Finding the right provider does not have to be difficult or discouraging. Ask providers and other individuals about an agency’s performance. Their insight will help you determine which provider is best for you or your loved one.
DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
There are several options for home healthcare. Before launching your search, determine the type of care you need.
TYPES OF HOME CARE ORGANIZATIONS
- Home health agencies
- Homemaker and home care aide (HCA) agencies
- Staffing and private-duty agencies
START BY ASKING QUESTIONS
- How long has the provider been serving the community?
- Is there literature available explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources?
- How does the provider select and train its employees? Does it protect its workers with written personnel policies, benefits packages, and malpractice insurance?
- Are nurses or therapists required to evaluate the patient’s home care needs? If so, what does this involve?
- Does this provider include the patient and his or her family members in developing the plan of care? Are they involved in making care plan changes?
- Is the patient’s course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by each professional caregiver? Does the provider educate family members on the care being administered?
- Does the provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care patients are receiving in their homes? How does the agency follow up on and resolve problems?
- What are the financial procedures of this provider? Does the provider furnish written statements explaining all the costs and payment plan option?
- What procedures does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are its caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- How does this provider ensure patient confidentiality?
Ask for a list of references. When you contact each reference, ask the following:
- Do you clients to this provider?
- Do you have a contractual relationship with this provider? If so, do you require the provider to meet special standards for quality care?
- What sort of feedback have you gotten from patients receiving care from this provider?
- Do you know of any clients this provider has treated whose cases are like mine or my loved ones? If so, can you put me in touch with these individuals?
By getting the answers you need about your home care services, you can be sure you’ve picked a home care provider whom your family can trust and depend on.
Source: National Association for Home Care and Hospice