Why HOP into Homecare! Part 2

After graduating from medical school over a decade ago, I have been working with home health agencies of all different sizes and needs. I observed that onboarding was extremely challenging, regardless of the size or resources of an agency.

Educators & Clinical Management were “recreating the wheel” every time a clinician was onboarded. There was no standard process or content that was in-place. Content had to be updated every time regulations changed, due to competing priorities, content was always lagging regulations and evidence-based practices.

Gap in communication between different functions meant either the new hire was released too soon, or not soon enough.  Both scenarios created disengaged new hire who is likely to quit within first 90 days! 

I searched for content already available that could help me onboard clinicians and streamline my department's processes.  I reviewed content libraries provided by the biggies (Elsevier, Medbridge, Relias)...

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Impact of Reduced Hospitalizations During COVID - 19

Multiple studies conducted (referenced below) have found a substantial decrease in the number of non–COVID-19 hospitalizations across a range of diagnoses during the peak COVID-19 period.

The decrease was observed for exacerbations of chronic conditions (heart failure, COPD), acute medical events that typically require inpatient management (myocardial infarction, appendicitis), and injuries.  Most of these studies relied on diagnostic codes, which have imperfect capture of both COVID-19 and other diagnoses.



To summarize the trends observed above, clearly patients with chronic conditions accessed fewer acute care and post discharge services as compared with years prior.  Can we safely conclude that some of acute and post acute care services accessed in years prior could have been excess or unnecessary? 

One of the theory outlined in a study was that due to the COVID pandemic, patients started practicing better infection prevention and...

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Immune Senescence - Decline in Immune Function in Older Adults

Persons of middle-older age are more likely to acquire severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and older adults are more likely to have worse outcomes. So, what makes older adults more susceptible?

As we age, our immune system goes through physiologic (quantitative & qualitative) changes. These age-related physiologic changes include:

  • Alterations in the barriers posed by the skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract and other mucosal linings
  • Changes in immunity including decrease in specific cell populations
  • Decreased antibody response to vaccines
  • Impaired immunoglobulin production

Having a chronic disease further weakens older patient’s immune response resulting in greater susceptibility to common infections. 

Skilled home care agencies predominantly serve older patients (average age 75) and therefore, it is essential for home care agencies to develop and actively implement standardized and holistic approach to assessment, care...

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