Home Health Respiratory Therapy Program

By Mary Walters, MSN, RN, CRNI

Fidelity Health Care initiated a respiratory therapy pilot program in September 2014.  The program includes a respiratory therapy visits for patients discharged to Fidelity Health Care for home health services with a primary or secondary diagnoses of pneumonia.  The goal was to reduce 30-day readmissions, improve the patients understanding of their respiratory medication, and improving oxygen adherence and safety.  The initial results were very promising that allowed for expansion.   The program includes all hospitals and includes patients with primary or secondary diagnosis of pneumonia and or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The average age of the patients were 61 years old. Fifty nine percent of the patients with pneumonia also had COPD and 19 percent were smokers.  The 30 day readmission rate was 7 percent which the national average is 17. The areas identified are the patients had issues with desaturation and needed new or modified oxygen orders, many patients would benefit from BiPap, and patients were unclear on how and when to take their prescribed respiratory medications.  The opportunities include focusing on oxygen safety, instruction on respiratory medication management, ongoing smoking cessation education, and facilitating follow up with pulmonologist within two to four weeks post hospital discharge.

As the program is continuing to expand more opportunities are being identified.  The areas for improvement are being shared with the stakeholders.  An area that nursing can impact is on the discharge education on how and when to use the medications.  The repetitive education on the importance of using these medications can help decrease complications. 

<<Back to Premier Nursing News-October 2015

Source: Premier Health Nursing

Content Updated: October 19, 2015

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