By Claire Shamblin
We have found that there is a lot of confusion among patients and their family members surrounding the differences between home health services and transitional care services. This confusion, however, is simply due to a lack of education about such differences.
Yes, both are services provided in the home, and yes, they both provide some of the same services. But, there are several distinctions between the two that should be understood when creating a discharge plan.
Transitional care ensures the continuity of care from a healthcare setting to home and is especially important for those patients with complex care needs who are at high-risk of being readmitted. The first few days a patient is home from the hospital are critical because readmission can often be caused by medication and communication errors. Transitional care works as interference to avoid such readmissions by filling the gap between the time a patient is discharged and sent home, and the time they are able to see their primary care physicians. Nurse practitioners providing transitional care have the ability to modify medications and orders from the hospital as they see fit to the patients’ needs.
On the other hand, home health care provides more specific care, such as drawing blood, giving injections, applying wound care, etc. Home health care providers cannot adjust medications or orders without the primary care physician’s consent. Moreover, patients must be referred by a doctor to receive home health care and must be deemed homebound to be covered by insurance. Home health nurses designate a schedule of times they come to the home to see patients, per the approved care plan.
Both services are beneficial and complement each other to maintain a high quality of care for patients as they readjust to living at home with their diagnoses.
Yet at Segue Health, we focus on transitional care to help ensure that you or your loved one continue on the road to recovery through personalized care. We are honored to serve you and your family throughout this transitional period, and we will continue to care for you—mentally, physically and spiritually—to the best of our abilities.
Claire Shamblin is our care coordinator in Memphis, TN.