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In-Home Caregivers Reduce Hospitalization Rates with Training

Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 1:55 PM

With intensive training, in-home caregivers increase their patient’s chances of not going to the emergency room or be hospitalized, according to a recent case study conducted in California.

With that being said, the rate of recurrent emergency room visits for patient’s that were cared for by trained workers decreased by 24% in the first year after doing an intensive training program, and by 41% in the second year, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco.

A pilot program was carried out in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Contra Costa counties, including 6,000 aides that received training in CPR and first-aid, along with infection control, medications, chronic diseases and other areas. All were workers of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, who are paid by the state to care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

The results were taken from Contra Costa County, where researchers used this analysis to complete the data. Insurance claims on 136 at-risk elderly and disabled residents, who received care from trained caregivers, were compared with 2,000 similar residents whose caregivers were not trained.

Although the sample size was smaller than expected, UCSF professor emeritus Bob Newcomer found the analysis encouraging. “Training shows a lot of promise,” he said.
Right now, there are no federal training requirements for in-home caregivers, according to California Healthline.

The workers who participated in California’s pilot program and analysis were trained through the California Long-Term Care Education Center as part of a three-year, $11.8-million grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The workers received about 60 hours of classes and completed 13 hours of related work at home.

Training had a huge impact on caregivers, as they said they felt prepared to handle their jobs and communicate more effectively with their patients and doctors.

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