Home health care policies and procedures vary depending on what services are provided. Professions, jurisdiction, and payer requirements also influence activities and required documentation. Independent caregivers, hired privately, do not have to provide a written policy and procedure manual. Home health agencies must document policy and procedures in order to comply with state laws in all jurisdictions of the United States.
Home health care services may include nursing care, home health aide services, nutrition counselling, homemaker, and companion services. Therapies may also be provided. Speech, occupational, and physical therapies are available. Medical social services and provision of medical equipment may be offered as well. Some agencies offer all of these options, while others focus on just one or two. Policies and procedures need to reflect the care provided.
All home health care agencies must obtain needed permits and licenses. All states require background checks, drug screens and reference checks. Caregivers are required to have documented continuing education. States often require that caregivers pass classes in CPR, infection control, HIV, Alzheimer's disease, and domestic violence. Advanced training is required when caring for clients with special needs, such as children, or people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Check with your state licensing board for requirements in your state.
Methods addressing the environment of care must be documented. This includes safety, OSHA compliance, and hazardous materials management. An emergency management plan must be included. A human resource manual that contains job descriptions and personnel policies is required. Documentation policies and a leadership profile needs to be contained within the policy and procedure manual. Policies regarding patient's rights must be in place.
Specific policies must be written that describe how to perform tasks. These vary depending on the population served as well as the disciplines providing care. Scope and limitations of care services offered must be documented. Patient education materials need to be available. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies require specific additional documents.
Government health care agencies state what policies and procedures are required for their jurisdiction. That is the first place to look for guidance. Home health care professional organisations can provide general assistance. You may elect to purchase resource materials such as templates or books to help you complete the manual. Consider contracting the services of a registered nurse or therapist to assist with this step.