Case Management

Tip: Evaluate caregivers' ability to perform necessary tasks at home

Case Management Weekly, January 19, 2011

Caregivers help patients transition from hospitals in several ways, including, but not limited to, picking up medications, assisting with medical equipment, and preparing meals.

Discharge planners should evaluate caregivers’ skill before patients leave the hospital. Ask specific questions about their ability to successfully perform necessary tasks related to patients’ medical needs. These questions should also help determine caregivers’ confidence level. Consider asking specific questions related to tasks caregivers will need to perform at home, including:

  • Has anyone taught you how to help the patient move from the bed to the walker without injuring yourself
  • Has anyone shown you and the patient how to use the walker correctly?
  • Are you comfortable performing these tasks?

Additional questions can follow a similar pattern. If possible, observing caregivers perform these tasks before discharge is ideal. This provides an opportunity for direct coaching before performance of necessary tasks occurs beyond the watchful eyes of hospital staff.

This week’s tip is adapted from Reducing Readmissions: A Blueprint for Improving Care Transitions published by HCPro, Inc. For more information on this newsletter or to order your copy, visit the HCMarketplace.

Do you have a question about a case management topic? Send it to Associate Editor Ben Amirault at An answer to your question might appear in a future issue of Case Management Weekly.

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