The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE VALUE OF THE SHIFT/TEAM LEADER IN FACILITATING HOME CARE DISCHARGES

Ernest Jones1, Jan Phillips-Clar2, Jenifer Graves3, Michelle Diep4; 1Respiratory Care, UCSD Medical Center, San Diego, CA; 2Respiratory Care, UCSD Medical Center, San Diego, CA; 3Respiratory Care, UCSD Medical Center, San Diego, CA; 4Respiratory Care, UCSD Medical Center, San Diego, CA

BACKGROUND: The University of California, San Diego Medical Center serves as the County Hospital with the greater majority of our patients covered through Medicare or Medi Cal. Considering the limitations in payment for home care DME, it is a challenge to make the transition from hospital to home. Case Management is responsible for assessing patient needs pertaining to discharge planning, however for patients with respiratory issues, the Respiratory Care department can play an essential role. To improve accountability and coordination of discharge planning activities these duties can be coordinated through specialized Respiratory Care Shift Leaders and tools created to insure needed processes are followed. METHOD: We identified the many rules and regulations related to the use and coverage of DME. Based on those rules and regulations, we developed a set of on-line reference documents to guide and track the process. Resources include instructional power point presentations, specific evaluation forms, tools to coordinate activities with discharge planners, DME referral guidelines and contacts, and mechanisms to track patients through the process. Shift leaders were assigned this responsibility and familiarized with these resources. RESULTS: The process has been in place for one year in which approximately 300 respiratory discharges occurred. It appears the timeline from the initial order for home care related to respiratory issues to discharge from the medical facility has been improved as there are little or no complaints regarding delays. There is better cooperation between the respiratory department, nursing and case management and also improved follow-up after discharge. CONCLUSIONS: The creation of this program improved continuity, coordination and insured the needed equipment is available to the patient. The Shift/Team Leader is best at facilitating this because of their understanding respiratory issues. . The process of assessing the patient, determining the qualifications for the various DME’s and contacting the various home care companies is much more streamlined and less complicated through this program. Respiratory Care can play a major role in improving the transition from discharge to home. Sponsored Research - None