Keri Gaytan joined Enhabit Home Health & Hospice as a branch director in 2020. In that role, she focused on patient experiences, quality outcomes and how to recruit and train staff to get those outcomes. Now, Gaytan is on the clinical excellence team as a quality and outcome specialist. In her position, she works with branches across the state of Florida to educate staff on how to use Enhabit’s resources to accurately score OASIS, a tool for Medicare-certified home health agencies to track and report on patient outcomes.
Gaytan’s career in health care started after she graduated from nursing school. She first worked in a hospital and then moved into home health, where she has stayed ever since.
“I fell in love with it immediately,” she said. “I fell in love with being able to go into the patient’s environment and help them get better. When you go into their home, you see what they need, or what they have, and how you can make them safe in their environment.”
Outcomes and relationships
One thing that Gaytan has learned during her time in home health is that clinicians often have to think outside the box.
“You have to look at the community resources,” she explained. “You have to take in the family dynamics. You have to learn the patient’s health knowledge and what’s going on with them.”
Although there is a lot of critical and innovative thinking involved, Gaytan appreciates being in a position that helps provide clinicians with appropriate tools to assist patients, no matter their circumstance. She believes that education is the foundation for working toward the best possible outcomes for each patient.
From Gaytan’s perspective, Enhabit’s focus on patient education has made a huge difference in patient satisfaction and outcomes. She thinks making education a priority is something that sets the company apart. Materials provided during Enhabit home visits are disease-specific and printed in simple language that uses bigger fonts to make them easier to read and more accessible to a wide variety of patients.
A coordinated approach
While home health patients may see one clinician during a home visit, the entire team is collaborating on a plan of care that is individualized for that patient’s needs and goals.
“We use all of our resources to provide that better way to care,” she explained.
Quality and outcome specialist
“Everyone who’s involved with that patient and that goes into that patient’s home immediately cares and wants to make that difference. So, they may see something and talk to the other clinicians.”
In weekly case conference meetings, the entire team reviews the plan of care for each patient to develop a collaborative approach, making necessary adjustments and being proactive about any needed interventions to get each patient back to doing the things they love.
“We really do treat our patients as if they were our family,” Gaytan said. “That’s the standard. When you do that, you’re going to go above and beyond.”
Having a bigger impact
In Gaytan’s position, she’s able to see the impact Enhabit is making on both an individual and a larger level.
“What’s unique to me about Enhabit is when they identify anything that a patient or a community might need, they don’t stop there,” she added. “What I’ve really seen is how involved they are with the community — with the hospitals and with the referral sources — collaborating with them to get patients better. It’s truly ‘What can we do for this patient and this community?’”
For Gaytan, working at Enhabit has brought enjoyment back to her nursing career and has given her hope about the future of health care.
“It’s really made me feel like I can make a difference with patients. And it really makes me enjoy my job,” she said.
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