I have been ranting forever (well, at least the last four years) about the need to integrate non-clinical home care into traditional, clinical health care teams. At Support For Home, we have had some success in this effort, working with enlightened home health and hospice teams. However, our experience is not very typical, unfortunately, across the country.
We are beginning to see a few cracks in the wall, however, which are very welcome. One of those cracks I hope to talk about in coming months, as a new initiative gets launched. Today, however, I am delighted by work being done by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (@VNSNY_News for those of you on Twitter). That work has been written up in The Remington Report, a great source for what is happening in health care, as I have pointed out previously.
VNSNY has a subsidiary, called Partners in Care, which works with 21 home care agencies in New York to expand reach and services beyond what traditional health care can cover. The home care aides in the participating agencies receive increased support and direction from the clinicians within VNSNY. The aides focus on promotion of patient self-care (where appropriate) and mobility. Among the results was 61% of patients receiving integrated clinical and non-clinical care showed improvement in transferring themselves from bed to chair or wheelchair, compared with only 53% in a control group.
This innovation is meaningful, but it is still just a start. There are many patients for whom the goal of increasing self-management of their health is not completely realistic. Many more steps will be needed to develop the true integrated partnership between clinical and non-clinical care, but this is a very exciting one.
Best wishes. Bert