Prior to your child’s discharge from the Hospital, the Children's Hospital Home Care office staff will call you to:
- Introduce our services and your child's home care team
- Discuss the services ordered by your child's physician
- Verify your child’s demographic information
- Schedule your child's first visit and/or delivery of medicine, supplies and equipment from Children's Hospital Home Care
- Let you know how long the visit will take (1 to 4 hours depending on your child’s needs)
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 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.
Depending on the home care services prescribed by your child's physician, our clinician visits may initially be daily, weekly or monthly. 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 for as long as necessary.
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.
We understand the challenges patients and caregivers face in a home setting. Therefore, our program emphasizes extensive caregiver training prior to discharge from the Hospital, home follow-up and continued support including 24-hour clinical and technical on-call service.
Preparing for your child's home visit
It is important for you to be present during your child's scheduled home care appointments. Be prepared to ask any questions you might have; some parents find it helpful to write quick notes before their child's home care visit so they remember everything they want to ask the nurse.
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.
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.
The first home care visit
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.
- Initial respiratory therapy visits usually last from two to four hours and follow-up visits last from one to two hours.
- Initial nursing visits usually last about two hours and follow-up visits last approximately one hour.
Assessments are done on our initial visit to establish your child’s baseline status and create a basis for comparison on subsequent visits. If your child’s Home Care services includes a nursing visit, the nurse will conduct:
- A complete physical assessment of your child
- A psychosocial assessment
- A home environmental and safety assessment
As the nurse performs these assessments, she will ask you and your child a series of questions. These same set of questions will be asked during each visit.
Consents, benefits and responsibilities
The visiting respiratory therapist or nurse will review and explain documents such as your Home Care Consent and Assignment of Benefits. This document serves multiple purposes.
First, it documents your consent for care and treatment to be provided to your child by Children’s Hospital Home Care. Additionally, it serves as an explanation of your rights and responsibilities as a home care client.
This document also makes you aware of your financial responsibility for home care services, and allows Children's Hospital Home Care to bill your insurance provider for home care services.
The visiting nurse or respiratory therapist will also complete a home safety assessment. This includes a review of your child's living space to make sure there are no safety concerns that would impact your family's ability to safely care for your child. If there are any safety issues, the home care clinician will work with you to correct it or connect you with resources that can help.
On each visit, the nurse or respiratory therapist will also ask to see all of the medications —prescribed or over-the-counter — your child is taking. He or she will then check the medications in your home against those ordered by your child's physician.
The clinician will also explain how to contact the Home Care office with questions about supply re-orders, equipment malfunction, and/or questions about your child’s care between home care visits.
The clinician will provide you and your child's primary caregivers all of the training needed, including demonstrating equipment and care required for your child. After the demonstration, he or she will ask you to perform a return demonstration to ensure you are comfortable and competent in caring for your child safely at home.
During a respiratory therapy visit, you can expect the therapist to complete necessary tasks such as an assessment of your child's airway management, and provide you with valuable information on:
- Effectively and safely managing your child’s care
- Managing and troubleshooting the equipment
- Monitor compliance with therapy and services
- What to do and who to call if there is a problem
During a nursing visit, you can expect the nurse to complete physician-ordered nursing tasks, such as administering intravenous medications, intramuscular injections and sterile procedures.
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.