Bringing Clinical Expertise into Homes Throughout Our Region
~ by Beth Eburn
Most people who are hospitalized look forward to going home where everything is familiar and comfortable. Thanks to advancements in medical technology and disease management, hospital stays are now shorter than ever before and people are able to make the transition to the home setting to recuperate in familiar surroundings. Also, many sophisticated services that once required a lengthy hospital stay can be performed successfully, safely and conveniently in the home.
Before facing a situation where home health care services are needed, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the agencies that serve your community. Contrary to what you may assume, all home care agencies do not offer the same level of care or provide the same services. When you need a home health agency, you have the right to choose the agency you trust most to provide the highest quality, most advanced and most compassionate care possible.
A Full Continuum of Care – from Infancy to End of Life
The Home Care Division of South Shore Hospital offers local access to a comprehensive range of licensed home care services, from skilled nursing care and highly complex treatments to rehabilitation therapies to hospice, private duty and personal care services. The division’s services have been ranked among the nation’s top 25 percent of home health providers by Outcome Concept Systems, a leading post-acute health care information company.
The division is actually three agencies in one: The Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice of the South Shore and Home & Health Resources, a private pay program. Together, these components make up a vital link in South Shore Hospital’s comprehensive services. This full continuum of care provides access to every level of care you may require as your needs change during recovery or treatment.
Whatever the medical need – whether caring for a newborn baby, helping post-surgical or disabled patients recover or treating acute or chronic medical conditions – the necessary services are in place to insure an uninterrupted flow of care and the best outcome for every patient. In addition, families and caregivers are given the information and skills they need to assist in the care of a loved one at home.
South Shore Visiting Nurse Association The South Shore Visiting Nurse Association (SSVNA) is the region’s oldest home care agency. Celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, the SSVNA has been caring for South Shore communities since 1911. Also one of the state’s largest providers of Medicare-certified home health care, the agency utilizes the latest home care methods and technologies – from the most advanced nursing, wound and ostomy care to sophisticated infusion therapy and rehabilitation services.
Hospice of the South Shore
Hospice of the South Shore, the first Medicare-certified hospice program in the region, has provided high-quality home health care services for terminally ill individuals and their families since 1980. The agency has all the medical care and comfort measures in place to allow patients to effectively manage any pain they have and keep the focus on the quality of life.
Home & Health Resources
Home & Health Resources, a private-pay home care program, has been providing a full range of skilled medical services and personal care services in local homes since 1983. The program’s specialized team is able to take care of everything from helping with daily tasks and running errands to providing nursing care. Services are available to supplement or extend the services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.
The Latest Technologies and Innovations in Home CareThe Home Care Division of South Shore Hospital stays on top of every breakthrough with the potential to improve patient care. Not only are the latest medical advances used to bring highly complicated treatments into the home, the division also utilizes innovative technology to improve the accuracy and efficiency of documentation so staff can spend more time with patients.
Here are just a few examples of some of the advanced technologies the Home Care Division of South Shore Hospital offers:
Electronic Patient Records
An innovative electronic patient record management system provides a complete, round-the-clock picture of each patient’s status and history. The computerized system ensures well-coordinated care for patients, which is especially important for those seeing multiple clinicians. Clinicians use laptop computers and a secure web server to update patient records at each home visit. The information can then be shared among all members of the care team involved in providing a patient’s care.
A sophisticated web-based system, Healthy@Home, monitors vital patient data between nursing visits. Telemonitoring equipment takes patients’ vital signs on a daily basis. If the monitor notes an unexpected change, patients are instructed to contact their nurse immediately. Any irregularities can be caught before they become significant problems. There is no gap in medical attention from one home visit to the next.
Not so long ago, medical treatments for non-healing and slow healing wounds required extended hospitalization. Today, South Shore VNA is bringing high-tech wound care therapies into the home. Wound vacuum assisted closure (VAC) is an advanced, non-invasive system that reduces healing time and improves outcomes for wound patients. The system uses controlled negative pressure to remove infectious materials and other fluids while stimulating the growth of healthy tissue to help promote wound healing.
South Shore Hospital Home Care is dedicated to meeting the health needs for patients from Quincy to Plymouth and all towns in between. In addition to providing a full spectrum of services in the home, staff can also bring the same services to patients in assisted living or extended care facilities. The agency also offers health education and screening services to the public on a regular basis, as well as through special events such as health fairs for businesses. A speakers’ bureau is also available for businesses, schools and community groups.
Call 800-432-9995 or visit southshorehospital.org/homecare to learn more about the Home Care Services of South Shore Hospital. For more information about the division’s community health programs, call at 781-849-1710.
Recuperate Faster in the Comfort at Home
Studies and research show that people often heal faster and more comfortably at home versus in a hospital or extended care setting. There is also evidence that re-hospitalization is reduced when recovery takes place in the home environment. You may find that home care is appropriate for you or a loved one in any of the following circumstances:
• Recent hospitalization
• Recovery from illness, accident or surgery
• Temporary or long-term disability
• Aging-related issues or conditions
• Complicated medication regiment
• Management of disease or chronic illness
• Wound, ostomy, or catheter care
• Cardiovascular conditions
• Respiratory problems
• Early parenting support
• End of life issues
• Special needs
• Needing assistance in daily activities
South Shore Hospital’s home care division provides visiting nurse, Hospice and private duty services in Southeastern Massachusetts. For more information, call 800-432-9995.