Enhanced Home Health (EHH) began as a pilot program in Hospitals that were looking to reduce their readmission rates. The hospitals began contacting prestigious home healthcare agencies in hope to develop a protocol that would work to identify patient emergencies before they needed to be readmitted to the hospital. From this relationship it was shown that the first two weeks and the fourth week after a patient was discharged from the hospital where crucial to a patient’s stability away from the hospital. With these findings the EHH protocols were born, known as the 7 touch points of care, and participating hospitals saw readmission rates drop as much as 30%. These staggering numbers gave precedence for a number of home health agencies adopting EHH protocols as their new standard level of care.
The back bone of the Enhanced Home Health program is increased communication and support for patients which dramatically decrease unnecessary emergencies. The way it worked before the EHH program is patients would receive care throughout the week, usually between Monday and Thursday. The problem however is that patients may begin to show signs of a potential emergency on Friday night and then end up in the hospital the next day. With the EHH program patients receive a tuck-in call with questions about their health that can identify red flags before they become an emergency, necessitating a hospital readmission. Weekend visits also ensure patients health was assessed during the weekend and any changes where identified status.
The 7 Touch Points of Care That Reduce Readmissions:
Touch Point 1: Meeting with home health liaison (first 24-48 hours prior to discharge)
Patients receive a pre-discharge visit with a home health liaison. This liaison is from the home health care company that will be providing care once the patient leaves the hospital. In many locations home health liaisons are stationed in the facility meet patients and families so that the communication starts immediately. Liaisons will review the services the patient will be receiving and gives them an overview of the agency caring for them. This process ensures there are no surprises and that all orders from the doctor are identified.
Touch Point 2: First home visit (day after discharge)
The second touch point involves the first visit from the home health care provider after leaving the hospital. This visit includes medication reconciliation, safety check, patient assessment and education. This first visit is crucial ensuring that the patient’s transition from the hospital to home is coordinated and that the patient is setup to receive the best possible care.
Touch Point 3: First tuck-in call (1st Friday patient is at home)
A “tuck-in” call is a series of questions about the patient’s health that can identify red flags. If any concerning health changes red flags are identified care providers can address them immediately. The call is also used to schedule the patient’s first weekend visit, and so the care provider can follow-up on any changes in the patient’s health.
Touch Point 4: First weekend visit (1st weekend patient is home)
The first weekend visit ensures “eye on” the patient for care delivery, health status evaluation, vital signs, symptom check, and medication compliance. Each visit helps to ensure that the patient is being well cared for in the manner their doctor intended.
Touch Point 5: Home visit (Monday – Thursday minimum of 1 home visit)
The first visit of the following week involves medication compliance, vital sign measurement, and a well-being assessment. After a week of service care providers can begin assessing the patient’s progress and home care outcomes. This assessment ensures the patient’s care is progressing appropriately and to note any outcomes that need to be reported to the doctor.
Touch Point 6: Second tuck in call (2nd Friday patient is at home)
The 2nd week tuck in call is very similar to the first call and ensure no emergencies or changes in health conditions are identified going into the weekend.
Touch Point 7: Weekend Visit (2nd weekend patient is at home)
The 2nd weekend visit continues the high level of care the patient has been receiving. These visits ensure the patient is assessed and well cared for ensuring there is no gap in care during the weekends.
The 7 touch points of the EHH program are also continued in the fourth week of care. Although, many companies such as, Assisted Healthcare Services, have adopted the Enhanced Home Health protocols as their standard level of care. The new heightened service level ensures Assisted’s patient receive the best care possible in the industry.
For more information on Enhanced Home Health and how Assisted can help with any of your home care needs please give us a call at 800-949-6555 or visit www.Assisted1.com.