Postvisit Questions Prompt Interventions for Home Care Patients

August 26, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Prompting home care providers to note changes in patients' status at the conclusion of each visit can help spot clinically significant changes before they escalate and require more acute intervention, according to a study published online August 10, 2016, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The authors instituted a tool for 22 home care agencies in which caregivers were required to answer a brief series of questions when they clocked out from each visit. Questions asked about such indicators as changes in patients' behaviors, skin condition, or toileting ability. Approximately 2% of visits resulted in notes indicating changes in condition, equating to approximately 1.9 notations per patient every six months. Changes in behavior were noted most frequently, constituting 17% of entries, followed by changes in skin condition (16%), eating or drinking (14%), and ability to stand or walk (9%).

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