If you need dialysis or know someone who does, you know how cumbersome it can be. Not only do dialysis patients need to regularly undergo treatment, there is always a risk of hospitalizations. Many people do not realize that Dialysis patients risk hospitalizations for complications such as infection, fluid overload, and falls. Repeated admissions to hospital for patients in renal failure is often the norm rather than the exception. This also adds up costs. It currently costs about $88,000 a year for a patient to undergo dialysis, according to the United States Renal Data System (USRDS). This figure includes not only dialysis itself, but also the costs of collateral emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Also, patients need continued care after discharge, which may or may not be available. So, how can you prevent hospital admissions due to complications if you are a dialysis patient or know someone who is?
In this article, we’ll talk about how Home Health Care can keep patients in renal failure out of hospital. At DirectMed, our mission is to help patients manage their care in their own home with the assistance of our medical team to keep them out of the hospital.
- Patients experience greater autonomy and comfort: With home health care, dialysis patients are taken care of, post-dialysis, in familiar and non-threatening surroundings – their home. Patients can better relate to care management in lifestyle changes by a medically skilled person when educated in the comfort of their own home versus a clinical setting. The medically skilled person can customize the patient care plan in the home. For example, skilled nurses can organize the medications and agree with the patient on the best place in the home to keep them and use reminders in the home so the patient knows when to take them. The nutrition management team can help with their renal diet by having the patient show them what they are consuming when reviewing the foods in their refrigerator and cabinets. Since fluid overload is a big factor in the number of hospital re-hospitalizations, our skilled professional can ask to see what the patient is using in the home for fluid management (i.e. the type of drinking cups/glasses).
- Patients are educated, supported, and informed by their home healthcare providers: Upon discharge, Home Health Care can help with the continuity of care by helping the patient follow discharge instructions, can remind patients of medical follow-up appointments, and communicate any significant medical changes to the appropriate doctor. These will help reduce hospitalizations.
- Continued real-time monitoring is the norm: Real-time monitoring in a patient’s home can identify issues and allow for early intervention, thereby reducing acute care visits and the need for hospital readmission. Actionable data from the home is key to reducing emergency room visits and preventable hospital readmission, especially for seniors and those with chronic diseases, such as chronic renal disease.
With Home Health Care fast becoming popular across the United States, dialysis patients can be supported with timely nutrition care, fluid management, the prevention of infection and the prevention of falls in the familiarity and comfort of their homes. Keeping our patients healthy in their own home is our priority at DirectMed!