Home infusion therapy is an option for patients to be discharged from hospitals to continue healing at home. It allows patients to alleviate themselves from extended and unnecessary stays in the hospital while still receiving treatments in a safe and comfortable setting.
Visiting nurses play a huge role in home infusion therapy. They are tasked with training the patient, or the family members, to administer drugs intravenously in the comfort of their homes. It is also the nurses’ responsibility to inform the patients of the side effects of the medications injected, assess the infusion site, and dressing the wound.
1. Suitable Patient Selection
Not all patients are fit to transition into home care. It is important to conduct tests to ensure that the patient can safely undergo home infusion therapy to avoid complications. Careful planning is a big chunk for a home infusion therapy’s success—not all infusions and patients are appropriate for home care.
During the transition, healthcare professionals should assess the patient’s ability to participate in care, the stability of their condition, caregiver availability, use of an appropriate infusion access device, and the home environment. Most importantly, patients should be informed of out-of-pocket costs before proceeding.
2. Patient and Caregiver Education
Home infusion therapy is different from outpatient or acute-care setups since nurses don’t administer drugs to the patient directly. Instead, the patients themselves or their caregivers administer their required medication through an IV system without any supervision from an attending nurse. The patients learn the process of injecting themselves, monitoring the effects, and their body’s response to the medicine.
The patients or their caregivers should be willing to undertake this responsibility before transitioning into home care. They should be ready to learn, ready to understand the complexities of the process, and keen to ensure the patient’s safety at all times. Although they will inject medication for the patients, they will not be responsible for placing peripheral IV catheters or drawing blood.
3. Communication with Health Professionals
Administering medicine to patients without proper training is a complicated task. Therefore, it’s best to coordinate with healthcare professionals to ensure that the patient is safe during the process and there will be no complications that will arise after. Patients or caregivers should update the designated healthcare professional before, during, and after administering the medication. If any adverse reactions occur, it’s best to call for help immediately for assistance.
4. Competent Patient Care
Even if patients are returning home from hospitals, they will still expect the same competent patient care at all times. Care plan assessment is critical to therapy success. Patients should be assessed daily to ensure that their conditions are getting better, to check if there are underlying complications, and if there is anything their caregivers can improve to make their journey to recovery easier.
5. Enhance Safety Measures
Overall, treating someone from their own home can be beneficial to many people. But as patients transition into home infusion therapy, their safety should be the top priority. Safety can be enhanced by adapting the model for safe home infusion therapy. Through continuous education and training, patients and caregivers can improve how they care for the patients.
Home infusion therapy is an excellent option for people who don’t feel well in a hospital setting. However, before transitioning to a home setup, it’s best to consult your doctor on which steps are possible to take, depending on your current situation, as not everyone is suitable for it.
Gateway Home Health & Hospice is Denver’s most trusted home health care provider. Experience healing at home by visiting our website to learn more. Our service might be your first step to better health.