Need To Include A Pharmacist And A Psychiatric Nurse In The Home Care Team

You will be able to make your home care team much more effective and proficient if you include a pharmacist and a psychiatric nurse in it. Their role in your team will help you to create a more perfect and collaborative model of home care. Your home care agency will then become a combination of a college of pharmacy and a visiting nurse agency.

Typically, everyone today suffers from medical related problems. This is even more prominent among home care clients. This is because:

  • They take more than one medication
  • They have complex medical histories and
  • They suffer from complex health issues.

As it is, helping these clients to manage their medications can be a challenge by itself for all home care providers and clinicians. This challenge will be minimized considerably when you have a qualified pharmacist in your home health care team.

  • It will eliminate chances of errors
  • Mistiming or forgetting to take the medicines or
  • Overdose and underdose.

All these will in turn eliminate the chances of deterioration of the health of the patient or any emergencies needing immediate hospitalization.

It is the role played by the pharmacist that will help you and your health care team to adhere to the set standards of home care. They will also help in identifying, resolving, and preventing any medication-related issues.

  • The primary role of the pharmacists in-home care can be restricted to monitoring intravenous drug therapy specifically.
  • They may also serve as a primary consultant to the patients as well as the home care providers and the clinicians.

Ideally, their role is to extend their help to expand the provision of medical care services. These services may vary from one organization to another and from one patient to another making thing all the more complex. Which is why a pharmacist is so important in a home care team.

Role of psychiatric nurse

In the home care landscape, the inclusion of psychiatric care and a nurse started in the 1990s and exploded very soon. According to several research it was found that:

  • There is a decrease in the number of beds for psychiatric in-patients
  • The time for hospital stays became much shorter and
  • More and more patients were maintained in their homes and community.

At the same time, it was seen that there was a significant increase in the symptom burden than it was before. This gave rise to the importance and requirement of community psychiatric services so much so that it became overwhelming rapidly.

The home patients as well as the home care service providers such as started looking for substitute providers who could reinforce their home care services. This helps them to meet with the guidelines of the current Medicare home health coverage that have so long been disallowed for patients suffering from mental illness.

The role of a psychiatric nurse involves different conditions such as:

  • Restrictive psychiatric clinician criterion and its requirements
  • Restrictive criteria relative to the homebound patients suffering from mental illness
  • Lack of an end point that is easily identifiable to the disease process and the cause of the specific type of mental illness and
  • Difficulty in identifying the skill that is reimbursable by Medicare.

This makes the treating process difficult and therefore the need of a psychiatric nurse in a home care team.

Helps in pain assessment in elderlies

Assessment of pain in elderly patients is the most important thing for a home care team. This pain can be result of physical as well as mental illness. Any existing pain in the patient will also be aggravated due to misappropriation of drugs, overdose, underdose, or even not taking any medicines at all.

  • Both the psychiatric nurse as well as the pharmacist will help your team in this aspect. They will help in both assessments as well as the measurement of pain in the patient. They will also help in selecting the proper tool that will help your team to easily understand the type of pain. This will further help them in creating a plan to deal with the pain.
  • The role of them is especially helpful for patients with a visual impairment. These patients will not be able to use a visual analog scale but they can easily report about the pain themselves using a verbal rating scale.

They are also helpful for elderly patients suffering from cognitive-communication discrepancies. They can either use a self -report tool such as the Numeric Rating Scale, Iowa Pain Thermometer Scale or other but the nurse and the pharmacist can do it for them as well.

Format the standards

Each home care service plan should be formulated according to the set standards. The psychiatric nurse, as well as the pharmacist included in your home care team, will help you to design a format that is in accordance with the service standards and protocols. Their knowledge and report about the condition and type of pain will help you to choose:

  • The right tool
  • The best team as well as
  • The best design for your care plan.

The standard of home health care typically consists of two specific components such as the Standards and the Practice Criteria. Both these are very crucial for every home care team but it is not easy to meet with these criteria. It is only a carefully built home care team that will ensure that you meet with both the components of home care.

As far as the Standards are concerned, it involves the expectations of the patients from the home care practice. This is applicable for simple medication as well as the more complex infusion therapy in both hospital as well as in the home care settings. This is actually the authoritative statement that includes:

  • The quality of practice
  • The type of service provided
  • The level of education and more.

The Practice Criteria involves the specific guidance that a home care team needs to follow in the implementation of the Standard corresponding to the care process.

The pharmacist as well as the psychiatric nurse will help you to get all the evidences that you need to support the Practice Criteria and home care Standard.