Caregiver Competency and Compliance Policy

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Health policy is established at all levels of government, but it is common in the state and federal governments. The state level mainly addresses areas of safety and public health such as the provision of care for needy individuals and immunization (Gauld, 2015). Although the federal and state policies focus on similar areas, the federal level has many policy makers and covers more needs.

The policy making process involves five steps that include definition of the problem, specifying the criteria, finding the possible solution to the problem, implementing the policy and then monitoring and evaluating the policy. The steps are used in developing a caregiver competency and compliance policy for long term private home.

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Define the problem

Long term private home could require policies due to a variety of reasons. First, the number of individuals in need of long-term care is continuously increasing. Age is associated with chronic diseases that lead to long term healthcare; the majority of US citizens the Baby Boomers in particular, are aging which means they are becoming more susceptible to chronic diseases (Pavolini & Theobald, 2011). Furthermore, the patient’s safety is also at stake due to healthcare related hazards such as medication errors and presence of toxic substances, which could be difficult to control. Nevertheless, unlike the hospital environment where, care providers provide most decisions, which include the time to take medicine; the home environment makes the patient to be more autonomous, leading to detrimental practices such as inconsistency to medication.

On the other hand, the healthcare providers assigned in this duty may not be fully trained except for patients that require special care such as deep wounds. As a result, the information that the professional health provider receives may not be accurate hence affecting the healthcare of the patient. The long-term private home care could also face challenges related to reimbursements especially when processing the insurance funds, Medicare and Medicaid programs. The costs for private long-term care are also increasing due to increasing patients hence the need for policies.

Specify Criteria

Medicare and Medicaid centers estimated that there are more than 2.4 million individuals receiving long term home healthcare, while there are many others who have not been included in their services, yet they are on long term healthcare (Markey, 2016). The centers also reported that among the individuals most of 70 percent are aged 85 years and above, poor, and have circulatory diseases.

On the other hand, healthcare professionals collected research, through studies, in-depth interviews on home health care workers (HHCWs), concerning the health hazards in which the long-term home patients were exposed to. The research indicated that the home environments posed a risk for the health of these patients due to the low hygiene as a result of lower water volume; less use of bleaching substance and low temperatures increases the chances of further infection (Irvine, 2016).  The research also indicated that microbes could also survive in raw or less cooked food, poor waste management and poor circulation of air in some patient’s houses were all causes of high risks in home environments.

Moreover, research by US department of health indicate that HHCWs, who include personal care workers sustained more injuries compared to other health workers. This effect indicates that the home environment is risky and/or the HHCWs are undertrained in line with the homecare environment, even if they may have skills for handling the patients.

Identify solution options and select best

The issues facing the home environments as discussed include the continuous increase in long-term home patients, the risks faced in the home environment and the reimbursement challenge facing the private long term healthcare providers. Increasing the number of HHCWs and the budgetary amounts, in order to suffice the probable number of patients in the coming years, could solve the increase in number of patients. Hazards could be solved by making sure that the HHCWs are well trained on safety issues and make sure that these environments are improved in order to minimize the conditions (Halifax, 2012). Reimbursement challenges could be solved by registration of the private long-term care provided so that the state or federal governments recognize them.

These solutions could help in reducing the issues facing home environments for better healthcare results. However, training HHCWs is the best solution because they would be able to deal with home environment hazards. Adding more, HHCWs would only increase costs in the healthcare yet it does not reduce the hazards, which are a major issue. The trained HHCWs could also supervise some family members on the health of their patients who would in turn manage the health of their patients, hence curbing the projected increase in number of patients. Reimbursement is not a major issue as patients could pay cash if need be, hence should not be enacted as a policy.

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Implementation of the policy

The policy should be, “All HHCWs shall be required to take additional training on how to manage risks facing the home environments.” The state and federal government should provide additional funds that would facilitate the training of HHCWs. Each states healthcare departments must ensure that HHCWs are qualified in issues concerning risk management, which would be provided at government, recognized healthcare facilities.

Monitoring and evaluating the policy

The policies would be monitored by state approved healthcare organization that would determine the effectiveness of the policy. Any ineptitude concerning the policy would require the amendment of the policy or its abolishment.

In conclusion, the policy would make the caregiver competence since additional training would minimize the risks associated with the home environments. Nevertheless, the costs incurred in providing training are less as compared to adding more HHCWs. As a result, all private long-term caregivers should ensure that their HHCWs have appropriate training.

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  1. Gauld, R. (2015). Key steps – the process behind the policy. How to Develop a Human Rights Policy, 11-15.
  2. Halifax, M (2012). Best practice guidelines for reducing transmission of antibiotic resistant organisms (AROs) in acute & long term care settings, home care & prehospital care: for healthcare professionals.
  3. Irvine, CA. (2016). Case management resource guide. a directory of homecare, rehabilitation, mental health and long term care services.
  4. Markey, C. (2016). Unacceptable Risks. Home Healthcare Nurse: The Journal for the Home Care and Hospice Professional, 25(3), 224.
  5. Pavolini, E., & Theobald, H. (2011). Long-Term Care Policies. The Palgrave International Handbook of Healthcare Policy and Governance.
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