Connections – Marian Community Hospital
education leading to self care and
independence is the goal of home health care”, according to
Anita Marchegiani, R.N., administrative manager of Marian Home Health
services, a branch of Mercy Home Health and Hospice at Marian Community
Hospital, Carbondale. “A
growing number of medical patients depend on home health care to assist
with a growing number of medical conditions.
Patients generally spend less time in the hospital and have more
complicated care requirements when they are discharged.
Our patients include those with a variety of medical problems,
patients recovering from surgery, or who have otherwise been discharged
from a hospital, rehabilitation center or nursing home.”
emphasis on encouraging recuperation and independence, today’s home
health care means much more than regular visits from a nurse.
Home health care is discussed as part of a patient’s discharge
plan after hospitalization or treatment in another facility.
Patients can choose the service they prefer from those available
in their community.
for a smooth transition of care from the acute care setting to the
patient’s home,” outlined Ms. Marchegiani.
“For patients who do not need 24-hour a day supervision, it is
both more effective and less expensive. Patients who will benefit from
home health care include those whose health can be improved and or
maintained with specialized medical treatment in the home.”
health services are approved for a patient, a registered nurse works
with the patient’s doctor to develop a plan of care based on the
specific health care needs. At
that time a determination is made regarding the need for medical
equipment in the home. Patients
typically spend less time in the hospital today than five or ten years
ago for the same condition and are often discharged using some type of
highly technical equipment.
health patients can receive many therapies in their own home including
but not limited to chemotherapy, intravenous medications and TPN or
Total Parenteral Nutrition,” outlined the administrator.
“Patients may also need assistance with catheter or ostomy
care, wound dressings, pain management, medication injections and other
professionals understand the various concerns of patients and their
families as they are discharged from a medical facility,” said Ms.
Marchegiani. “It can be a
little unnerving to arrive home with monitors and other medical
equipment. We are there to
put these patients at ease. We
spend time explaining how their treatment will progress and their
important role in regaining strength and freedom.
Home health care is not intended to be a permanent fixture in
their lives. We see ourselves as a means to a patient’s regaining
independence with a new lease on life.”
In addition to
direct medical needs, home health care can address associated services
including physical, occupational and speech therapies as well as medical
social work. In conjunction with the goal of restoring a patient’s
optimum health, home health services work to restore the whole patient.
Not only are patients assisted with the medical recovery, but the
physical, occupational and speech therapy specialists work with the
patient and his or her caregiver to regain function to live as
independently as possible. Marian
Home Health Services also provide medical social work to assist with the
options after treatment and address financial concerns, coping with the
stress of illness or further medical placement as necessary.
plays an important role for many patients and their families.
When patients request such counseling, the home health services
can refer the patient and/or caregivers to programs aimed at helping
people get in touch with their fears, anxieties and concerns.
services are not an open ended program,” added Ms. Marchegiani.
“Our goal is to assist the patient in achieving an optimum
quality of life. A major emphasis for us is education for the patient and his
or her caregiver. We do not
encourage the patient to become dependent on us, rather we educate them
to rely on themselves. Today,
there is much emphasis on all individuals to be more aware of their
health status and to be more responsible for the quality of their
health. Many people know
their cholesterol levels for example, but that is not enough.
We are being encouraged to maintain low levels and make the
lifestyle changes necessary to make positive changes.”
“So it is
with home health patients,” the manager concluded.
“We educate the patient and the caregiver about their specific
medical condition and the positive steps they can take to regain their
prior level of independence.”