Beware of the lone wolf!!!! Every office member, physical therapist, nurse, occupational therapist or social worker knows at least one. They are the co-worker you never see or hear from. Emails go unanswered and calls unreturned. This is the story of the lone wolf. Be wise and heed the warning.
Believe it or not, Home Health has a lot of overlap between the hunter/gatherer society. The hunters are the clinicians who must team up to bring a satisfactory end to the hunt for perfection in the form of a patient’s return to health. Then there’s the other side: the gatherers--the sales force and office staff who quite literally put the food on the table for the clinicians/hunters. If we hunt as a pack, we’ll have much more dramatic success--and improved outcomes for patients. It really is a match made in heaven when it works right. But when it doesn’t…..well, there’s no divorce option here so, WE GON’ MAKE THIS WORK!
Communication is everything and not just between clinicians who simply MUST coordinate for effective care of patients, but also between each division of a home health agency. There are no victories without a more complete and unified team. If the sales team doesn’t pass off the correct info and referrals they gather to intake, then the nursing and rehab members will sit as their engines idle--waiting to be put in the game. Likewise, If intake drops the ball and doesn’t coordinate with scheduling, no clinician will ever know that they have a patient to see.
Between clinicians, there’s no excuse for not communicating. PT and OT share so many facets of treatment that a basic check-in between disciplines is more than wise, it’s necessary. Nursing often opens cases, so they’re the first one’s with eyes on patient. If there’s a problem beyond nursing, their referral and head’s up about the issue is pure gold. No one likes to go into an eval flying blind. Pick your medium: phone, text, email or face to face--whichever you choose, let your coworkers know what’s going on.
Each piece of this puzzle is integral to the completed vision. And as we all know, teamwork makes the dream work! So pull out your cell phone, laptop, tablet or smoke screen blanket and get the signal to your co-workers. We’ve got work to do--together!