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REPORT: Home Care Continuity Improves ADL Performance

April 25, 2013

Home care consumers who experience a low level of care continuity with their home health aides are less likely to see improvements in their activities of daily living (ADLs) than those with moderate to high continuity, a report published in Home Health Management & Practice found.

The study, conducted by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), analyzed the correlation between care continuity and ADLs for more than 16,000 VNSNY consumers.

According to the researchers, consumers with low care continuity were 14 to 15 percent less likely to improve their ADLs than consumers who have a high continuity of care.

“In cases where a patient sees a different aide from the one who normally visits, the new aide must acquaint themselves with the patient’s routine, tastes, and preferences,” the authors write.

“Rapid turnover and inconsistent personnel diminish the level of rapport and trust between the patient and aide, introducing significant obstacles to delivering optimal care,” they add.

Consumers with moderate care continuity and high care continuity displayed nearly identical rates of ADL improvement.

Therefore, the authors recommend that home care agencies focus more on reducing instances of low care continuity, rather than attempting to increase the number of high-continuity cases.

— by Matthew Ozga

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