The services provided by health care homes are a service of care and emotions. However, like any service, it is always in the best interest for both parties to participate in legally (and sometimes non-legally) binding contracts before the start of services. The agreement provides benefits to both the parties involved. It also helps in maintaining a sense of equilibrium since any unnecessary hassle is avoided.
According to Herje[i], “A medical contract defines the agreeing terms between a Medical Professional and his Client.” However, the contract is usually an agreement on the terms of the job and does not hold much legal value in the court of law. However, it is always a beneficial practice to keep the words in black and white.
Why Use A Contract
The benefits of a contract are multifold as it is always in the best interest of both the binding parties. Briefly, some of the benefits are as follows:
Outlining The Role And Services
The contract holds the care home responsible for a set of services. Since home health assistance requires a specific list of jobs from the caretaker, it is of imminent importance to define those jobs. To avoid any ambiguity and confusion, the care homes will enlist the assignments to their caretakers.
For example, every patient has different medical and non-medical needs and requirements. If the caretaker is not fulfilling any of those needs, the patient may experience frustration and anger towards the service provider. Therefore the contract must enlist all the required to avoid any confusion:
Enforcement Of Necessary Tasks
The different health situations require specific necessary tasks. Fulfilment of those tasks can result in the betterment of the emotional and physical health of the patient.
For instance, a post-operative patient may be required to walk a few strides every day to keep up the recovery process, or a person with diabetes would require a check on fasting blood sugar, etc. Sometimes the patient can refuse to take such services. In such situations, the caretaker must enforce the importance of such services to the client. Also, the caretaker is responsible for informing the concerning Doctor and the family members.
Any old age care receiver who may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease or any terminally ill cancer patient is expected to get irritated by their daily routine. The health status of such patients will decline instead of improving. This is a grave situation as it will also harm the caregiving nurse’s morale since the fulfilment of the task invokes a sense of job satisfaction in both parties involved. Therefore, the doctors encourage the family and the care homes to follow the contract irrespective of the situation.
Steps Involved In Drafting A Home Assistance Care Contract
For a health care system, any mutually beneficial contract is, in fact, an agreement that results in a long-term relationship between the care home and client. Some of the standard features of every deal are as follows:
- Date and time of Initiation and end of service
- Service details
- The location where service must be provided
- Cost of the service. Caregiver’s share in the cost.
Following Steps Are Involved In Drawing Any Such Contract:
- Learn about the medical history of the client. Care homes collect data from the client’s doctors. This data is then implemented on a day-to-day basis to achieve the desired health outcome.
- If the patient can be vocal about their needs, then the caretaker must enforce those requirements in the contract. For instance, sometimes, the elderly would want to have a warm bath daily. In such cases, the family and care homes must consider their wishes too.
- The contract must also contain the clause of change in the tasks depending on changing medical conditions.
- The terms must also be ‘goal-oriented.’ For example, any bedridden patient is at high risk for bed sores. The goal must state frequent change in the posture of the patient to avoid bed sores.
- The tasks and jobs must be coordinated between all the concerning staff members of the care homes.
- Finally, the contract must state the cost and charges of the services provided. It must also explain the percentage excluded from insurance and the one payable by the client himself.
Here at Delores Heart, our staff is more than happy to help and guide you through the process of drafting a contract. As tedious, exhausting and stressful as this whole process may seem to you, we are here to make it easy for you by developing a strong sense of ownership and belonging.