By: Portia Wofford Home health clinicians play an essential role in caring for patients who are:
- At risk of developing sepsis
- Recovering from sepsis or septic shock
- Direct viral invasion
- Presence of a bacterial or viral co-co-infection
- Age of the patient
- Received a home health visit within 48 hours of hospital discharge
- Had at least one additional visit and
- Had physician visit within their first week of discharge
Home health care can contribute to early detection of sepsisEarly detection is critical. For each hour treatment initiation is delayed after diagnosis, the mortality rate increases 8%. Home health nurses can monitor and educate patients and their caregivers on signs and symptoms to report to include. Additionally, home healthcare agencies can provide screening tools that fill the gaps in identifying at-risk patients during transitions from inpatient to outpatient settings.
Home health provides case management for chronic comorbidities
- Some comorbidities like Type 2 Diabetes, chronic heart disease, and dementia were associated with sepsis risk in almost all infection types. Those with other chronic illnesses, cancer, and an impaired immune system are also at increased risk. Monitoring can help reduce risks.
- Post-discharge and follow-up visits, including telehealth visits, may provide positive intervention for post sepsis patients.
- Nurses can review and coordinate care to adjust medications, evaluate treatments and interventions, and refer for appropriate treatment.
- Prevents infections that can lead to sepsis
- Recognizes sepsis symptoms before they become severe
- Rapidly responds if sepsis symptoms occur by initiating appropriate treatments and referrals
- Follows-up with care to ensure continued recovery