Post-operative care constitutes more than simply receiving care after a surgery. It must be delivered properly and efficiently for the surgery to achieve maximum success. While many patients stay in the hospital for at least a few hours for some degree of post-operative care, more and more hospitals are releasing patients earlier than before. This means some people are at higher risk of complications—and they do not have knowledgeable people around them who can help. This is one reason for your home care agency to step in. Another reason is that offering post-operative care is a natural expansion of similar services your group no doubt already provides.
Wide range of surgeries and demand
Any surgery requires post-operative care, but some necessitate more than others. Just some examples of surgeries that may need deeper care: hip replacements, spine surgery, prostate surgery, plastic surgery and cataract or eye surgery.
Meanwhile, people are living longer, and more are getting surgeries. However, their families remain busy and not always able to care for post-operative patients. Patients are released from hospitals without having full support networks for recovery and pain management.
Setting up post-operative care as a service your home care agency offers is easy and does not add extra work or burdens. The process goes like this: your agency has a team that coordinates post-operative care. The team meets with patients and/or their families before or after a surgery to discuss a customized plan. While meeting beforehand is ideal, the need for post-operative care may not become evident to families until an actual complication occurs or until they have second thoughts after a surgery is complete.
Use an assessment or checklist to help guide your meeting and to establish the type of post-operative care needed. For example, a patient might envision the need for help with pain management, taking care of wounds, food preparation and/or moving around. During the meeting, you can determine the hours in which help is needed and the skill level needed to provide it.