Rising to the Challenge

The Role of Home Health Care in an Evolving Health Care Landscape.  (sponsored)

New and innovative models of health care delivery are focused on ensuring that people receive the right care, at the right time, in the most cost-effective setting while achieving the best possible outcomes. Because of this focus, home health care has become an increasingly important segment of the industry.

Home Health Foundation, which includes Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare Inc., is one of the largest and most respected home health and hospice agencies in this region. The agencies provide care in 110 cities and towns in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. In addition, Merrimack Valley Hospice provides comprehensive end-of-life care in Southern Maine as York Hospital Hospice, in partnership with York Hospital. Together, the agencies play a critical role in the health and welfare of patients and families and are committed to innovation, clinical excellence and personalized care.

According to Karen Gomes, RN, MS, CPHQ, President and CEO of Home Health Foundation, a unique feature of Home Health Foundation is its continuum of care. “Our three agencies work together to bring medical care and support to patients of every age, and medical condition,” said Gomes. “Whether patients need support services to remain independent and in their own home and community, advanced medical care and teaching following an illness or injury or care and compassion as they face their journey’s end, we uphold our commitment to all who rely on us for care.”

Receiving medical care in the home can have major advantages for patients and families. In fact, studies have shown that patients recuperating from illness, injury or surgical procedures heal more quickly and more successfully when recovering at home. Care in the home is more meaningful and allows patients to experience a greater sense of security and dignity. It’s more personal — one-on-one nursing or support services can build strong bonds between clinical professional and patient.

Photography by Tory Germann.

Technology also plays a large role in timely and effective home health care, and Home Health Foundation is on the cutting edge. For example, the agencies were early adopters in the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) to help home care clinicians more effectively manage the complex flow of information necessary for high-quality patient care. And, Home Health VNA uses telehealth technology to remotely monitor the vital signs and symptoms of patients with complex medical conditions such as congestive heart failure.

But technology doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. The agencies are currently engaged in a variety of programs and partnerships designed to embrace clinical innovation. “Major advances in the management of patients with complex medical conditions, collaborative efforts in the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and our ability to offer an exceptional level of support to patients through home IV therapy are just a few of our most recent best practice strategies,” said Gomes. “Our ability to continually advance our clinical programs will become more important as health care continues its transformation.”

Even with the most advanced medical care and the commitment of highly skilled clinical professionals, there comes a time when treatment is no longer effective and transitions must be made to comfort care at end-of-life. “Providing care and support to patients at end-of-life is an honor and a privilege,” said Gomes. “We are deeply committed to enhancing the quality of life of all patients, so they can live their final days in comfort and security.” Most hospice and palliative care is provided to patients in their own home. But when pain and other complex symptoms make care at home impossible, it’s comforting to know there is an alternative. High Pointe House, the hospice and palliative care residence of Merrimack Valley Hospice, provides a home-like alternative to hospitalization for patients in need of specialized end-of-life care.

Today, as health care reform takes center stage, with many unanswered questions about the future of our health care system, Gomes is confident that Home Health Foundation will weather any storm. “As we rise to the challenges presented by today’s health care landscape, what holds true is the value and experience we bring to thousands of patients and families each and every day,” said Gomes. “We are firmly committed to the highest quality home health and hospice care delivered with dignity and respect.”

The services of Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare Inc. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information or to request a brochure, call (978) 552-4186.  




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