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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014

News

West Penn Allegheny Home Healthcare Program Earns Top Marks for Patient Satisfaction

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

West Penn Allegheny Health System’s (WPAHS) Home Health Program earns high praise from patients, according to a new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Resources. AHRQ’s inaugural Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HH-CAHPS) survey lauds West Penn Allegheny for having patient satisfaction scores that are among the best of any program in the greater Pittsburgh region and for also exceeding the national average across every single measure of patient experience.

The AHRQ CAHPS program coordinates a series of standardized national surveys that ask consumers and patients to evaluate and report their experiences with various healthcare services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that all home health agencies caring for 60 or more patients annually conduct a CAPHS survey that consists of approximately 30 questions and addresses how well the agencies perform from a clinical and professional perspective.

According to the CMS website, the purpose of implementing CAHPS in the home health industry was to establish a publically reported customer feedback tool that provides “objective and meaningful comparisons between providers and incentives agencies to improve their quality of care” if necessary. The survey results are published on www.Medicare.gov.

Accredited by the Joint Commission and certified by CMS, West Penn Allegheny’s Home Healthcare team is comprised of nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, home health aides and social workers who are dedicated to providing well coordinated and personalized care to a wide variety of patients in the comfort of their home. The program cares for more than 8,000 patients on average each year and logs more than 120,000 annual home visits.

Patients who benefit from home care include those recovering from orthopaedic conditions such as bone fractures and joint replacement, and those suffering from chronic illnesses such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and stroke.

For many patients, home care offers an extremely effective, more convenient and less expensive alternative to inpatient skilled nursing care.

“Our goal is to work closely with a patient’s physician and other healthcare professionals to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care possible in the safe and comfortable environment of their home. We take great pride in our commitment to caring for every patient as if they were a member of our own family and it is most gratifying to be recognized by those in our care for fulfilling that critical mission,” said Noreen Brown, Director of the WPAHS Home Care program.

In addition to providing skilled home health services such as physical therapy, wound care, intravenous therapy and injections, the home care team also helps patients with basic daily activities such as getting in and out of bed, dressing, bathing, eating and using the bathroom.

“We essentially do everything we can to help patients get better, regain their independence and become as self-sufficient as possible,” Ms. Brown said.

In the AHRQ HH-CAHPS survey, West Penn Allegheny’s Home Care team was commended by patients for providing care in a professional manner and for communicating well with them, particularly with regard to important issues such as the medical management of their condition, pain therapy and home safety. Eighty-seven percent of patients surveyed gave WPAHS a rating of 9 or 10 (on a scale of 0-10) for its quality of care.

Patients are eligible for home care if they meet the following criteria:
• Are under the care of a physician
• Require intermittent skilled services
• Are medically restricted to their home, or if an illness or injury restricts their ability to leave home except with the assistance of a supportive device, special transportation or another person.

Most insurance plans are accepted by West Penn Allegheny Home Care. Those interested in the program can call 412-330-4211.

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