Basics of the National Patient Safety Goals for Home Care

May 27, 2015

In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of accreditation in the home health care and hospice industry, noting that one of the factors that insurance carriers consider when it comes to the risk management of an accredited healthcare facility is adherence to National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs). The NPSG program was established by The Joint Commission to help accredited organizations address specific areas of concern and to improve patient safety.

A group of nurses, physicians, pharmacists, risk managers, clinical engineers and other healthcare professionals from what’s called the Patient Safety Advisory Group advises The Joint Commission on developing and updating the NPSGs. It’s vital that your organization’s management as well as staff understand these NPSGs to not only serve patients as best as possible, but also to be part of a robust home care risk management program. Below is a rundown of what these NPSGs are.

To Correctly Identify Patients

Patients should have two personal identifiers; their name and birth date for example, to ensure they receive appropriate treatment from their home health care or hospice provider.

Safe Use of Medications

Patients who require home health care or hospice care often may not understand their medication needs, and certainly cannot be expected to understand how different medications interact with each other. This is primarily the duty of their physician; the caregiver in the home should find out what medications the patient is taking.

Infection Prevention

The CDC as well as World Health Organization have strict guidelines for hand cleaning; ensuring that you and your staff follow the protocols is a basic foundation of all health care.

Fall Prevention

Any home health care or hospice patient faces this risk when taking medications to manage their condition that may cause ill side effects, as a result of injury, advanced age, etc. Care should be taken to assist the patient when ambulating, and to assess the home care setting for any obstacles.

Identification of Specific Patient Risks

Caregivers should be aware if there are any home-based risks for their patients, especially those using home medical equipment and oxygen.

At Manchester Specialty Programs, we understand the unique risks faced by caregivers in the home health care and hospice industries. You will find all the insurance coverage you need to operate your business with us, and all in one program. We deliver specialty insurance programs that are specifically designed for home care and hospice firms in both medical and support roles.

Our comprehensive home health care and hospice provider insurance program is designed to help these agencies continue to provide the important services they offer throughout our communities. To find out more about our operation and all our specialty insurance programs, you or your local insurance broker can give us a call today at 855-972-9399.