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Think of Nurses First When it Comes to Home Health Care

Nurses Are in a Prime Position to Have a Greater Impact on Patients as Care Enters the Home.

The importance of having the skilled oversight of a nurse in home healthcare is hard to understate when studies find that 13% of patients enrolled in at-home care experienced an adverse event. With the right staff and support, patients can receive safe, effective, and individualized care at home that reduces the risk of exposing them to adverse events.

For the past 20 years, nurses have consistently held the number one ranking for the most trusted professionals, and are the largest component of the healthcare workforce. Nurses work across multiple settings of care, including within the patient’s home. These observations are consistent with our belief that nurses in home healthcare significantly benefit a patient’s treatment and informs our nurse-led approach to delivering care, particularly with high-risk patients. 

Let’s look at four main ways patients benefit from nursing in-home healthcare.

1. More Individualized, Proactive Care

In-home healthcare, nurses are uniquely positioned to individualize the care that is provided to patients. Home health nurses also have more opportunities to understand their patients and provide unique recommendations as a result of being in their home setting. This means they are better equipped to customize care plans not only to be diagnosis-specific but to be specific to the patient’s personal health goals and environment.  They can also provide education to the family of the patient, which is typically not done outside the traditional medical office. 

Christine LeBrun, a Constellation Nurse Case Manager, explained, “We work with each patient to individualize a care plan that works for them and then coordinate with the different disciplines on the home care team to deliver customized care.”

Here are a few examples of how individualized, nurse-led care at home can improve a patient’s health. 

  • Customized care plans can help cater to specific health needs
  • Preventing future health episodes by identifying needs before they escalate and result in an emergency room visit
  • Working hand in hand with the primary care physician to adjust the care plan as needed.

2. Patient Advocacy

Nurses at home take on a health advocate role, communicating with other members of the patient’s care team, such as doctors, pharmacies, and other providers, to ensure that the patient’s needs are met. Nurses can help set appointments, coordinate hospital discharges, and ensure that medications are being taken correctly and refilled on time. 

Jeanne Callahan-Lydon, VP of Clinical Operations at Constellation Health Services, stresses that nurses advocating for their patients is an important component of our home health services. “We believe that a nurse’s ability to communicate between doctors, hospitals, and the patient and their family, bridge the gap between hospital care and care at home. Our patients and their families feel more involved in the care and educated about making decisions.” 

3. Nurses at Home Lower the Cost of Care

When physicians’ offices and urgent care are closed, patients are often left with no other option but the emergency room (ER). The ER is much more expensive than care delivered at the home or at an office. Nurse-led home healthcare can eliminate the discomfort that comes with transporting a high-risk patient to an ER, as well as draw down on emergency visit costs by treating the patient where they’re most comfortable, their home. The risk of exposing a patient to an environment where they could pick up secondary infections or be subject to falls is also significantly reduced. 

4. Providing a Higher Level of Care

At Constellation, one of our strategies for providing nursing in-home healthcare is to employ higher-licensed nurse practitioners to oversee the care that nurses and other members of the care team provide. We have first-hand experience seeing the results of this strategy, providing patients with convenient and cost-effective care in their own homes. 

At times, when a primary doctor can’t be reached, or a person’s symptoms are exacerbating quickly, the nurse will call and schedule an NP visit as soon as the same day as determined by  the urgency of the situation.— Christine LeBrun, Nurse Case Manager

To learn more about Constellation’s home health nursing services, connect with a care expert in your area.

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Constellation Health Services is an award-winning, value-based home health care agency serving the Northeast. At Constellation, our goal is to provide a comprehensive stay-at-home health solution for your patients that includes a team of trained professionals, a suite of technology services, and coordination of in-home diagnostic and delivery services. We help partners achieve an average savings of 10% by avoiding rehospitalization penalties and reducing nursing home utilization and length-of-stay. Learn more.

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