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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 patients."
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.

Last updated: 3-4-2008