Ways of working
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Home Care : How to optimize patient care?

Published on
May 13, 2024

The evolution of healthcare preferences reflects a growing interest in home care. This trend is driven by various factors, including increased comfort provided by a familiar environment and the maintenance of emotional ties.

In short, it leads to a significant improvement in the quality of life and mental well-being of patients.

This progression has consequences in terms of organization and adaptation. Healthcare facilities in France have been required since 2021, following the deployment of a new framework aimed at assessing the quality and safety of care, to focus their efforts on optimizing this service.

Note that every four years, experts from the High Health Authority (HAS) evaluate the home hospitalization sector.

2 major advantages of home hospitalization

A striking example is in the provision of palliative care, where patients with terminal illnesses increasingly feel the need to be in a familial environment.

1. For the patient : reintegration into their familial environment

Home hospitalization would promote :

  • Better pain management
  • Reduced stress
  • As well as the total preservation of the patient's dignity at the end of life (an increasingly difficult objective to achieve due to the context where the quality of care is deteriorating day by day in many developed countries).

As a reminder, only a licensed physician can currently approve home hospitalization.

2. For the healthcare structure : relieving congestion in its services

Providing care outside hospital structures also frees up beds and resources for patients requiring more intensive care (intensive care units and resuscitation, care for minors or even infants, high-risk pregnancy monitoring, cancer patients, etc.).

Some obstacles block access to home care

At the end of November 2019, the case of a doctor in Normandy highlighted the challenges still commonly encountered in accompanying patients at home, especially at the end of life. This doctor was prosecuted and prevented from practicing for administering a medication normally reserved for hospital use to five elderly people.

As a reminder, the Claeys-Leonetti law of February 2016 established the right to "deep and continuous sedation" until death for patients in the terminal phase, to alleviate unnecessary suffering, especially after the cessation of treatment in cases of "unreasonable obstinacy" or therapeutic deadlock.

However, the drugs used for this purpose, such as midazolam, an anesthetic, and neuroleptics generally used in psychiatry, are reserved for hospitals.

In February 2020, the HAS formulated recommendations and best practices aimed at overcoming this major obstacle hindering access to home care. This striking example revealed the existence of significant barriers to accessing home care for all and disparities in care.

The role of technology in optimizing home care

Fortunately, there is also good news !

Today, remote monitoring devices (such as HumHealth or MedM Platform) allow monitoring of patients' vital parameters and early detection of signs of deteriorating health. This remote monitoring prevents unnecessary hospital admissions and false alarms.

Similarly, online consultations and medical tracking applications help manage less urgent cases, regulate admissions, and thus reduce pressure on emergency services and outpatient consultations.

NB : The type of applications to deploy should be determined after a comparative analysis of cost and benefits, possibly on the advice of change management consultants familiar with healthcare facility issues.

Optimizing home care with Bee’z Consulting

In this context, Bee'z Consulting positions itself as a trusted partner to accompany healthcare organizations in their transition to home care. With our expertise in change management, we assist you in optimizing the return home of patients undergoing hospitalization.

Among the proposed means :

  • Connecting with home care companies
  • Optimizing care schedules and follow-up appointments
  • Study and assistance in implementing tools integrating with your IS and suitable processes
  • Optimizing administrative processes and coordination with social security and mutual insurance companies.

Patient transition to home : support also involves caregiving teams...

The transition of the patient to their home represents a complex process that requires significant involvement of caregiving teams.

Firstly, this implies close coordination between various healthcare actors, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and home care providers. These teams must work together to ensure a smooth and secure transition of the patient from the healthcare facility to their home.

This includes :

  • Optimizing post-hospital care planning,
  • Well (or better) coordinating medical appointments and treatments at home,
  • As well as ensuring the implementation of appropriate support systems for the patient and their family.

Supporting the patient's transition home often requires educating family members and caregivers. Caregiving teams play a role in training these individuals, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to care for the patient at home.

  • Teaching feasible care techniques,
  • Medication management,
  • Recognition of signs of possible complications,
  • Communication with healthcare professionals.

Transitioning home can be a stressful and emotionally charged time for the patient and their family. Caregiving teams must be trained to provide empathetic support that will help alleviate fears and anxieties associated with the transition.

In summary

In conclusion, optimizing home care is a necessity in response to the growing desire of patients to receive care in the comfort of their own home.

However, this transition requires organizational adaptation and close collaboration between various stakeholders in the healthcare sector. The benefits are numerous, both for patients and healthcare facilities, particularly in terms of social reintegration and resource management.

Despite progress made, obstacles persist. The emergence of innovative technologies and recommended practices offers opportunities to overcome these obstacles and improve the delivery of home care, assessed every 4 years by the HAS.

🐝 Bee'z Consulting supports healthcare organizations in their transition to home care, offering tailor-made solutions and strengthening the capacities of caregiving teams.

Silvina Layani

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