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From the Editor

FROM THE EDITOR - It Takes a Team


Dear Readers,

This month’s issue of Home Healthcare Nurse contains articles on a variety of topics that are of interest to home healthcare and hospice clinicians. The need to prevent unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits and hospital readmissions is of great importance, from a financial perspective of course, but also in terms of the patients’ and caregivers’ time and energy.  Authors Deborah Fritz and Patricia McKenzie are nurse practitioners with the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in St. Louis MO. They have written a practical article to guide home healthcare clinicians as they assess patients with pneumonia, COPD and heart failure, three common diagnoses that often result in hospital readmissions and ED visits. Heart failure alone accounts for more than one million ED visits each year in the United States.  As the authors point out, not all re-admissions and ED visits are avoidable, but armed with the proper knowledge, home care clinicians can use sound judgment in making this important determination.

Author Melissa Winkler is an Occupational Therapist in private practice with a specialty in animal assisted interventions. She and her colleagues define and differentiate the three categories of human-dog partnerships in health care and provide information on incorporating man’s best friend into home healthcare and hospice practice.  Whether as companions, therapists or assistants, dogs can play a very important role in your patient’s recovery.  I am delighted that Melissa and her co-writers shared their knowledge and expertise in Home Healthcare Nurse.

November is National Homecare and Hospice month. It really does take an entire month to properly thank and recognize the many disciplines that come together to provide quality health care and hospice services to millions of people every year. Imagine what would happen without home healthcare services! As a result of your efforts, people can return home and recover or experience a peaceful death in their familiar surroundings.  In honor of National Homecare and Hospice month, Dr. Rita Ruel, Communications Manager for the Visiting Nurse Services of New York, the largest not-for-profit home care agency in the United States, has written about the woman who started it all.   Lillian Wald was a woman with vision, and was very much ahead of her time. After seeing the deplorable living conditions of the early 20th century immigrants in New York, she sprang into action, founding the Henry Street Settlement and what ultimately became the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. She and her nurse colleagues provided health care and health teaching to those living in the crowded tenements. When she was informed of the many children sent home from schools in New York because of contagious diseases and head lice she promptly proposed sending nurses to the schools.  The plan was an instant success and school nursing was born.  Read more about this inspiring home healthcare leader in Dr. Ruel’s interesting article and see photos of early home healthcare pioneer nurses.

As you can see from the list of authors this month, home healthcare is very much an interprofessional endeavor. The authors this month are registered nurses, occupational therapists, communication experts, and geriatric case managers. Clinicians from many disciplines are needed to work together as a team to produce the positive outcomes we see with home healthcare and hospice services.

With that said, there are exciting changes to share with you about Home Healthcare Nurse.  Starting with your January issue, the title will change to Home Healthcare Now: The Interprofessional Journal for Home Care and Hospice Clinicians.  Just as the title implies, the content of the journal will expand to recognize the interprofessional nature of home healthcare and hospice. A wider audience and readership will ensure that clinicians of all healthcare disciplines engaged in home healthcare and hospice will find articles that inform and guide their practice.  As the only interprofessional home healthcare journal, we want Home Healthcare Now to be the go-to journal for all home healthcare and hospice clinicians. 

We celebrate another important day in the month of November – Veterans Day. Author Lovie Wheeler describes a day in her life, as she proudly serves the men and women who served their country. As part of the Home Based Primary Care Department at John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center, Nurse Wheeler sees her patients in their homes across the greater Detroit area.  She takes great pride in serving those who served and joins me in thanking all Veterans for their service.  

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you. Email me at HHNEditor@gmail.com.

Best regards,

Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN


Home Health News

The Home HealthCare News offers up-to-date information that we want you, the subscribers of Home Healthcare Nurse to know about and soon! These may be government initiatives, web sites with important information, new publications, and more! If you know of an item that might fit this section e-mail Ryan Brophy at ryan.brophy@wolterskluwer.com.



Call For Manuscripts

Home Healthcare Nurse, a refereed journal, is published 10 times/year. The goal of Home Healthcare Nurse is to bring up-to-date and practical articles to home healthcare and hospice providers. All manuscripts undergo review by the editor and members of the journal review team. Manuscripts should be original work. Topics include practice-oriented clinical topics, literature reviews, manuscripts that describe quality improvement projects, innovations or new approaches to patient care, and case studies.
Query letters are welcome but not required.  Email the editor at HHNEditor@gmail.com
Manuscripts should follow the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition.

Future of Home Health
The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation has announced the Future of Home Health Project. It is a research-based strategic planning for the future of home healthcare. They want to hear your ideas.  Visit the future of Home Health website at: http://ahhqi.org/home-health/future-project and send your ideas to futureofhh@ahhqi.org
Hospice & Bereavement Conference

The Art for Charlie Foundation is convening Michigan’s first-ever Pediatric Hospice and Bereavement Conference on Saturday, Nov. 1 in East Lansing.

Registration is $35, which includes breakfast and lunch, to attend the full day of sessions. 

Accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night is available at special rates at the Marriott at University Place, East Lansing through the link on the Art for Charlie website.

Please visit the website or email info@artforcharlie.org for more information.

Omaha System

The Omaha System International Conference will be held in Eagan, MN April 15-18, 2015.  The conference is held every two years and is intended for individuals who use or intend to use the Omaha System in  health practice, education, research, or inclusion in IT documentation system.

Guidelines for submission of poster abstracts and details regarding workshop registration can be found at www.omahasystem.org/conferences.html.

Poster abstracts are due 1/31/15 with notification sent by 2/28/15. 

Email abstracts to lchoromanski@gillettechildrens.com.

Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN

ISSN: 0884-741X

Online ISSN: 1539-0713

Frequency: 10 issues / year

Celebrating Diversity

To comemmorate the 100th anniversary of Abington Memorial Hospital and the Dixon School of Nursing, read the May 2014 supplement celebrating diversity among home healthcare nurses and interdisciplinary staff.