At Support For Home, we are focused on non-medical home care for seniors and others who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental ADLs. Nevertheless, most of our clients have some form of acute or chronic medical condition that is of major concern and essentially responsible for their need for assistance.
As a result, what is going on in the medical field is of prime concern to us and our clients. We have talked about telehealth / telemedicine and other ways that technology is becoming more and more important to health care – and home care. This is a topic we will come back to many times, I am sure.
There are many other areas in which developments in medicine are making positive changes in the lives of “their” patients / “our” clients. Many of those topics are covered and advanced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
One area that the Agency keeps medical professionals – and patients and their families – up to speed on is “Patient Safety Primers,” which covers many topics of interest. For example, one subject of critical interest to many of our clients and families involves “Adverse Events after Hospital Discharge”. The graphic below, from the Primer, shows why:
This is actually one of the areas in which Electronic Health Records can really help, as many of the adverse events are associated with changes in medication or other issues that are not communicated in a timely fashion.
One of the reasons this is of particular interest to those of us in the elder care industry is that an adverse event which would probably fall into the “Nonpermanent disability” slice of the pie for most of the population can be tremendously more serious for a senior suffering from a chronic medical condition such as Congestive Heart Failure or COPD.
Everything that we – caregivers, family and patients – can do to raise our own awareness of the potential for post-hospital discharge events is a significant aid to our medical providers.
Check out the Agency’s Website on Patient Safety Primers. It is a very good information source.
Best wishes, Bert