6-05-05 HomeCall Given Quality Award
HomeCall of Stillwater has made
significant progress in reducing the necessity for emergent care for their
patients as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' national
Home Health Quality Initiative (HHQI).
"We are pleased with the progress we
have made for our patients," said Kay Stewart, Administrator of HomeCall.
"Over the past year our agency demonstrated a 34% decrease in the use of
unplanned medical care for the patients using our home health services."
"We identified that falls were one of
the most frequent reasons that patients needed unplanned medical care" said
Linda Thrasher, Director of Professional Services for HomeCall.
"As part of our improvement plan each
patient is given a fall risk assessment when he/she is admitted to HomeCall
services. A nurse or therapist evaluates the home environment and teaches
the patient, family and caregivers about specific and individual safety
measures for the patient. Where needed, the nurse may ask the physician for
a physical therapy evaluation and treatment to help the patient overcome
weaknesses and decrease the risk of falling."
More than 150 agencies, representing over 85 percent of the
Medicare-certified agencies in the state, are working with the Oklahoma
Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ), the states Medicare Quality
Improvement Organization, to improve select quality measures such as the use
of emergent care.
"We are proud that HomeCall is using
the quality improvement techniques we are teaching to make marked
improvements in the delivery of care to their patients," said Bob Lane, OFMQ
home health project manager.
"From decreasing unplanned trips to
the emergency room to improvements in pain management and wound care,
agencies are finding better and more effective ways to care for their
HHQI is just one part of an ongoing
quality initiative that also focuses on improving the quality of health care
in nursing homes and hospitals. The purpose of HHQI is to give consumers
information to make more informed decisions and to help health care
providers improve the quality of home health care.