Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Patient Outcomes Improve Under Single Home Health Aides

According to a recent study by SAGE Publications, individuals receiving home health services stand to experience better outcomes if cared for by the same aide day in and day out.

According to the study Continuity in the Provider of Home Health Aide Services and the Likelihood of Patient Improvement in Activities of Daily Living, patients who see the same home health aide across a series of visits have a higher likelihood of improving in various activities of daily living (ADLs) compared to patients whose care is provided by multiple aides.

Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is a large, urban, non-profit Medicare certified home health agency.  Base from their studies, they found that individuals who were cared for continuously by the same aide had a 93% chance of improving their ADLs.

Those who experienced low-continuity of care were roughly 14%-15% hardly to recover their ADLs involving home health admission and discharge than persons who were constantly visited by the similar aide.  Those who experienced low-continuity of care is implying to care was spread out among a variety of aides over the course of a home health service period.

Furthermore of note in the report, cases where patients had moderate-continuity did not considerably fluctuate from higher permanence cases in their likelihood of ADL development.

Researchers note that the odds of improvement among cases with high continuity are greater than those for low continuity even if a greater part of cases in the study’s populace enhanced in the figure and severity of ADLs between admission and discharge.

“Ideally, patients should receive services from a single aide over the entire period of home care,” writes the study’s lead author David Russell, Ph.D, Center for Home Care Policy & Research at VNSNY. “However, a number of staffing constraints and operational obstacles often present a challenge to achieving this goal.”

Russell added, home health agencies often provide around-the-clock care and have several staff to cover different shifts, but sometimes these staff members carry multiple case loads and have limited time for care planning, monitoring and review.

According to the report, one strategy to combat this could be to use primary provider teams in conjunction with backup provider teams to limit the number of aides who visit a patient.

A succeeding strategy the study suggests is to center on lowering the quantity of cases with low levels of continuity, and work to develop this group to a more modest level.

The results constructed upon wide research that suggests permanence in the relationship between a patient and his or her caregiver amplifies the chances of optimistic patient conclusions even though the study was supported on one non-profit Medicare-certified home health agency.

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