HIT in Home Health Management
Health Information Technology in Home Health Management
University of North Florida
In a diverse, growing and changing industry such as Home Health Care there will be increasing demands for innovations in the delivery of home health care as the industry grows. There exists a number of concerns in providing care for home health care patients such as lack of ability to track patient’s health and hospitalization history, a lack of readily available knowledge in specialty areas, a disconnect in communication among clinical team members, and patients, and a limited amount of time to provide complex patient care. The problems relating to information access and communication inadequacies make it more difficult for care givers to make appropriate clinical decisions that can affect the care and safety of the patients involved. Health Information Technology is an innovation that is designed to address these concerns and promises to improve the processes, quality, and safety of home health care delivery. HIT is at the heart of many solutions proposed to address these problems. It has the potential to solve many of the problems of information access, communication, patient self-monitoring, and management. Health Information Technology in Home Health Management
Home health care is defined as the delivery of services by nurses, health aides, or therapists in a patient home, provided by home health care agencies (HHCA) (Singh, Mathiassen, Stachura, & Astapova, 2011). Home health care prescribed by a physician is usually covered by third party payers. Medicare Part A and Part B covers eligible home health services like intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, continued occupational services, and more. Services are coordinated and delivered by HHCAs and must be under a plan of care established and reviewed regularly by a doctor. However, the doctor or other health care provider may recommend more services than covered in which case some costs will have to be paid for by the patients (Medicare.gov 2014).
The delivery of home health care services can be quite complex as there are many care givers and coordination involved in the processes. Caregivers delivering services may not be familiar with the patients as they may not have given care to them before their first visit and will need information to make clinical decisions. Access to the patient health and hospitalization history is of vital importance. Without contacting prior provider of services these information may not be readily available or available only through the patient and family members who may not be accurate or consistent.
There are also concerns in providing home health care such as lack of ability to track patient’s health and hospitalization history, and a lack of available knowledge in specialty areas. Our focus is to engage HIT through electronic medical records (EMR) to alleviate these concerns. In our current system information is recorded manually and stored the same. With the introduction of EMR most information will be recorded and stored electronically. This will improve the efficiency of the system and make medical records become readily available which will also reduce the risk of patient safety.
Vision, Mission and Objectives
Our vision is to provide medically necessary information when and where needed to improve the care and like of every person that we in the community we serve. Our mission will be to “improve cost-effectiveness, quality, safety, and accessibility of health care services. Reduce re-hospitalization, and contribute to lowered out-of-hospital morbidity and mortality. Share health information with health care providers in the community we serve through technology.” Our primary objective will be to accomplish our mission through the use of HIT through...
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