5 million past and current patients was hacked.

Clearly there is more work to be done in this area.

Ongoing Training for Home Health Care Professionals

The medical profession continues to evolve. Living standards are better than our parents and grandparents have experienced which is leading to a longer life-expectancy.

Along with these constant improvements are changes to modern diagnosis, medical procedures, and prescribed medication. For this reason, home healthcare providers support improving service standards by ensuring that nursing staff receive ongoing training.

Better Understanding of the Challenges Facing Home Healthcare Givers

Managing home healthcare is entirely different from managing in-patient care. Specialist home healthcare providers are the best ones to provide the level of care expected by stay-at-home patients, their family and loved ones. A certain level of care is expected regardless of the location or lack of sterile facilities.

Healthcare providers need to ensure that the needs of the staff are fully managed. Any concerns that home care givers may raise help to improve service standards for all in the home care field.

Medical Mistakes Still a Problem for Medical Community

Radiology Check in Sign in a HospitalA healthcare agency can be useful to provide qualified staff for specific short-term or long-term needs. One area which still needs to be improved upon is reducing the rate of errors made in the medical community as a whole. Errors in initial diagnosis can lead to incorrect medical procedures and improper outcomes. The cost to resolve the issues (if that’s possible) and settle legal claims from claimants increase medical costs significantly.

 

In the case of home-based carers, their ongoing training can help reduce the incidence of incorrect diagnosis. This, in turn, can help stem the tide of medical errors which continue to plague the industry as a whole.

By using medical software to monitor staff and patient status, home healthcare providers can ensure that service standards continue to improve over the coming months and years ahead.