Tips on Transitioning from the Hospital to Home Health Care
Providing high quality healthcare is one of the top priorities health professionals concentrate on. Healthcare professionals have to make sure that their patient takes their medicine on time, gets enough fluid and eats the right diet. Effective coordination between hospital staff ensures fast recovery and discharge. In the United States of America alone, $2 trillion is spent on health care, and approximately 1/3 of the said amount is spent on hospitalization.
As soon as the patient is discharged from the hospital, all the potential health risks and dangers have been addressed, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that care should be put to a stop. Unfortunately, research by the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee showed that around twenty percent (20%) of those that were discharged are re-hospitalized within a month. There are many outlying factors behind the re-hospitalization but studies have also proved that home health care is critical and plays an essential role in determining one’s overall health care, even after being discharged from the hospital.
Home Health Care and Its Link Towards One’s Overall Health After Hospitalization
While the patient may have gotten better during his stay in the hospital, care after discharge is essential and can greatly contribute towards the patient’s overall recovery. Care has to be continuous and doesn’t stop at the hospital – it should continue until the patient gets home, and eventually until his health gets better completely. Failure to practice health care at home means the patient needs to be re-hospitalized, it costs more and can also bring greater risk to the patient. Additionally, all the procedures and medical interventions done prior to hospital discharge will become completely useless. In short, not caring for the sick after hospital discharge voids the care that has been given to the patient regardless of how better they have become after being released from the hospital.
Reducing Re-hospitalizations Through Home Health Care: The Transition Period
It is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to discuss proper care procedures to guardians and to the patients themselves. Certain interventions may differ depending on the condition, and it is important to follow everything. The first few weeks of the transition are the most difficult, but for the patient to remain at their optimum health and to help with the transition, it is crucial to follow these tips:
1. Follow the diet as ordered by the physician. This may be common sense, but many people tend to forget to follow the diet after a day or two. If the patient is not accustomed to the diet that the doctor has given them, slowly introduce new meals that are both delicious and healthy. This isn’t easy, but this shouldn’t be difficult to follow at the same time.
2. Keep medications and schedules in one place. The medicine cabinet or drawer may sound like the perfect place to store drugs, but this may not be ideal at most times, especially if the patient just got out from the hospital. It would be better if the medication schedule is posted on a wall, along with the drugs that need to be taken. A pill box can also make a huge difference. This way, medications are organized in a way that allows the patient to drink their meds on their own. Setting reminders or alarms on a cellular phone would also play a huge role in helping the patient take his prescriptions on time.
3. As mentioned earlier, it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to remind and discuss with the patient about proper home care, but in instances that the physician failed to do so, take the initiative to ask. This will help the patient and the household prepare what needs to be prepared as soon as the patient has been released from the hospital. Asking the healthcare team allows the guardians to prepare the house’s environment. If lighting, ventilation and the whole room need to be changed, one should become aware even before a patient is discharged from the hospital.
4. Proper home care equipment must be used. Depending on the client’s condition, the guardian needs to become aware of the equipment and other instruments that are needed for continuous health care even after hospitalization. Coordinate with your healthcare professional to determine which medical supplies and equipment are needed at home. This is one of the steps that is often being overlooked by the majority, and it is crucial to listen carefully to your medical practitioner’s advice.
5. Scheduling a home visit with the patient’s doctor at least 5 days after hospital discharge is important. This is to ensure that the patient is doing well, and to foresee any other problems that may occur while the patient is outside the medical facility. This way, any underlying problems can be immediately addressed
Important: The whole transition from the hospital towards home care may seem “impossible” for some, but with the help of medical professionals, right information and adequate instructions, going through this situation is easier than you have ever imagined.