1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
A Success Story in Home Care: Development and Management of a Home Infant-Apnea Monitoring Program
Joseph S. Lewarski, RRT, Hytech Homecare, Mentor, Ohio, Sunday, December 7, 1997.
Infant apnea, apnea of prematurity, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) sibling and technology dependent infant are diagnoses associated with an increasing number of homeward bound infants throughout the United States. Shortened hospital lengths of stay due to hospital care paths, third party payer case management, and technological advanced in home medical equipment has helped set the stage for earlier and sometimes more complicated discharges to home. Home medical equipment dealers are now required to provide higher technology services in order to accommodate this shift of care and cost from the acute care setting to the home. Although home infant monitoring technology has been available and used in this country for almost twenty years and on-going research in this area continues, there is still a considerable lack of consensus regarding the clinical management of infants discharged to home on monitors. Through experience, we have learned that very often, the clinical responsibility and financial accountability of home infant monitoring falls on the shoulders of the home medical equipment dealer. As an experienced provider of complex home medical equipment and respiratory services, we have developed a home infant monitor program that fully utilizes existing monitor technology while promoting a care path/disease management policy and algorithm. This model has allowed us to create an effective home infant monitoring program that provides for the most appropriate level of clinical patient care while providing sophisticated, objective clinical data to meet the medical/legal needs of the physician, as well as reducing unnecessary utilization which appeals to the financial concerns of the third party payer.
AARC 50th Anniversary, December 6 - 9, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana.