It is often the case that a patient or client who requires home health aide care will end up being directed to a home health aide agency. This is most commonly handled via a doctor referral. Sometimes hospitals may also recommend home health agencies as a part of their hospital discharge process. Other agents who may funnel patients to home health agencies include social services agents, local agencies on aging, senior centers and the state department of health. The other common category of HHA agency referrals is client or patient family – this is often done as a clients family is often in the best position to determine which HHA agency meets their family members needs.
Once a Home Health Aide agency has been chosen via family or doctor referral, a staff member of the HHA agency will be called in to do a patient evaluation and assessment. The point of this assessment is to pinpoint and determine how the agency can best fill the patients needs. Furthermore, as part of this assessment, the home environment will be evaluated to ensure that it is a safe space for the patient.
Most home health aide agencies will employ a wide array of home health aides and certified nurse assistants (CNA’s). The services provided by these employees can include many things such as nursing care, specialized forms of therapy, treatment with some medical equipment, intravenous products (iv products), pharmacy access and personal care. The scale and scope of these services is generally determined by the size and specialty of the HHA agency. For example, a small agency may only provide basic care such as personal and nursing assistance and housekeeping and errand work. A larger agency on the other hand may provide much more specific and medically advanced treatments such as physical, speech and occupational therapy, medical work and family social work. That said, ALL HHA agencies will be able to evaluate their clients and make a proper decision on what level of care and service is needed.