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Home Care: The Missing Link
At NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, providers and nurses have formed the Collaboration Council between NYC Health + Hospitals/Home Care and the Kings County Doctors Council.
Sunday Oladunmoye, RN
Head Nurse, Home Care
Before a three-day training by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, all members of the Collaboration Council were required to complete a patient care experience observation in order to learn through the patient’s eyes.
As part of the exercise, Augustine Umeozor, MD, Hospitalist, Department of Medicine, Kings County, decided to join Sunday Oladunmoye, RN, Head Nurse, Home Care, on a home visit. “I’ve worked as an inpatient doctor for 15 years,” explains Umeozor. “I know that what happens at home plays a major role in readmission.”
Lauren Johnston, Chief Nursing Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals, says, “Home care has often been overshadowed by inpatient nursing, but in truth it can be pivotal in preventing avoidable readmissions and keeping patients healthy. I’m glad to see a provider with such curiosity and enthusiasm for home care. Home care is a major player in the future of our system — we need to recognize that and treat it as such.”
During the home visit, Umeozor noted the definitive advantage medical professionals have when they visit the home and the ability to identify firsthand the complexities that can play a major role in readmission. The patient they visited had such significant visual impairment that they required a magnifying glass just to read the nutritional labels on their groceries. “Many times, we discharge patients with all sorts of materials without assessing their ability to understand and use the information we give them,” says Umeozor.
The patient also had many groceries around the house that were not suitable for their medical condition, which reminded Umeozor that inpatient care has its blind spots. The immersion into the patient’s world made possible by the home visit, provided valuable information regarding what to discuss with the patient and how to approach their continuing education and treatment plan.
“The Augustine Umeozor, MD, Hospitalist, Department of Medicine, NYC Health + Hospitals/ Kings County Sunday Oladunmoye, RN, Head Nurse, Home Care INSIDER