Home Health & Hospice

Standardized Approaches to Care Planning and Care Delivery

Homecare Insider, May 2, 2011

As a way to implement best practices in response to OASIC-C process data elements, agencies are investigating ways to standardize care delivery for specific patient populations-focusing on enhancing their care delivery processes. Standardization helps to prevent errors and omissions in care delivery, duplications in care delivery efforts, and promotes consistency of care delivery. However, any effort to standardize care delivery should begin with best practices, a process or procedure that consistently produces superior results to achieve desired outcomes.

Standardized care delivery can take several different forms or approaches. A standardized care plan addresses commonly encountered patient problems and promotes a higher quality of care by assuring that clinicians take the correct measures in caring for patients. A critical or clinical path is a comprehensive protocol for an episode of care showing the relationship between the patient’s needs and problems, tasks, and time frames. Usually, it’s a step-by-step method for care, utilizing defined treatment protocols for specific diagnoses. A disease management program is a method for guiding care delivery and decisions of patients and physicians along a planned route of care that alters lifestyle patterns and provides education to improve outcomes. Disease management is a multidisciplinary, multi-provider approach to care delivery. No matter what form, or approach, an agency takes to standardize care delivery, the clinician must individualize the approach and ensure that it is patient-specific.

Looking to implement best practices at your agency? Learn more about OASIS-C process measures and creating best practices in Beacon’s Health book, OASIS-C Process Measures: A Program for Best Practices Implementation, which can help your agency build a standardized program into your agency’s own best practices.