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Education (STAR Kit)

Emergency Preparedness Education for In-home Caregivers

In 2006, PHS conducted a survey to assess in-home caregiver emergency preparedness: The survey included assessments of caregivers’ essential skills and knowledge relating to equipment, oxygen safety, and use, emergency resuscitation bag function and use, and emergency response procedures. While caregivers were found to be skilled in routine daily care, there was a demonstrated need for additional education and training, particularly in oxygen use and safety.

As a result, PHS developed the STAR Kit, education materials and tools designed to enhance patient safety in the home. The kit includes informational DVDs, safety checklists and reminders, troubleshooting guides, equipment tags, and an emergency action plan. Training was provided and the STAR Kit was given free of charge to PHS families, home care providers and referring physicians. The kit also became part of PHS’s education program.

A follow up survey in 2007 demonstrated marked improvement, but PHS believed even more could be done. Elements of the program were adjusted, and survey results indicated even greater improvement. With the implementation of the STAR kit, there has been overall improvement in all five of the areas assessed in the survey — equipment assessment, emergency backup equipment/batteries, oxygen safety, emergency AMBU bag and emergency patient response.

Emergency Back Up Equipment and Battery

Is the back up equipment properly charged?

2007 2016 2017 2018 2019
Yes 84.6% 96% 94% 94% 86%

 Oxygen Safety

Can the caregiver change an oxygen cylinder?

2007 2016 2017 2018 2019
Yes 55.4% 100% 97% 97% 97%

 Oxygen Safety

Can the caregiver determine how long a tank will last at a given liter flow?

2007 2016 2017 2018 2019
Yes 55.4% 96% 88% 89% 86%

 Emergency AMBU Bag

Can the caregiver demonstrate how to check the AMBU bag to ensure it is working properly?

2007 2016 2017 2018 2019
Yes 70.3% 96% 94% 100% 97%

 Emergency AMBU Bag

Can the caregiver demonstrate knowledge that the emergency bag/bedside supplies are fully stocked?

2007 2016 2017 2018 2019
Yes 81.5% 100% 97% 97% 100%

 Emergency Patient Response

Can the caregiver determine what they would do in the event of an obstructed trach?


2007 2016 2017 2018 2019
Yes 84.6% 100% 100% 100% 100%


PHS recognized a need for in-home caregivers to be better prepared for emergencies in the home and developed the STAR Kit. This educational tool has proven effective in caregiver training and as an aid in the actual care of patients.


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Clinical Outcomes

Education (STAR Kit)

The PHS STAR Kit allows caregivers to continually improve their knowledge of equipment use and be prepared to handle emergencies at home.

Customer Service Outcomes

Customer Satisfaction

In surveys distributed throughout the last calendar year, 97 percent of PHS families indicated that they would recommend PHS to a family or friend.