BANNOCKBURN, Ill. (July 13, 2017)—Patients have better outcomes when provided anti-infective home infusion education prior to discharge from the hospital, suggests Option Care data presented at the 2017 National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) Annual Conference & Exposition. Patients who received pre-discharge education from a registered nurse clinical liaison were less likely to experience disruptions in home infusion therapy, go to the emergency room or be readmitted to the hospital, the study found.

While hospitals provide general pre-discharge education, it typically covers everything related to leaving the hospital, including oral medications and follow-up appointments, and may only briefly address home infusion. Often the hospital nurse providing the education has limited knowledge of home infusion and therefore may not provide adequate information to prepare the patient. Conversely, a home infusion clinical liaison nurse visits the patient several days before the scheduled discharge to fully explain and demonstrate home infusion care and, when possible, makes additional visits to be sure questions are answered and all caregivers understand the directions.

“The home infusion clinical liaison really helps ease patients’ fears and better prepare them to comfortably and successfully receive home infusion,” said Nora Bondi, RN, lead author of the study and Option Care’s senior director of operations for North Carolina. “Clinical liaison pre-discharge education is a vital aspect of Option Care’s comprehensive high-touch, high-quality care, which helps ensure patients have more successful outcomes.”

The study compared outcomes of 60 patients who received pre-discharge education, to 37 patients who did not (patients sometimes are hospitalized briefly and released too quickly to receive pre-discharge education). Outcomes improved by 20 percent overall among patients who received pre-discharge education vs. those who did not. Specifically:

  • Made after-hours calls (such as for technical questions/concerns related to therapy, pump or IV access) or experienced interruptions in therapy: 3 percent of patients who received pre-discharge education vs. 51 percent of those who did not.
  • Readmitted to the hospital or visited the emergency room: 20 percent of patients who received pre-discharge education vs. 48 percent of those who did not.
  • Completed therapy without intervention: 68 percent of patients who received pre-discharge education vs. 48 percent of those who did not.

Pre-discharge education provided by the home infusion clinical liaison nurse includes: demonstrating proper hand washing and clean technique for therapy administration in an effort to prevent infection; explaining appropriate care of the medication (such as refrigeration); showing how to care for the intravenous (IV) line and how to monitor for signs of infection; demonstrating how to flush the IV line; demonstrating the actual pump or device to be used in home infusion; and reviewing the medication schedule.

Anti-infectives—including antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals to treat a wide range of infections and infectious diseases—are the most common indication for home infusion therapy.

Visit optioncare.com for more information.