SPARTANBURG — Dave Mitchell was planting a tree in his yard when the unthinkable happened.
“I reached over to get a limb and fell off my tractor,” Mitchell said. “Turned the steering wheel and it ran over me, about three times.”
The accident left Mitchell with a severely torn ankle. He was unable to walk and he needed medical care at home while he recovered.
“For a man that’s an awful thing to happen,” Mitchell said. “It robs you of the ability to walk and to do things.”
He received that care from the Home Health services at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.
“They have taken … the anxiety out of this thing,” Mitchell said.
The home health services industry is growing across the U.S. Instead of staying or being re-admitted to the hospital, patients stay comfortable and save money in the comfort of their own home.
While home health services are growing, more people need to take advantage of it, according to James Harber, MD, medical director of senior health for Medical Group of the Carolinas Palliative Care & Senior Health.
“For most patients, certainly in the 55 and older population, almost all of them would benefit from going home with home care certainly after an acute care stay,” Dr. Harber said.
Spartanburg Regional’s Home Health Services see more than 600 patients every day.
“We have nurses who can go in, monitor blood pressures, help with medication administration,” Home Health Services Director Linda Edmond, LBSW, LNHA, said. “All of those sorts of services that would encompass people who have the chronic disease needs.”
Those nurses collaborate with the patient and the doctor, Edmond said. These patients range from those with chronic diseases to others recovering from trauma.
Without home health, caring for these patients becomes a lot more costly and complicated.
“They would probably return to the hospital,” Edmond said. “They would have unnecessary hospital re-admissions. There would be more unnecessary trips to the emergency room and more frequent visits to the physician’s office.”