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Agency is ‘elite’ once again


Among the elite crew at the “Elite” Olympic Home Health are Joan Warren, performance improvement manager; Karen Keller, wound care specialist; administrator Fran Sisson; and LeAnne Johnson, per diem nurse. Sequim Gazette photo by Mark Couhig


by MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Sequim Gazette


For the fifth year in a row, Olympic Medical Home Health has been named a HomeCare Elite Top-100 home health agency. The top 100 companies are drawn from a review of more than 9,375 home health agencies nationwide.

The ratings are created by OCS HomeCare, the nation’s leading provider of homecare information, and DecisionHealth, publisher of HomeCare’s independent newsletter Home Health Line. In their annual review, the two companies rank the agencies through an analysis of performance measures in “quality outcomes, quality improvements and financial performance.”

Fran Sisson, administrator of Olympic Medical Home Health, explained the results in laymen’s terms: “Our patients not only get better, they get better than patients at other places.

“We continue to be successful because of our highly skilled and dedicated clinical staff and our continued quality efforts,” Sisson said.

Olympic Medical Home Health is one of only 11 agencies to be named in the top 500 every year since the inception of the HomeCare Elite in 2006; in four of those years the agency found itself in the top 100.

Olympic Medical Home Health is one of only 31 agencies returning from last year’s top 100.

“The 2010 HomeCare Elite winners continue to demonstrate a commitment to providing their patients with the best possible care while performing at the highest level,” said Amanda Twiss, CEO of OCS HomeCare. “We congratulate Olympic Medical Home Health on being one of the top home care agencies in the country.”

To compile the list, OCS HomeCare gathers publicly available information from the Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Home Health Compare and cost reports.

Doing good work well

Sisson said Olympic Home Health was created to help OMC achieve its goal of providing a complete “continuum of care.” It’s now the only Medicare-certified home health care agency on the peninsula, offering nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, medical social work, assistance with speech and language pathologies and home health aides for patients “from Diamond Point to Queets,” Sisson said.

Sisson said the agency’s 60-plus employees focus on providing patients “with encouragement and hope they’re going to be back home and independent.”

Sequim’s Mary Ryse is a grateful recent recipient of the agency’s services. Through physical therapy provided by Olympic Home Health, she now is able to “walk up and down the stairs and do the things you need to do.”

She also was provided with “a bath lady and someone to help with my laundry.

“A nice strong girl able to hold me up for a shower,” she said with a laugh.

“I couldn’t have gotten along without it,” she said, then paused. “Well, I could have. But it would have been a mess.”

To be eligible for care, a patient must be “homebound.” But Sisson was quick to note there is flexibility in the definition, saying it must only be difficult to leave home. “It doesn’t have to be impossible,” Sisson said. “And you can leave home sometimes. You can go to church, to a wedding, or other special events.”
To qualify for home health care, you also must have a condition that requires the skills of a professional — a nurse or physical therapist, for example.

LeAnne Johnson, RN, is one of the nursing professionals on the Olympic Home Health staff.  “I love it,” she said. “I love to work with people in their own home. You get to know them and they heal and do better when they’re home.”

Johnson says she’s now doing more intravenous procedures, including medication infusions. “Antibiotics, pain management … chemotherapy. We even do TPN — total parenteral nutrition — providing all of someone’s nutritional needs.”

Reach Mark Couhig at mcouhig@sequimgazette.com.

 

 

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