Continuing Education Helps Improve Patient Outcomes in Home Care & Hospice

The 2017 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo, brought to you by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), is set to take place this October 15-17, 2017 in Long Beach, California. The conference is designed for peers throughout the home healthcare industry to network and share ideas, receive information on the latest industry trends including what’s happening on Capitol Hill, and meet and greet with exhibitors. Manchester Specialty Programs, insurance specialists for the home health care and hospice sector for more than four decades, is pleased to be both attending and exhibiting at the conference. We look forward to meeting many of you.

The conference is also an opportunity for clinical and administrative employees attending to take part in some of the more than 50 hours of timely education sessions and stay on top of industry best practices. This year’s theme, “Q3: Quality of Care. Quality at Work. Quality at Home.”, covers everything from regulatory and legal issues, leadership, clinical, business development, finance, etc., enabling home healthcare agencies and their staffs to remain compliant and operate more efficiently and effectively. Some of the educational topics to be discussed at the conference include innovations in palliative care and hospice, including technology, quality assurance, and business development; trends in care continuum management and the development of relationships to facilitate care; growth and development of staff, beginning with talent acquisition; and home care regulatory changes.

The Importance of Continuing Education

Continuing education (CE) for employees in the home healthcare and hospice industry is critical for regulatory compliance and to remain licensed or certified. Each state varies in the type and amount of training required for licensing and certification requirements for the various employees that make up the industry, including for home health aides. Moreover, HHAs working for agencies that receive federal government compensation from Medicare or Medicaid must complete at least a 75-hour training program along with 16 hours of supervised training. Federal regulations also require certified aides who work in Medicare or Medicaid-reimbursed facilities to accumulate 12 hours of continuing education per 12-month period.

In completing CE courses and staying up to date on the latest in patient care, technology and techniques, home healthcare professionals are also better equipped to help patients. According to The Institute for Health Care Improvement, “CE is a vehicle for spreading best practices and how to improve patient outcomes.” Part of these best practices involves both employee and patient injury and accident prevention training. For example, the top causes of injuries for employees in a home care environment are as result of overexertion/repetition, patient-handling activities (such as lifting), slips and falls, needles, and violence. CE courses equip employees with ongoing training to help prevent workplace accidents and injuries as a result of these causes while at the same time can assist in lowering the potential for Workers’ Compensation claims.  

Accidents and injuries for patients typically result from slips and falls, medication errors, unsanitary conditions in the home, and medical waste mismanagement, among other causes. Available CE courses for home care employees include training on managing weak, frail and/or elderly patients; caring for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia; coping with mobility challenges; fall prevention; use of lifting devices; managing medications; and personal care; among others. Not only do these courses assist with patient safety and injury prevention but also help to mitigate Professional Liability claims, which can significantly impact an organization’s bottom line.

About Manchester Specialty

Manchester Specialty Programs provides the home health care and hospice industry with a wide range of insurance and risk management solutions, including Workers’ Compensation and Professional Liability insurance. We can help home care & hospice agencies and their insurance brokers navigate the coverage needs of a home health care business and find the best fit for insurance coverage. For more information about our programs and coverages, you or your local insurance agent can contact us today at 855.972.9399.