Your Child's Home Care Visit: What to Expect | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Home Care

Your Child's Home Care Visit: What to Expect

We understand the worry and anxiety that may accompany your child's transition from Hospital-based care to home care. Outlining this transition process will help you to better understand your expectations and demonstrate our commitment to you — our patients and families.

Prior to your child’s discharge from the Hospital, the Children's Hospital Home Care office staff will call you to:

Depending on the services requested by your child's physician, a registered nurse (RN) or respiratory therapist (RT) from our Home Care team will arrive at your home at the scheduled time for your child's first visit. He or she will bring with them all of the necessary forms, supplies and equipment that is needed for your child’s care, unless a medical supply delivery has already been arranged.

During your child's scheduled home care visit, the RN or RT will need a parent or legal guardian to be present while they review and ask you to complete forms that are important to your child’s care and treatment.

How long will my child's home care visit take?

Depending on the physician orders and the level of care and treatment needed for your child, a home care visit could last one to four hours. When a Home Care clinician calls to set up your child's appointment, she will let you know the estimated length of time needed for your child's visit. Your child's first home care visit will require more time to complete needed training and forms.

It is important that a parent or guardian is present and available to fully participate in the home care visit and plan of care for your child. For more information about what to expect during a home care visit, see nursing visit and respiratory therapy visit.

How should I prepare for my child's home visit?

Our program emphasizes extensive caregiver training, and continued, timely support, while your child is at home. So, it is important for you to be present during your child's scheduled home care appointments. You are encouraged to ask any questions and share any concerns that you would like addressed during our visit. Some parents find it helpful to write quick notes before their child's home care visit so they remember everything. Consider downloading and printing a copy of Things I Don't Want to Forget.

At every visit, your nurse or respiratory therapist will review the medications that your child is taking. Please have a list of your child’s prescription and over-the-counter medications, the medicine bottles, and a list of your child’s known allergies available at each visit.

How often should we anticipate a home visit?

Depending on the home care services prescribed by your child's physician, our clinician visits may initially be daily, weekly or monthly. A goal of the initial visit is training you to ensure you are confident, competent and independent with your child’s care.

Ongoing visits, if needed, are based on clinical interventions and your comfort providing care independently for your child.

What if my child receives multiple Home Care services?

Children's Hospital Home Care is a department with multiple services. We are able to address your home care needs ranging from clinical care to supplies, from equipment to community resources — all seamlessly. Our interdisciplinary team is skilled at coordinating care and services, and providing ongoing communication and support in the days and weeks following your child’s discharge from the Hospital.

Our team documents your child's care and treatment in one electronic medical record and attends daily patient rounds to coordinate the care we provide for your child.

If your child receives care from multiple providers or services lines at the Hospital, we encourage you to start a Care Binder that can help you organize your child's care for your family's benefit. It's a compact way for you to keep all important documents about your child's care in one place. For more information, visit organizing your child's care.

How long can my child receive Children's Hospital Home Care services?

Home care services are prescribed by your doctor and require a physician order. Children's Hospital Home Care will work closely with your physician and your insurance provider to ensure your child’s home care needs are met.

How can I contact Home Care at CHOP?

For referrals or for more information about Children's Hospital Home Care, call 1-800-866-1242 or contact us online.

Reviewed by: Lori Kramer, RN
Date: August 2012 

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