Challenges and how to overcome them
Home health care agency owners face certain challenges that are unique to their industry. In finding solutions to these challenges, home health care agency owners can overcome them as well. Here are the five challenges home health care agency owners face and how to overcome them:
1. Patient preferences
There could be several reasons behind why a patient chooses to get home care. It’s important to consider these preferences in order to provide better and more personalized care at home. While patients tend to prefer to treat acute illnesses in hospitals, home health care agency workers can find themselves caring for patients with chronic illnesses.
It’s also important to consider that some patients may have a negative impression of home-based care. This can stem from earlier bad experiences or from not wanting their privacy to be invaded. Some patients may want to seek care outside their home to interact with people, who others may find their living situation embarrassing.
It’s important for agency workers to recognize these preferences. In addition to this, caregivers should employ shared decision-making with their patients in order to make their patients feel more involved.
2. Concerns of clinicians
There are several challenges worth considering when it comes to clinicians providing home based care. Typically, a clinician charges for the number of clients they see, charging per client. In hospitals or larger clinics, clinicians can see a large number of patients in a day, allowing them to earn more.
When it comes to home based care, however, they are limited in the number of patients they can see. Home based clinicians typically see around six to seven patients a day, visiting them each in turn.
Payment models need to support home base clinicians and not penalize them by restricting how much they earn. This can be done through promoting telehealth services, as well as remote patient monitoring.
A clinician’s safety must also be taken into consideration since clinicians may not be willing to visit areas with high crime. Teaching clinicians what the safety protocols to defend themselves are, as well as de-escalation techniques, can help them provide better services. Finally, medical schools should also prepare the next generation of clinicians to provide home based care as well.
3. The supporting infrastructure
Acute care needs can be difficult to provide at home, owing to the restricted number of assistive durable medical equipment available. When necessary, patients will need to be provided with DMEs and nebulizers within hours. For home health care agencies, there simply aren’t enough DMEs to enable providing acute care at home.
Patients who need assistive care at home, such as bathing or with meal preparation, face another challenge. Insurances don’t often cover such care. However, patients require such assistive support in order to lead independent lives. Home health care agencies need to be able to provide patients at home with all the care they need. Mobile labs will be essential towards fulfilling this purpose, as will mobile radiology, as well as delivering medicines at home. Health systems need to actively invest in building a robust infrastructure that can aid home based care.
4. Patient safety
There are certain risk factors when it comes to treating patients at home. There could be environmental hazards, or the sanitation of the place may not be up to par. There is the risk of infection as well. The physical layout of the patient’s home can also affect how care can be given.
Caregivers need to balance and assess these risks when providing home based care. There should be criteria to determine whether home based care can be provided. Whether medical supplies can be provided at home and used there and ensuring that the family of the patient understands home based care is essential.
Standards should be developed to measure safety at home. Mechanisms should be in place that allows for the dissemination of the best home health safety practices among all stakeholders.
5. Dealing with regulations
Regulations pertaining to the home health care industry are not uniformly applied. They are also not monitored as well as they can be. National or state level requirements aren’t in place when it comes to providing home based care. The only exception to this is the care provided under Medicare home health benefit. Regulations are also limited when it comes to training and licensing home care professionals.
Consistent regulation, as well as quality control, can alleviate patient safety concerns and improve the quality of services provided. Standardized systems should be developed when it comes to measuring and reporting the overall quality of services provided by home health care agency workers.
The growing demand for home based care is a testament to how people find it useful and turn to such agencies. There is a need, however, to address many of the challenges being faced by this emerging industry. As more and more people become old and need home based care, the need for this industry to be better regularized will appear.
Home health care agencies can start setting standards by themselves by performing quality control over the services they offer. At all times, the safety of the patient should be considered the biggest priority. Whether essential medical resources and equipment can be provided to the patient at home should be considered.
Another thing you should consider as a home health care agency owner is home health agency insurance. With the help of home health business insurance, you can protect your business from common career risks. A disgruntled patient, for example, could sue. This could lead to an expensive legal battle that you would need to pay for yourself. With the help of home health care business insurance, however, you can gain financial coverage that protects you from most business risks. From being sued by a client to business disruptions, home health agency insurance can help you protect your business. To learn more, click here
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