Qualicare Franchise Opportunities Help Seniors
Qualicare Franchises can help seniors discharged from hospital who are at risk of discontinuing their medications.
A study of almost 400,000 Ontario hospitals showed that there was a significant risk that these patients would discontinue taking vital meds after discharge. These surprising findings provide owners of homecare franchise business with yet another opportunity to help their clients.
This extremely well-designed study tracked elderly patients who were on at least 1 of 5 medications for chronic diseases – statins, anti-coagulants, inhalers for respiratory diseases, thyroid medications and gastric acid-supressing drugs – both with ICU and without ICU hospital admission. Upon discharge more than 19% of patients did not renew these vital prescriptions in the three months after leaving the hospital. The study did not evaluate how many of these patients were receiving some kind of franchise homecare. For those admitted to the ICU, this number increased to 23%. Not surprisingly, within one ear, there was a significant risk of hospitalization or death for these patients who discontinued their medications.
The authors of the study theorize that” transitions in care are vulnerable periods for patients during hospitalization. Medical errors during this period can occur as a result of incomplete or inaccurate communication as responsibility shifts from one physician to another. Andrea Nathanson, Executive Director and co-founder of Qualicare Franchise Corporation, stated that Qualicare franchises owners are alerted to this situation through the on-line pre-training they receive. Because our Qualicare nurse managers oversee every care plan, they can provide valuable continuity from hospital physicians to the patient’s regular physician. This is yet another benefit to using a franchise homecare company.
Another contributing factor may also be that, during the hospital stay, the patient is relieved of the responsibility of taking the right meds at the right time as this is handled automatically by the nursing staff. In other words, they forget and/or get out of the routine. When they return home after a hospital stay, there may be other medications that have been added which they may believe has replaced their previous meds. In any event, the hospital stay, particularly if it involved ICU, is a watershed event that may create confusion or at least a sense of the beginning of a new lifestyle. Qualicare franchise owners and nurse managers prioritize scrupulous adherence to patient’s medications following a hospiatal discharge. They carefully monitor any new medications as well as any new medication schedules. This can virtually eliminate non-compliance.
Obviously hospitals must institute better discharge procedures and introduce technology that will track medical records more effectively. But this is a wake-up call for those responsible for the homecare of discharged seniors – family doctors, relatives and caregivers. It is essential to understand and ensure the medications that a post-operative patient is taking are the correct ones. All involved in homecare, from the homecare franchsie owner to the nurse manager to the caregiver, must take responsibility.
Even more importantly, this study speaks to the importance of families and caregivers keeping accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible records for a loved one. This record should accompany the patient at the time of hospital admission (emergency or otherwise). It is understandable that hospital personnel may not have the inclination to try to rebuild a medication profile and so they start from scratch. It is not surprising therefore that many medications are discontinued after a hospital stay.
Studies such as this one provide additional reinforcement that a Qualicare homecare franchise can make a significant difference in a patient’s quality of life.