Winthrop's Home Health Agency Among Nation's Elite

Vol. 17, No. 1
Winter 2006/2007

  • Advanced Cardiology Techniques Enhance & Expand Treatment Options at Winthrop's Institute for Heart Care

  • Winthrop Elects New Members to Board of Directors

  • Scientific Research is Basic to Winthrop's Mission

  • Weight Management Program Takes Aim at Obesity

  • New Translation Service Breaks Language Barrier

  • Jay's World Foundation Dedicates Fifth Room in Cancer Center Unit

  • Winthrop's Lung Cancer Center: Cutting-Edge, Compassionate & Comprehensive Care

  • Winthrop's Home Health Agency Among Nation's Elite

  • Winthrop's MS Treatment Center Continues to Elevate Standard of Care & Research

  • New Pre-Diabetes Intervention Program Takes Flight at Winthrop

  • Organ Donor Network Medal of Honor

  • McCormack Fund Shows Support for Cardiopulmonary Stress Lab

  • A True Champion

  • Bay's Big Bash

  • The Franceschini Family Supports Colon Cancer Research

  • Evening of Tasting and Giving

  • Lippert Family Dinner Dance Raises $35,000 for Cancer Center for Kids

  • Residency Programs Get the Nod

  • Truckloads of Toys

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  • Recognized as one of the nation's top 25 percent of Medicare-certified home health agencies, Winthrop's Home Health Agency (HHA) has been named a 2006 HomeCare Elite provider. This designation placed Winthrop's HHA among the top 500 home healthcare providers across the U.S.

    The consistent flow of praise that arrives daily from grateful families and patients is a testament to the Agency's seamless continuum of compassionate post-hospital care, aimed at allowing patients to maintain independence and quality of life at home while recuperating or managing an illness.

    With the average length of hospital stays decreasing and the number of residents aged 85 and older rapidly climbing, the need for additional, quality home healthcare services grows almost daily.

    "Home healthcare" covers a wide range of basic and specialized health and social services delivered at home. "We provide home care for patients who have had cardiac surgery, joint replacements, mastectomies and gynecological procedures, as well as those with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease, diabetes and wound care issues," said Anne Calvo, RN, the Agency's Administrator/Director of Patient Services. With a staff of 200, the Agency, which logs more than 100,000 home visits annually, also offers in-home care for maternity patients, as well as comprehensive services that include nursing, rehabilitation and social work for acute and chronically ill patients -- from newborns to adults -- with short- and long-term needs.

    Encompassing nursing, social or therapeutic needs and/or assistance with the essential activities of daily living, the services include: skilled nursing; ostomy and wound care; rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational and speech therapies; medical social services; intravenous therapy, including total parenteral nutrition, antibiotics, chemotherapy, hydration and pain management; lab work; home health aide assistance with personal care; and medical equipment and supplies.

    "The care at home that our mother received was extraordinary. Your understanding of her situation displayed your compassionate nature." - CB
    When the need for home care is open-ended, chronically ill, disabled and elderly patients may be eligible for the Agency's Long Term Home Health Care Program. Referred to as the "nursing home without walls," long term care offers an alternative to people who would otherwise require placement in a health- related facility or skilled nursing home and is reimbursable by Medicaid with the approval of the Nassau County Department of Social Services. Services include: nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social work; respiratory therapy; nutritional planning; housekeepers; personal care aides and specialized services such as home maintenance and emergency response system.

    "For the chronically ill, this Agency is often a vital link to quality of life...some say services," explained Ms. Calvo. "This is particularly true for many frail, disabled homebound patients, who would have a very difficult life without the Home Health Agency's conscientious, personalized patient management, intervention and oversight."

    In addition to traditional services, Winthrop's Agency also has specialty programs designed to help patients follow their post-hospital treatment plans through personalized, physician-prescribed therapies, education and support provided at home. They include an individualized total joint replacement rehabilitation program, designed by Frank DiMaio, MD, Chairman of Winthrop's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a specialized program for gynecology patients. "I hear only compliments about the services," reported Alan Garely, MD, Winthrop's Chief of Gynecology and Director of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery. "They are happy to have someone provide treatment, information and help with pain management at home."

    Hi-Tech Home Telemonitoring

    The Agency's staff can be reached for phone consultations 24/7. Additionally, through Telehealth, the newest home telephone monitoring system, patients can be supervised at home via remote monitoring. They can have their status evaluated several times a day. A monitor installed at home connected to a traditional phone allows the Agency to collect the patient's vital signs for clinical review and evaluation every day. If the data indicates a need for intervention, or if the patient fails to collect the vital signs when prompted by the phone call, appropriate action is taken immediately; the program virtually brings the physician's eyes and ears into the home.

    "I have had the service of other home healthcare agencies in the past, and none but Winthrop's Agency could be commended for 'care without compromise'." - MB
    "Telemonitoring is very helpful with disease management," explained Lorraine Greene, RN, the Agency's Telemonitoring Coordinator. "We follow up with the patient's physician as soon as we see any change in a condition. It can prevent complications that would otherwise occur without immediate intervention, frequently reduces the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations and empowers patients to participate in their own care."

    Richard Zinke, 88, who has coronary artery disease and heart failure, visited the emergency room and was hospitalized several times during 2005. Since November of that year, when he began participating in Winthrop's home telemonitoring program, he has neither visited the emergency room nor been hospitalized. "If it wasn't for the monitor, he wouldn't be here today," said Mrs. Zinke.

    Winthrop staff helps families plan for a patient's post-hospital requirements even before discharge. The process begins with a nurse's comprehensive assessment of the individual's condition followed by a detailed plan of care written in consultation with the patient's physician. About 70 percent of referrals to the Agency come from patients hospitalized at Winthrop. Patients may also self-refer, be referred by a family member, neighbor or community organization, or even another hospital.

    Anthony Cordaro, MD, an internist and GI specialist in Floral Park, refers many of his patients to Winthrop's Home Health Agency. "The staff is excellent," he said. "They keep me informed about my patients' progress, and, in many cases, their efforts have prevented re-hospitalization."

    Preventing re-hospitalization is one of the Agency's goals. To that effect, the staff spends a great deal of time teaching patients about self-care, disease prevention, nutrition and medication management. Instruction is geared to each patient's level of understanding and is extended to immediate caretakers and families. Even the frail elderly are taught self-care skills.

    "The Agency's conscientious, individualized patient management, intervention and supervision contribute to the spirit of human care for which Winthrop home care is known," said Ms. Calvo.

    For more information, call (516) 663-8000.

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