Spending time in the hospital is not on anyone’s top ‘things to do’ list, but when they finally get the chance to return home, family is often the ones providing support. While there are numerous things to worry about, one issues that can be overlooked involves infections.
Most family caregivers have no medical experience, no background, have not studied these important issues, and while hospital administrators and doctors are often focused on an array of concerns, contending with infections may not be one of them.
As these patients are transferred back to their home environment, focus generally shifts to either recovery or providing comfort. If this individual suddenly contracts an infection or other preventable illness, depending on their health issues, it could quickly escalate and lead them right back to the hospital.
Home care support is one of the most vital aspects of recovery for men and women following a hospitalization and when those professional caregivers have direct experience, they often pay close attention to various signs of trouble brewing. Home care becomes the added layer of defense that too many hospitals overlook, or don’t pay enough attention to.
According to Kaiser Health News, in their blog, As Care Shifts From Hospital To Home, Guarding Against Infection Falls to Families, written Melissa Bailey:
“But hospitals have not done enough to help these families,[“] said Dr. Amy Billett, director of quality and safety at the cancer and blood disorders center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Hospital.”
“The patient safety movement has almost fully focused all of its energy and efforts on what happens in the hospital,” she said. That’s partly because the federal government does not require anyone to monitor infections patients get at home.
Even at the well-resourced, Harvard-affiliated cancer center, parents told Billett in a survey that they did not get enough training and did not have full confidence in their ability to care for their child at home.”
Home care aides and visiting nurses certainly must be focused on many details when supporting clients after a hospital stay (or who may be dealing with serious health issues like cancer), including sanitizing their hands to avoid transferring bacteria to the client. If families aren’t aware of these concerns or don’t place a high enough value on these details, the risk to the patient can increase dramatically.
Home care agencies may provide more information to those families who aren’t aware of these unseen risks and may offer one more benefits to relying on home care support.
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