My project focuses on home health clients who receive care in their homes or assisted living facilities. The company employs nursing staff who visit these patients in their home setting to provide necessary medical care. This approach allows patients to receive care in the comfort of their surroundings rather than having to travel to a hospital or clinic. The nurse’s primary responsibility is to monitor patients regularly, whether daily or weekly or as needed. These visits aim to assess how patients are progressing with their medical conditions and illnesses. The nurse will also report any falls, infections, need for medication refills, or any other changes in the patient’s condition to the physician. This allows the physician to make necessary adjustments to the patient’s treatment plan and ensure they receive the best possible care. Overall, the role of the home health nurse is crucial in ensuring the health and well-being of patients receiving care in their own homes or assisted living facilities.
According to the director of nursing services for the agency, the home health team also evaluates any adverse occurrences quarterly. This evaluation aims to identify any patterns or trends in adverse events and develop a plan to prevent them from happening again. This can include changes to protocols, staff training, and other measures to ensure patient safety and improve the quality of care. By regularly evaluating and addressing adverse events, the home health team works to minimize the risk of harm to patients and provide the highest level of care possible.
Based on the data received from the agency supervising provider, falls are a high-risk adverse event for this home health company. Specifically, 25 falls out of 120 patients serviced in the last quarter resulted in hospitalization. This data highlights the need for the company to take action to reduce the incidence of falls among its patients. Several strategies can be used to reduce falls in a home health setting. One strategy is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of each patient’s fall risk (Harper, 2021). This assessment should include an evaluation of the patient’s physical and cognitive function, as well as an assessment of their environment. Based on this assessment, the home health team can develop an individualized plan for each patient to address their fall risk.
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Overall, falls are a significant risk for home health patients, and the home health company needs to implement strategies to reduce the incidence of falls among its patients. It was agreed upon during my discussion with the Director of Nursing that by conducting fall risk assessments, providing patient education, providing staff training, and reviewing the protocols and processes in place, the company can take steps to minimize the risk of harm to patients and provide the highest level of care possible. The literature advises regular staff visits and the implementation of a fall protocol to assist lower patient falls (Hogan Quigley, 2021). Additionally, regular check-ups must be patient-centered and specifically customized to the community’s requirements (Al Danaf, 2018). Furthermore, research has shown that all staff members are responsible for fall prevention and that communication among healthcare team members significantly impacts minimizing falls (Garcia, 2022).
A, Garcia (2022). Nurses’ Perceptions of Recommended Fall Prevention Strategies: A Rapid Review. Journal of nursing care quality, pp. 249–256.
Harper, A. (2021). Falls in older adults: causes, assessment, and management. In Medicine.
Hogan Quigley, B. (2021). Fall Prevention and Injury Reduction Utilizing Virtual Sitters in Hospitalized Patients: A Literature Review. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, pp. 929–934.
J, Al. Danaf. (2018). Surfacing and addressing hospitalized patients’ needs: Proactive nurse rounding as a tool. Journal of nursing management, 540–547.
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