Patient Health Goals Elicited During Home Care Admission: A Categorization

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Abstract

Home care agencies are initiating “patient health goal elicitation” activities as part of home care admission planning. We categorized elicited goals and identified “clinically informative” goals at a home care agency. We examined patient goals that admitting clinicians documented in the point-of-care electronic health record; conducted content analysis on patient goal data to develop a coding scheme; grouped goal themes into codes; assigned codes to each goal; and identified goals that were in the patient voice. Of the 1,763 patient records, 16% lacked a goal; only 15 goals were in a patient’s voice. Nurse and physician experts identified 12 of the 20 codes as clinically important accounting for 82% of goal occurrences. The most frequent goal documented was safety/falls (23%). Training and consistent communication of the intent and operationalization of patient goal elicitation may address the absence of patient voice and the less than universal recording of home care patients’ goals.

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