By Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay, MS, RN, Chief Clinical Officer Nascentia Health
Healthcare is undergoing a fundamental transformation – driven by the rapid growth in older age demographics (65-year old +), extended life expectancy rates, exploding advances and adoption of technology, and a mounting shortage of skilled clinicians to care for this expanding population. Healthcare must transform care delivery models to respond to these changes. Hospitals are not always an appropriate platform for healthcare delivery. Often, patients can receive the same high-quality care delivered with cutting edge technology right in the comfort of their own homes.
“When can I go home?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions by hospitalized patients. Hospitals are great when necessary, but patients recover best at home where they have the support and comfort of family, friends and familiarity. Hospital environments can often add to the fatigue and confusion of patients who are already compromised.
At home, patient-centered care is a lived reality. Relationships are developed with patients, families and caregivers who come to trust and rely on their homecare clinicians to educate and support them as they face decisions about their care and lifestyle changes. By providing care in the home, clinicians garner greater awareness of a patient’s social and cultural needs where they are more at ease, better rested, and able to focus and retain information that is taught.
Every patient has unique and individual needs; clinicians come to know patients in their own environment and understand the complex living and health situations that exist for them. Especially for patients with chronic conditions, it’s imperative that clinicians use not only their clinical expertise but also their vast knowledge of home and community-based services to help support patients in their own environment.
Healthcare professionals and specifically nurses have been lauded as the most trusted profession. This stems from the genuine care and competence demonstrated by these clinicians who stand in the gap for patients everyday…as educators, medical-ease translators, advocates and skilled care providers. There is greater continuity of care for patients at home and this helps facilitate effective, honest communication and meaningful interactions.
Patients often experience significant improvement in their health and quality of life when clinicians take the time to help patients engage in their own care. It is those accomplishments that feed the passion driving home care clinicians to battle the elements and challenges within the community environment to ensure patients receive the best care possible.
Nurses reflecting on their career choice, will often share feelings of being “called” to nursing. Moved by the care they experienced or witnessed, they recognized that they have a desire to provide that same compassion, caring and healing to others. Homecare offers an opportunity for nurses and other healthcare professionals to actualize that calling in very meaningful ways.
Homecare practice is often an unknown option to clinicians because they have limited, if any exposure to homecare as a career choice. As one of the most comprehensive approaches to care, homecare requires not only clinical competence but also the ability to problem-solve and work collaboratively across all lines of care delivery. As healthcare continues to evolve, it is imperative that we use our resources wisely and focus on providing the right care at the right time where patients want it most…at home.
For more information, visit our website:
www.nascentiahealth.org or call 1-888-477-HOME