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Communication issues in home health care

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2017 | Health & Health Care Law |

There are many ways nurses serve patients here in America. Some nurses are involved in providing home care services to patients. For some patients, such services play a very critical role in their life.

Now, there are some things that could get in the way of a home care nurse’s ability to serve their patients. One are license issues. One thing such issues could arise in connection to are disciplinary hearings with the state for alleged care shortcomings. What happens with such issues can have long-term implications for a home care nurse’s career and their overall goals regarding helping patients. So, when legal issues come up in which they could potentially be facing a temporary or permanent loss of their nursing license, quality legal guidance on their situation can be an important thing for a nurse to seek out.

Another thing that could pose roadblocks to home care nurses when it come to caring for their patients are difficulties with getting the right information regarding their patients. Having the right patient information can be critical when providing home care services. Lacking such info could raise the chances of errors occurring in connection to the care. Along with possibly harming patients, such mishaps, under some circumstances, could lead to a home care nurse facing potential license problems.

Among the things that could compromise a home health care nurse’s ability to get the right information on patients are communication problems between home health care agencies, hospitals and primary care physicians. A recent study suggests some significant such problems sometimes come up when patients enter home care following a discharge from a hospital.

In the study, some nurses from Colorado home health care agencies were put into focus groups on post-hospital-discharge home health care. There were multiple communication problems related to primary care providers and hospitals the nurses pointed to in the focus groups, including:

  • Problems getting in touch with physicians.
  • Problems with getting accurate medication lists.
  • Hospital record access problems.

Do you think the communication problems reported by the home care nurses in Colorado are also common when it comes to home health care here in Wisconsin? What do you think should be done here in Wisconsin to help ensure that home care nurses are getting the patient information they need?

Source: ScienceDaily, “Major communication gaps between doctors, home health care nurses revealed,” July 19, 2017

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