Mileage Study Press Conference Highlights: Karen Marshall Thompson Discusses Need for Wound Care Provided by Nurses
January 22, 2016 12:00 PM
On December 16, 2015, the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) held a press conference (see previous NAHC Report article here) to present the findings of a study documenting that nurses, therapists and home care aides who serve chronically ill, elderly and disabled patients drive nearly 8 billion miles each year. The press conference included remarks from a number of experts in the home care and hospice community, and NAHC Report is publishing a series of articles providing in-depth coverage of their remarks.
Karen Marshall Thompson is the Director of Home Health Services at theSouthern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio. In introducing Ms. Marshall Thompson, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris noted that Southern Ohio Medical Center is located in Ohio, but also serves communities in Kentucky. Located on the Ohio-Kentucky border, it serves two counties in Kentucky and four counties in Ohio.
“Many of our visits are more than 60 minutes driving one way for the nurse, and many of our patients have extensive care needs and visits are longer than 60 minutes in length,” Ms. Marshall Thompson said.
In explaining the importance of the services provided by home care nurses, Ms. Marshall Thomson told the story of a recent patient who lived 60 minutes from the agency with only her 13-year-old granddaughter and had extensive abdominal wounds and care needs. While the patient was willing to try to learn to change the dressing, the sight of the wound made her nauseous and she was unable to do it.
For a period of time, seven days a week, we sent a nurse to her home over two hours driving and over a lengthy visit of more than 60 minutes," said Ms. Marshall Thompson. "The outcome of this is our patient healed. She was able to return to her normal activities, and what would have happened to this patient had we not been able to drive that distance and provide that care and provide that nurse, she very likely would have contracted an infection. She perhaps would have suffered multiple re-hospitalizations and could have very well have died from infection. So that is the care that we provide out in the rural areas of our country. Needed care and care that enhances peoples’ quality of life and many of our patients do get well and they do get better.
To view the final study, click here.
Video footage of the press conference is currently available on the NAHC website (www.nahc.org).