Chesapeake, VA - November 3, 2003 - Sentara Home Care Services performed better than average in most categories of the new 'Home Health Compare' program through the Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Web-based program publishes performance data in 11 categories of care and offers consumers nationwide a quick reference for how home care service agencies in their communities are performing.
"Patients are the most important factor in home health care," says Susan Zell, director of Business Development, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for Sentara Home Care Services. "Patients always come first, and there has to be a way, other than word of mouth, to find out how well home health agencies perform."
These performance categories include 'Improvement in Management of Oral Medications', where Sentara Home Care Chesapeake scored eight points higher than the national average. Another measure is 'Improvement in Pain Interfering with Activity', where Sentara Home Care Williamsburg scored 11 points higher than the national average.
Two areas where Sentara agencies were glad to be at or below the average was in acute care hospitalizations and emergent care. In these two categories, Sentara Home Health patients had fewer hospital re-admissions and fewer medical emergencies than the average.
"This is an objective window on quality," Susan Zell adds. "The acuity of conditions and the types of patients you admit can influence your overall scores. But these measures create an incentive for all home health services to strive for better quality and better outcomes in patient care, especially when consumers now have ready access to performance data on the Internet."
Sentara Home Care Services has offices in Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Williamsburg and Elizabeth City, N.C. More than 150 Sentara Home Care nurses serve close to 2,000 patients with medical needs ranging from wound care to rehabilitation from joint replacements to disease management.
Sentara Home Care Services is a subsidiary of Sentara Healthcare, the premier health care company serving southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.