By: Portia Wofford
Home health clinicians play an essential role in caring for patients who are:
At risk of developing sepsis
Recovering from sepsis or septic shock
Home health providers are vital in preventing hospital admissions and readmission among sepsis patients. According to the CDC, sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency.
Many patients receiving home healthcare services have chronic medical conditions and comorbidities that put them at risk for infection, including COVID-19 and sepsis. According to the Global Sepsis Alliance, COVID-19 can cause sepsis. Research suggests that COVID-19 may lead to sepsis due to several reasons, including:
Direct viral invasion
Presence of a bacterial or viral co-co-infection
Age of the patient
According to Homecare Magazine, approximately 80% of people with COVID-19 will have a mild course and recover without hospitalization. The remaining 20% of patients with COVID-19 may develop sepsis and be admitted. Patients with severe illness will need home health care.
A study published in Medical Care by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that when strategically implemented, home health care can play an essential role in reducing hospital readmissions for patients recovering from sepsis. According to Home Health Care News, the study points out that sepsis survivors who were less likely to return to the hospital if they:
Received a home health visit within 48 hours of hospital discharge
Had at least one additional visit and
Had physician visit within their first week of discharge
Home health care can contribute to early detection of sepsis
Early detection is critical. For each hour treatment initiation is delayed after diagnosis, the mortality rate increases 8%. Home health nurses can monitor and educate patients and their caregivers on signs and symptoms to report to include. Additionally, home healthcare agencies can provide screening tools that fill the gaps in identifying at-risk patients during transitions from inpatient to outpatient settings.
Home health provides case management for chronic comorbidities
Some comorbidities like Type 2 Diabetes, chronic heart disease, and dementia were associated with sepsis risk in almost all infection types. Those with other chronic illnesses, cancer, and an impaired immune system are also at increased risk. Monitoring can help reduce risks.
Hospice of North Alabama has been recognized by Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) as a “Superior Performer” for achieving an overall caregiver and family satisfaction score that ranked in the top 20% of all eligible SHP clients for the 2021 calendar year.
Hospice of North Alabama offers individualized in-home hospice care, allowing patients a peaceful end-of-life experience in a familiar and secure environment. We provide a full spectrum of hospice services uniquely designed for each patient.