When you or a loved one are in need of home health care services, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by all the available options. You’ll have a lot on your mind and in your heart while you search through advertisements, and they all may start to look the same if you’re not already familiar with the home care industry.
Yet, inviting a clinician into your home is a very intimate decision. The home care provider you choose can have a huge impact on the quality of care received, the health outcomes you’re able to achieve, and the level of comfort, trust, and personal connection that can be enjoyed with members of your care team.
5 Things You Should Know About Your Home Health Care Provider1) Full range of available services
- Does your company provide…? (choose what may be needed now or in the future)
- Adult nursing care
- Assistive care, personal care, household support, or companionship services
- Pediatric nursing care
- Short-term nursing care after an injury, surgery, or hospitalization
- Short-term nursing care to help manage a chronic condition
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Behavioral health care
- Habilitation services
- Tracheostomy and ventilator care
- Respiratory care
- Enteral feeding and feeding tube care
- Seizure care
- Dementia care
- Assistance with mobility and transfers
- Assistance with transportation
- Overnight care
- Respite or emergency care
- Rehabilitative care
- Catastrophic care
- Hospice care
- How long has your company been providing these services?
- How long has your company been serving this community?
- Is your company state licensed to provide these services?
- What sort of background checks do you perform before you hire professional caregivers?
- Are your professional caregivers fully insured?
- How will our personal and confidential information be protected?
- Can you provide references from clients and families?
2. Quality of care
- Is your company certified by any accrediting body such as the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) or The Joint Commission?
- How do you ensure that your nurses have the appropriate education and skills?
- Do you protect your clients with written standard procedures and policies?
- Who will oversee the quality of my care? How?
- Do you have the clinical expertise to customize care services for our specific needs? (discuss relevant diagnosis or diagnoses)
- Are you able to clinically manage multiple services and integrate them into one care plan?
- What sort of participation can I expect in setting my health goals and planning my care?
- Do you consult with my physicians?
- How will my nurse (or aide) know what I want or need?
- Can I meet or interview my nurse (or aide) before they start work? What happens if a nurse (or aide) isn’t a good fit for our family?
- How many nurses (or aides) will I have?
- How will I know which nurse (or aide) is scheduled for the day? How are schedule changes communicated with me?
- How does your office cover a shift if the scheduled caregiver is unable to work?
- Who will coordinate my care services and be my point of contact?
- Will your company help me get any medical supplies or equipment I need?
- If I have a question or concern, how do I reach you after hours or on weekends and holidays?
- Will your company accept my health insurance? And do you process payment directly from them?
- If I pay privately, what forms of payment do you accept?
Have a Conversation to Ease Your Mind
Meeting with a representative of the home health care company face-to-face, if possible, and having a frank conversation about these five broad topics should give you a very good sense if they could be the right home health care provider for you and your family.
It may seem daunting at first, but don’t be intimidated. Home health care professionals are some of the most compassionate, dedicated, and caring people you’ll ever meet. Having a conversation with a clinician will help you to fully understand your options, feel confident in your decisions, and give you and your loved ones peace of mind.