Measuring Quality Of Home Health Care And Patient Experience

It is important for any home health care agency to measure their performance from time to time. This will ensure whether the care processes followed are just as required by the patient and the quality of it is as high as it is expected to be. Otherwise, immediate changes in the entire system can be implemented.

  • This is important because maintaining a high quality of care is very important but what is more important is providing an optimal patient experience.
  • It is also required to ensure that the patient cared for regains and maintains their health and high quality of life.

It is only then the expectations of the patients and their families will be met and the highest returns on their investments will be provided, both of which are equally important to ensure growth of clients and the home care business.

Addressing program integrity

The first essential step to follow to ensure that you provide the right type of home care to the patients is to address the integrity of the various programs that you have on offer. You can adjudge the quality as well as the integrity of your programs by measuring your performance once again.

Typically, there is a good chance of abuse in providing home health care especially when it is provided to the older patients. This is because:

  • They have reduced mobility
  • They may not have the capability to understand things better and
  • They may also have mood swipes and temper more than any average adult.

Moreover, instances of fraud and abuse is also very common in any type of services in which the demand for it rises quite significantly within a very short period of time and therefore it is usually seen in the home health care space as well.

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The actions needed to take

It is needed to address all these issues so that the patients are able to access their needed services. There are lots of useful and effective actions a home health care agency may take to prevent fraud and abuse while delivering a care service. The CMS in fact lists a varied range of actions in its website that will help an agency to detect fraud and abuse and even prevent it. These actions include:

  • Efforts given to ensure timely licensure and accreditation
  • More transparency in the care process and business policy
  • Regular tracking and auditing of care reports and processes.

These efforts are all very critical to eliminate the bad players from the field and to ensure that the patients gets easy access to high-quality home health care services. Nevertheless, it is also imperative to make sure that the measures do not hinder the access of the patient to quality care or place any undue burden on home care agencies as well.

Ways to improve quality of care

There are also several different ways in which you can improve the quality of care to provide the best patient experience these easy ways will also help you to address the variations across the home health agencies. According to CMS you should focus things like:

  • Value-based purchasing
  • Quality ratings and
  • Use other forms of reporting.

This will help you to stay with the shift of the health care system toward value. Ideally, the current regulation of the government in the context of paying the home health care agencies focuses on liking it with the performance of the agencies as well as their ability to provide public reporting.

Evaluate the parsimonious measure set

With such important changes made it is sure that over time the agencies will find that it is critical to identify the ungenerous measure set. This is important because it will enable the home healthcare agencies to:

  • Focus on core parameters of their services and
  • Measure the improvement in their performance.

Both these are essential for surviving and sustain in this highly competitive industry.

As of now however, there is no proper identification of a parsimonious measure set though the value-based purchasing model of CMS for home health care demonstrates different performance measures.

This was initiated on January 1, 2016 using 24 different performance measures. These measures were used to find out whether or not the home health agencies in a selected state receive positive payment updates.

Though these payments began in 2018, the IOM called for an immediate attention to the risks inherent in using too many measures in the report to demonstrate the vital signs. Very recently they have suggested that the core metrics for health and health care progress to find out its potential and future is to identify whether or not the care services provided by the home health agencies align with the other parts and the entire health care system to accomplish the Triple Aim.

Overcome the workforce limitations

Workforce limitation is another concern for the home health care agencies which is needed to overcome. According to studies, workforce limitations have plagued the healthcare industry always. This is even more predominant for the registered nurses. In addition to that, the studies have also revealed that it also affects the turnover as well as the clinical training in the skilled areas of care.

Adding to the issue is the IOM workshop which the experts think will affect the future of home health care. this has also raised the concerns about the home health workforce including:

  • Availability of skilled family caregivers
  • The changing demographics of patients and care workers
  • The need to improve geriatrics training among the home health care workforce
  • The need to deal with the low benefits and wages provided to them and
  • The overall health of the economy.

According one specific study it is identified that nursing residency programs can be a significant opportunity to reduce turnover and gain skills but on the other hand it was also found that the prevalence of such programs in home health care and hospice care providers was comparatively low. All these affects the quality of home care which needs to be changed.

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