Home care services assist individuals in need of assistance with personal care or health care needs. The elderly and chronically ill are the most common users of home care. Professional care providers may assist with daily activities like dressing and bathing, managing tasks around the house, rehabilitative activities, and nursing care for an illness, disease, or disability. Although home care providers must be well-prepared when assisting the client in the home to limited medical equipment. In order to assure home care providers fulfill their duties, a home care agency must have comprehensive written policies and procedures

For instance, if a non-medical home care provider needs emergency medical attention, there must be procedures in place for the provider to follow to ensure the safety of the provider and client. However, home care policies and procedures provide guidelines for situations where a care provider may need to call a doctor or ambulance. This includes, occupational safety, vaccination policies, and remaining compliant with state and federal laws. Making sure that care providers are adequately aware of and have access to written policies and procedures. This is fundamental in creating a safe environment for the patient and care provider. 

Home care policies and procedures can be extensive, especially for home health care providers. Therefore, it is crucial that this type of documentation is comprehensive and well documented. So that care providers maintain safety. Technical writers are a valuable asset in this undertaking. They have the expertise and skills needed to produce this kind of documentation. 

Establishing Home Care Policies and Procedures 

For agencies that provide home care services, it is fundamental that the agency clearly outlines the policies and procedures to set guidelines for care providers. This includes policies and procedures in regards to: 

Establishing service agreements with a client

Maintenance and security of client records

Reporting complaints

Reporting client progress

Handling emergencies  

Discharge criteria

Policies regarding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 

Developing home care policies and procedures is essential in clearly defining each care provider’s responsibilities. Specifically when regarding care for the client and creating a safe environment for themselves and the client. This document helps home care providers understand their requirements in rendering home care services. Also compliant with federal regulations. Ensuring that your agency’s policies and procedures are thorough is of utmost importance to the success of the agency. Hiring a technical writer to develop this documentation can help immensely in creating well-written and researched documentation. Especially regarding federal and state regulations. 

Compliance and Home Health Agencies 

Establishing well-documented home care policies and procedures is meant to provide for the safety of the patient but also to assure that a home care provider is compliant with their state’s laws. For instance, in California, the Home Care Services Bureau, under the Department of Social Services, oversees Home Care Organizations via processing applications, responding to complaints, and conducting unannounced visits to ensure compliance. In addition, in 2016, California passed the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act, which requires Home Care Organizations to be licensed. Creates a public online registry for Home Care Aides who have been background checked to ensure the protection and safety of the elderly and disabled. In addition, established laws protect negligence when hiring private home care aides. With adequate documentation, home care aides know what policies they must follow to remain compliant with state laws and before a visit from government officials. 

Additionally, every state that requires a home health license application will also need an inspection. In some cases, the performance of the conduction of an assessment before issuing a license. Depending on the state, inspections will occur on a one-year, two-year, or three-year basis. During inspections, state surveyors review a home health agency’s plan of care and check for areas in which an agency is not in compliance with federal regulations. If they find deficiencies, the agency must provide a plan of correction. For this reason, an agency must have comprehensive written home care policies and procedures to comply with federal regulations. 

How EDC Can Help

Adequately developed home care policies and procedures must include the type of service expected. This documentation also helps an agency follow state and federal regulations to avoid issues with license applications. However, given the constantly changing landscape of federal home health care regulations, it can be challenging to maintain policy and procedure documentation. EDC’s technical writers can help develop and maintain excellent documentation of home care policies and procedures. This includes assisting an agency in creating a knowledgeable and compliant workforce. Our technical writers have produced technical documentation  for various industries, including software companies and biomedical firms. They have the technical expertise and writing skills necessary to create the kind of technical documentation needed in the home health industry. 

Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish, whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project. Essential Data Corporation guarantees the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

Written by Diana Guerra