What are some challenges of providing home health care services to the pediatric population?
Some of the challenges that occur with home health care services are similar to what is seen in other settings:
Scheduling, for example, is very challenging because the children who are receiving home health care are very medically complex. They may have up to five disciplines or clinics following them when they are initially discharged from the hospital. They may be getting monthly follow ups from OT, PT, speech and early intervention services. Some of these children, depending on the medication they are taking or the strict feeding schedule they are on, may only be available at certain times of the day.
Hospitalization and acute illness are also challenges. These children are seen at home because they are typically very sick. If they are hospitalized then they don’t receive our services.
There may be a need for an escort. If you are seeing a child in a high crime area you may need an escort to go with you. That is the policy in some hospitals. Escorts may only be available at certain times of the day. Again, this can make scheduling a particular patient very difficult.
The environment can be very challenging. Some children may have more than one address. The child may be at their mother’s house one day and at their father’s house on another day. Perhaps they stay with a grandparent. Environment and social situations can really impact home care services.
Finally, there are non-compliance challenges. Similar to other setting, sometimes there are parents who are not on board with the therapy plan. They may not see the importance of our services and simply will not agree to intervention.