Any time there is a transition in care the potential for gaps exists. After discharge from the hospital, many are sent home still recovering from an acute illness or injury, as well as chronic conditions they may also be facing. This is a critical time when additional health problems can happen, and your client may not have access to medications, transportation or risk a fall in the home.
Discharge Planning Begins In The Hospital
Working with clients who have been discharged home after an illness or injury begins with helping them to transition back into their normal daily activities with the addition of therapy, different medications, or doctor visits. You can help ease this transition when you have an understanding of the discharge plan they left the hospital with. Your client will likely have this in writing at home for you to review on your first visit.
It is important to review your client’s medication list and whether or not they have been filled. You may find your client did not fill all the prescriptions as they were not covered by insurance or were too expensive. In this case, it's helpful to speak with your supervisor, who can discuss alternative plans with the client's physician. Options for different medications that may cost less or maybe in the client’s insurance plan will help speed your client’s recovery.
Have A Good Understanding Of Your Client's Health Condition
Before walking into your client’s home, it's important to understand the health condition they're facing. This will help you make recommendations that ease the transition from the hospital to home and on through recovery. If your client has come home following an exacerbation of diabetes that includes a significant lower extremity wound, it will be important that you recognize the signs of infection and can speak with your client about his dietary needs.
Some clients will be discharged without any underlying chronic condition but having experienced a significant physical injury. In this case, it's important to help your client schedule their therapy appointments and ensure they have transportation. Those who have suffered from an injury are elderly or who have other physical disabilities may also require an at-home assessment to help prevent falls.
Know Your Clients Medications
Beyond having their medication prescriptions filled, your client must understand why they're taking specific medications, what the side effects are and how often they need to take them. Using a pill dispenser often helps those who are elderly, have difficulty opening prescription bottles or are forgetful. It's also vital the client's family have a good grasp on the medications their loved one is taking and why they're being taken.
Work with the client's pharmacist for a list of side effects they may encounter and leave that list with the family and client. Encourage them to speak to the doctor or pharmacist should they run into any difficulty with the medications. Taking multiple medications increases the risk your client may experience a fall at home, so ensure a home safety assessment has been made and advise your client to take precautions against falling.
Are You Ready to Transition?
If you are considering a transition to providing in-home health care, we are ready to help you find your assignments and support your professional development. At Harmony, we pride ourselves in working with our professionals and families to achieve the best match possible. Call us today - we’re standing by, ready to help!