By: Susan F. Adams, RN, BSN, PhD, Regional Vice President and Administrator for Masonicare Home Health & Hospice
Masonicare Home Health & Hospice strives to provide the highest quality of comprehensive care to the patients we serve statewide. Meeting the needs of patients who want their healthcare provided in the comfort of their own home is our mission.
We see patients who have a wide array of conditions. A patient who has just had a heart transplant is an example of the type of acute care patient we care for. CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) are examples of chronic diseases we are able to manage very successfully at home. Technology helps us to monitor our patients very closely and significantly decrease their likelihood of returning to the hospital. Where appropriate, we can provide “telehealth,” which allows a patient to monitor their own weight, vital signs and oxygen saturation as often as deemed necessary. We also utilize lifeline services, wound vacs, readings measuring blood clotting capacity (known as INR) and other high-tech interventions. Allowing patients to stay safe and at their optimum level of health – in their own home – is what we do best.
There are a variety of ways a person can access care at home. Most of our patients are introduced to homecare after a hospitalization or time spent in an extended care facility. A referral is made by the care coordinator or discharge planner from the facility. A patient’s physician may also order homecare. By law, all patients are to be given a choice of homecare providers, which means you can request Masonicare. We employ community liaisons who are on site at area hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to educate and support co-ordination of care with patients, families, discharge planners and care coordinators. Providing the opportunity to ask questions is often very helpful to patients who have no knowledge of how extensive our services can be.
The home health professionals who provide services in the home include Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, Medical Social Workers; Hospice Nurses and Palliative Care Nurses; Home Health Aides, Homemakers and Companions. We have specialists in cardiac, telehealth, wound care, CHF, COPD and joint replacement to name just a few.
Once a patient referral has been made, we go to work! We determine what insurance the patient has and what services will be covered by that payor. We review the medical information provided by the referral source and choose the right professional to make the first visit. At the time of the first home visit, a full assessment of the patient’s needs is completed. All medications and procedures to be provided are fully explained to the patient and family. They are an integral part of designing the care the patient will receive. The physician who is in charge of the patient is contacted and reviews the plan of care established by the nurse or therapist and the patient and family. Providing all the right services to the right patient at the right time is what makes homecare so successful.