Did you know that every year, Valley Children’s Home Care serves approximately 3,000 patients in the Central Valley? This dedicated team provides 24/7 in-home health services for patients and families, including an array of nursing, respiratory care and infusion services for children with acute and chronic conditions.
November is Home Care Month, a perfect opportunity to recognize the efforts of our hardworking Home Care team.
But unless you’ve directly interacted with one of the Home Care team members, you may not be as familiar with what they do. The best way to understand is to spend a day in their shoes.
Our customer care team is in the office bright and early, preparing to answer families’ questions and contact our patients. Home Care patients require a variety of in-home services, therapies, medications and care with specialty equipment – and our team is here to answer questions as they arise. Additionally, once a month, our customer care team contacts our families to check what equipment or medication might be needed for the upcoming month.
Fun fact: Each Valley Children’s Home Care customer care specialist manages approximately 400 accounts. This totals an estimated 3,000 kids, including 68 ventilator-dependent patients and between 27-40 nursing patients.
Home Care respiratory therapists and nursing staff head off the hospital to work with families preparing to be discharged. These patients require different levels of care at home and our team members do their due diligence to ensure families are ready to best care for their child.
For example, a child in need of in-home oxygen and respiratory care may require a ventilator. A Home Care respiratory therapist (RT) will come to the hospital three days prior to the child going home. During these two days, the RT will train the parents/guardians on how to set up the ventilator, and ensure everyone is comfortable with how to use the equipment to keep the child healthy and safe. After this training period, the family will be discharged. At this time, the RT will come back to the hospital, get the patient and equipment safely in the car and the RT will follow the family home to get everything settled.
This process isn’t just for our respiratory therapists; our nurses follow the same timeline, with an additional follow-up training. When our nurses meet the patient and their family at the home, they’ll then spend three additional days training the parents/guardians. Why train families both at the hospital and at home? Our Home Care team understands that a hospital stay can be exhausting for families, and learning how to use new medical equipment can be overwhelming, so providing follow-up training at home helps ensure parents and caregivers understand the process and equipment and have an opportunity to ask any questions that may arise once they’re home. This process ensures every child receives the best care wherever they are.
The work with families isn’t over that first week, though! Our team members will be back to visit the family every 30 days to check on the equipment, ensure the family is still taking all the correct steps to keep their child safe and discuss what is coming next in the child’s care plan.
Back at the Home Care office, the distribution center is bustling with action. When monthly shipments of medication, equipment or supplies are needed, our shipment center fills those orders and our drivers get them delivered all over the 45,000 square mile area they serve.
Across the way from the distribution center in the Home Care office is their own in-house pharmacy. Having a pharmacy in-house helps patients and their families access the specialty prescriptions they may need as soon as they need them, helping make Home Care truly a one-stop shop.
And you can’t forget the billing department! The Home Care team understands that managing medical bills for a child with a complex condition can often be overwhelming or confusing, and they are always on hand to support families with any questions.
Celebrating Home Care
Talk about a DAY! And this team does all this every day of the year without compromising any quality of care.
Many may think that the work and care provided by Valley Children’s ends once a patient leaves the hospital or doctor’s office, but that is not the case. For patients who require specialized care within the comfort of their own home, our Home Care team is here – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Please join us in celebrating Home Care Month by saying thank you to all the wonderful members of Valley Children’s Home Care team!