Ensuring Safety for Rural Patients

When we first opened our doors nearly 30 years ago, the idea of bringing home medically complex kids was revolutionary. Since then, technology, equipment, and training have grown by leaps and bounds. Today, we’re able to safely support patients across the state with highly complex medical needs through careful planning, thorough processes, and detailed training.  

Our ability to care for kids across the state starts with our staff. Our highly-credentialed clinicians have the experience, and the training to prepare for, and mitigate emergencies when bringing home a patient to a rural area. Some of the key pieces of this strategy include:

  • Backup units for life-sustaining equipment. (for example ventilators, pulse oximeter, suction machine). Patients who live further out from our office have a back up in the home.
  • 24/7 availability. We know trouble doesn’t always arise Monday- Friday from 8 am-5 pm, so we have clinicians on call, ready to support patients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Extensive education before, during and after discharge. PHS clinicians spend a lot of their time training family caregivers on all equipment and supplies that will be used in the home. For patients being discharged with a tracheostomy and ventilator, PHS clinicians will spend 25 hours, on average, with the patient and all caregivers.  Quality and thorough education and training is a strength PHS is known for industry-wide.
    • Education not only covers care and equipment but also supply ordering and organization. It is equally as important to make sure families are organized and know how often to order supplies as to not run out of a crucial item.
  • Video and phone troubleshooting options. The majority of all troubleshooting calls coming into our offices are solved within a matter of minutes through a series of troubleshooting questions by our knowledgeable clinicians. But when a phone call isn’t enough, PHS clinicians have the technology right at their fingertips to conduct HIPAA compliant video calls, allowing them to see what the patient is experiencing without actually being in the room. Beyond technology, our clinicians are always available to make home visits when in-person troubleshooting is needed. 
  • Emergency back up bag.  Also known as the ‘oh, crap bag’. When first transitioning home, clinicians will help families assemble a bag that contains all critical supplies needed to get them through any emergency situation.
  • Variety of delivery options. In order to be as timely as possible, PHS utilizes a combination of PHS clinicians, PHS in-house drivers (Roseville office only) and courier services to ensure we’re able to respond quickly to any emergency situation, delivering needed equipment and supplies in a timely efficient manner.

Do you have a story about how PHS has supported you in an emergency situation? We’d love to hear from you!

Originally published: September 27, 2019

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