Kenyon HomeCare ConsultingChronic Disease Education: If You Consider It A Work In Progress, You Have a Much Better Shot Of Crossing The Finish Line In First Place! - Kenyon HomeCare Consulting (206) 721-5091

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Chronic Disease Education: If You Consider It A Work In Progress, You Have a Much Better Shot Of Crossing The Finish Line In First Place!

WinningThe title of this article may seem like a contradiction.  How can you always be a work in progress, but still cross the finish line? In home health, the industry and operations are continually changing.  Since this is the case, why does the majority of the industry approach chronic disease education like a class as opposed to a process? Let’s look at why chronic disease education needs to be on a continuum for your agency.

Nursing Roles:

As the industry evolves with the rest of health care, the role of the nurse continues to get bigger. Nurses have so many things to document and address with patients that the role becomes less of a skilled clinician and more based on tasks. If the pendulum swings too far towards the task aspect of operations, then disease management with true outcome improvement gets lost. You need to consider all skilled disciplines for what is within scope of practice and utilize it to achieve goals.  Chronic disease education as a process between disciplines working toward a one patient, one care plan model will move the pendulum in the right direction. Nurses need to case manage, not be responsible for every detail.

Chronic Disease Education To Every Discipline:

Often times, agencies teach disciplines on chronic disease at hire.  Aides learn the very basics. Nurses are taught chronic disease by showing them how your agency policy relates to chronic disease management.  Therapy may not even play a role in chronic disease management.  It can be confusing to clinicians.  Plus, if you function this way, then everything continues on the shoulders of the nurses.

Any education given to staff must be applicable to day-to-day patient care.  It needs to include how the roles of each skilled clinician work together as a piece of the puzzle.  If disciplines don’t know how each other fits in the puzzle, then it only makes sense that the program won’t work as well.

Chronic Disease Education On A Continuum:

Managing chronic disease is ongoing education and processes that are part of quality improvement.  Old or unchanged approaches with limited outcomes need changed.  Case conferencing is so often under-utilized between disciplines.  True effective case conferencing involves the flow of information as a constant driver towards functional goals and outcomes. Is this where your agency falls short? “Report” is not a case conference.

If your chronic disease education program focuses on outcome management and functional goals, it will be ongoing.  You will address your program as you monitor outcomes.  Education will become more frequent and you should definitely be hearing how your agency works together.  If you pull the therapist, the aide, and the nurse together, would they all have the same goal for the patient? If there is a one patient, one care plan model there should be.  More importantly, there can be.

We Can Help Your Chronic Disease Management Program:

Kenyon Homecare Consulting offers chronic disease management teaching and can help with program development. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today for your free 30 minute consultation.

Category: Chronic Disease Education, Education & Training

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