The new report “Home Health Care during an Influenza Pandemic: Issues and Resources” highlights the critical need for home healthcare in providing care during a pandemic influenza event. The report funded by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and CDC, and developed by AHRQ, describes the resources and the technology needed by home healthcare providers and community planners to prepare for such an event.
“Community planners, state and local public health departments and healthcare systems must look critically at leveraging the existing resources of home healthcare agencies to meet the possible surge demands of an influenza pandemic,” said the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response W. Craig Vanderwagen, M.D, RADM.
The report further stresses the need for telehealth technologies to deliver patient care and e to do advanced planning and coordination at the local level. Using technologies would allow remote monitoring of patients and the ability to prompt patients on taking medications.
The equipment needed includes:
- Remote vital sign monitoring units using standard phone lines. This technology is already being adopted in New York, Pennsylvania, and several other states
- Interactive voice response systems to enable callers to use their touchtone phones to receive information automatically.
More information can be found at www.ahrq.gov/prep. The report can be downloaded at www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/healthcare/homehealth.html.