Home health care is described as a broad range of health care operations, which can be presented at home for a disease or injury. This form of health care is normally less expensive and convenient. In addition, it is an efficient form of care just like the care received in hospitals (Medicare, 2011). These views are corroborated by AHRQ (2011) holding that people have been caring for one another in their homes since time immemorial. It is what people do. However, it is submitted that home health care in this dispensation is different. This is attributed to the fact that it is dogged by a number of challenges. Key among these challenges is the treatment of chronic and complex conditions.
There are different interventions used today by a home healthcare agency to prevent chronic diseases. These include: checking out what the people eat and drink; examining blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and respiration; checking that the local people are taking their drug prescription and treatment in the best way possible; inquiring whether a patient has pain or is feeling well; monitoring and evaluating the safety of the people at home; teach the locals about their care to allow them take good care of themselves; and coordinate care (Medicare, 2011). The implication is that the patients are encouraged to make constant communication with the home healthcare providers.
In addition, there are some current interventions practiced by a home healthcare agency to treat or reverse this challenge. In this regard, it is important to note that home health care service entail; wound care for the pressure sores and in other instances a surgical wound; patient education and caregiver awareness; nutrition therapy in conjunction with intravenous therapy; injections; and monitoring chronic disease and unstable health conditions (Medicare, 2011). In ensuring that patients suffering from chronic conditions are well taken care of, there are three major factors that are taken into consideration by the home health care agencies. One is ensuring that the orders of the doctor are considered before beginning care (Medicare, 2011). This means that once a patient is referred to the home health care agencies, the agency will make an appointment and visit the home of the patient and talk to him regarding his needs and make inquiries connected to the health of the patient. Second is that the home health workers will keep in touch with the doctor regarding the patient’s care and keep the doctor abreast with his patient’s progress. Finally, the home health workers will make an initiative of seeing the patient as often in line with the demand of the doctor. In the end, the objective of the home health care will be to treat an injury or a disease (Medicare, 2011). It will assist the patient to get well, retain his independence and be self-sufficient once more.
However, there are interventions that are not currently being practiced and which would be of great significance to the population. Most important is the failure to present skilled staff. Based on the rising demand for home health care, these agencies have to contend with the hurdle of finding skilled staff. Unfortunately, present estimates demonstrate that demand for experienced individuals will keep lagging behind growth. The fact that this is the fastest growing work in the US does not imply that skilled applicants are equally distributed. The good news is that challenged home health care agencies will get more skilled applicants to fill the jobs. On the other hand, it does not seem as if all the open vacancies will be filled immediately. According to Alster et al (2011), home health care workers must have the capacity to assist people, enhance function and be independent; enhance patient’s optimal level of welfare; and help the patient avoid hospitalization.
There is a reason why home healthcare agency is not practicing this intervention. This is the limited intervention that is used in paying these workers, a factor that makes home health work unattractive due to the financial constraints of these jobs. In addition, rates of reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare establish sophisticated billing besides pay rate barriers for staffing firms able to offer these workers people that need them the most. These challenges only mark the start of the debate when examining the problems of the home health care agencies.
In conclusion, it cannot be refuted that home health care agencies are booming. As a matter of fact, they are among the largest growing entities. However, they are also among the most challenging business opportunities to manage. This is in part due to the increasing growth and due to the different fundamental changes taking place simultaneously making the agencies volatile. Based on this, it is expected than numerous challenges will rock the sector in future, even though some of these linked to the past. Few will transform the way the sector grows.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ]. (2011). Human factors challenges in home health care. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/dec11/1211RA1.html
Alster, K., Cushman, M., & Samia, L. (2011). Chapter 13. Patient safety and quality in home health care. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/resources/nursing/resources/nurseshdbk/EllenbeckerC_PSQHC.pdf
Medicare. (2011). Home health care: What it is and what to expect. Retrieved from http://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/home-health-care/home-health-care-what-is-it-what-to-expect.html