Lisa Baethge has been a nurse for 25 years, 18 of which have been in home health. For the past five years, she has worked at Enhabit Home Health & Hospice. In her current role, she is a branch director, which means she oversees patient care, finances and clinicians.
Patients are referred to home health for many reasons — maybe it’s to drive again or to get out of a wheelchair and walk a few feet. No matter what the patient needs, the Enhabit team is there to help them meet their goals.
“The care we deliver is exceptional,” she said. “It all boils down to what’s best for the patient.”
Empowering patients to manage their care
Baethge and her team start caring for patients right when discharge planning begins. The intent is to strengthen patients’ abilities to manage their health and well-being on their own.
“Our goal is to educate them to know how to manage their disease process,” she said.
Members of the Enhabit care team have access to a wealth of patient education materials that they can bring to a home visit and leave with patients. Each patient handbook covers a different topic, such as fall prevention or cardiovascular care, that’s specific to a patient’s health care journey. The information in the patient handbooks is simple and presented in a way that patients can easily understand.
“At each visit, you can bring something different,” she explained. “This helps us stand out from any other agency.”
The importance of teamwork
Depending on the plan of care, Enhabit patients can receive services from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, medical social worker and home health aide. Although a patient might see all of these clinicians throughout their week, Baethge says that one of the main things Enhabit emphasizes is continuity of care.
“Among all of us, we communicate very well,” she said. “We keep each patient’s goal in mind and work toward that.”
With the help of real-time updates made on hand-held devices, each member of the care team understands the plan for the next visit for each person, which Baethge thinks provides a level of comfort to her patients.
“Knowing that the team is on the same page means a lot to our patients. The focus of the plan of care is on what’s best for patients to meet their individual goals.”
Medicare asks patients to rate home health providers and allows the public to review these ratings to help make decisions about care. Baethge’s branch has 5-star ratings in both patient satisfaction and patient outcomes. Lisa gives credit to the entire branch for the caliber of care being delivered.
“It’s a team effort,” she said. “We care about our patients. Not just as a patient, but as an individual. We also care about each patient’s family members.”
Making a difference
Perhaps one of the best measures of success is when Enhabit gets repeat patients. When patients remember their experience and choose Enhabit again, Baethge feels especially grateful and proud of the difference she and her team are making.
“Good things are happening here,” she said with a smile.
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