You provide chronic disease education to staff. Your agency prides itself in the education offered or provided directly to clinicians. Where you struggle is in seeing the outcomes you desire both financially and clinically come to fruition. Today, let’s consider where are programs are missing the mark to make a true difference.
4 Common Problems With Current Chronic Disease Education:
Many times, the approach to chronic disease education is the biggest hindrance to success. The information provided to staff may be fantastic, but there is no follow through on putting it into practice on a meaningful and routine basis. Let’s look at 4 problems we often see when consulting with agencies:
- Teaching Is Not Home Health Specific: This is big. Without showing how the care works within the industry, it becomes signs and symptoms to memorize and report. Although this information is obviously important, the teaching needs be approached with how it is going to be practically utilized in the field.
- Teaching Is Too Discipline Specific: This may sound strange considering disciplines have different scopes of practice. It somewhat ties into the teaching not being home health specific. The disciplines need to see how it all works together. We often see chronic disease teaching to aide staff that is very basic. It often dismisses the critical thinking ability and role the home health aide plays in success of the care plan. The teaching also often pulls therapy disciplines out of the mix. This is a mistake.
- There Is No Process In Place After The Education: This is critical to moving your program forward. Once all disciplines have been through the training, the agency needs internal processes that address the items in the learning process as part of a true coordinated care planning process. This means the communication between disciplines needs to change. For example: If the aide is involved with a patient with chronic disease, the nurse needs specific interventions assigned to the aide that address the chronic disease. Then, there should be guidelines each week for that aide to help advance the goals of the care plan. Most times, the aide is responsible for a bath and this is where it ends. Unless the patient is in major distress, things aren’t reported back to the nurse. It isn’t a lack of the ability of the home health aide, it is a lack of the formal process along with the education and coordinated care planning that fails here.
- Agency Does Not Make It An Ongoing Focus: If you spend the time and money on the education to your clinicians and the agency, then it needs to be a part of your CQI program. You need to make adjustments that lead to ongoing improvement in coordinated care planning and patient outcomes. If you are still putting all the eggs of chronic care in the nursing basket, then your program will cost you more money. Your outcomes will not be as good and patient care will not be as comprehensive without making a lot more visits than necessary. Utilizing everyone to the fullest extent of scope makes patient care better. It is a process to provide effective coordinated care planning, so it will take time.
Are You Missing The Forest For The Trees?
If you realize that your chronic disease management lacks some or all of the items listed above, then join Kenyon Homecare Consulting for our free webinar on March 24th, 2021. In Don’t Miss The Forest For the Trees In Your Educational Program Or You Will Lose Time And Money, we discuss how to make chronic disease education effective for the clinician, your agency, and set you above the rest with referral sources. Register today! Should you find yourself in need to help implement a program, please call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online.