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Daily News: Home Healthcare Could Battle Pandemic

Tuesday September 30, 2008
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A new report from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality identifies home healthcare as a critical component of coping with a flu pandemic and offers practical advice, strategies, and resources to caregivers. In part, the report explores the use of technology to monitor patients at a distance, collaboration with community partners, legal and ethical considerations in emergency conditions, and workforce issues, such as training.

Home health agencies already provide routine care for acute and chronically ill, permanently disabled and terminally ill patients — more than three times the number of people in hospital settings. But communities "must look critically at leveraging the existing resources of home health care agencies" in a pandemic, says W. Craig Vanderwagen, MD, U.S. Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

"Home Health Care During an Influenza Pandemic: Issues and Resources" is online at www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/healthcare/homehealth.html.

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