Triage Guidance for Licensed and Certified Home Care Providers

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With the onset of Novel H1N1 Influenza the possibility exists that business as usual may change for many industries and especially for those who care for others. Those in home care serve clients and residents that can be at highest risk of severe illness in many forms or may simply need additional assistance with activities of daily living. The services provided in many cases may mean the difference not only in quality of life but also the ability to remain healthy.

Home Care providers need to take the time to consider the ramifications of what a pandemic may mean to them as an agency both for their staff also to those they serve. Staff shortages may be a major concern and how to then serve clients with limited staffing will be a challenge. This document provides some general guidance to consider as you plan.  

Review staff resources to ensure that you can provide coverage to those clients that need continued coverage and cannot be left on their own without assistance. The table provides guidance for how to make decisions relating to allocation of staff.

Review with clients their personal emergency preparedness plan. Some questions to consider are:

  • What resources does the client have if provider cannot come for several days, such as family, friends, personal support network?
  • What other resources can be developed in the community such as service organizations?
  • What are the client needs regarding cares and equipment and identify alternate methods of obtaining?
  • Have you consulted with local public health for assistance in obtaining resources?

The client’s physician or primary care provider who is directing the home care services should be notified when an emergency plan is put in place.

Triage Guidance for Care provided by
Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses

High Priority – patients with unstable medical conditions, complex wounds or the need for parenteral medications or therapies which cannot be self administered or managed by a caregiver. Medication management for patients who have no family or informal caregiver available and willing to provide this service on an interim basis.  These patient visits will be the priority cases to staff, as service is essential to patient safety.

Moderate Priority– patients who require intermittent service; safety/health would not be jeopardized if they received no services for up to one week. These patient visits may be postponed. Patients may benefit from intermittent telephonic support.

Low Priority - patients who are able to meet self care needs or have family or informal caregivers to meet basic needs. These patient visits may be cancelled or postponed. Discharge from care may occur.



Triage Guidance for Care Provided by
Home Health Aides or Other Unlicensed Personnel

High Priority – patients with unstable medical conditions or services such as daily-weekly wound care or other treatments or medication administration AND there is no family or informal care-giver available and willing to provide the care.  Patients who are dependent on agency staff for activities of daily living (dressing, meal support, bathing or toileting) AND there is no family or informal care giver available and willing to provide the care.

Moderate Priority-The visits patients who require intermittent service and whose health and safety would not be jeopardized if they received no services for up to one week may be postponed. Patients may benefit from intermittent telephonic support.

Low Priority-patients who are able to meet self care needs or have caregivers to meet basic needs.  These patients’ visits may be cancelled or postponed. Homemaking tasks are considered low priority in an event. Discharge from care may occur.

 


Updated Thursday, 06-Dec-2012 09:07:37 CST