Landmark is thankful to have a dynamic team of employees with a variety of backgrounds to help serve our Patients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Joe is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and our Senior Clinical Care Director. He helps our Patients in the hospital before they discharge to educate them on their home infusion therapy and he ensures that the upmost quality of care is being delivered everyday to every Patient. Joe answered some questions about his role with Landmark, serving our Patients, and advice for Patients on home infusion therapy. Whether you are a Patient, Caregiver, Referral Partner, or you're interested in working for Landmark, Joe provides some valuable insight everyone can benefit from reading!
Why did you decide to become a nurse and work in the home infusion field?
After serving in the Military, I decided that I wanted to continue my career in public service. I was leaning towards a career in Law Enforcement and took a Job a security officer in the Hospital in which my mom was a Nursing Supervisor. One night on duty I saw my mom take charge and direct an emergency code and saw what an impact she made for her team and the family. I decided then I wanted to be a nurse. I remember that same morning I went to the local nursing school and signed up to take classes to become a nurse. My career in nursing has led me to many different positions including psychiatry, oncology, emergency room nursing, and teaching at local college. Eventually I found a job in Home Infusion Nursing to continue teaching and making a meaningful impact to patients going home. I have worked in infusion now for 8 years.
What does a day in your life look like as Landmark's Senior Clinical Care Director?
My day starts with working with our Clinical Care Directors. We meet as a team coordinate the best way to meet and take care of our new patients. As the Senior Clinical Care Director, it is part of my responsibility to make sure that we are logistically and effectively sending our team to maximize our time with each customer. With every new patient we strive to make sure that each of these patients and families are met with in person at the bedside to educate on how home infusion therapy is done. We bring in the exact teaching materials to the bedside to make sure that the patient and family have the ability and more important the confidence they can do this at home. The Senior Clinical Care Director does not stop with only meeting the patient, but as an extension of the Client Relations Director, we maintain the relationships with the referral partners and physicians. Lastly as the Senior Clinical Care Director, I help maintain the current standards of our clinicians in the field and help our new Clinical Care Directors transition in their role for Landmark.
What advice can you give our patients and their caregivers when a patient first begins home infusion therapy?
My best advice for new patients and their caregivers is to understand that this therapy is very easy to learn to do at home and to put aside their initial fear. The most important job of the Clinical Care Directors is to make sure that patients and their families prior to going home are evaluated and have the ability to do the therapy. As a Nurse, it is our job to assess the physical and mental capacity of the patient and family and to make sure they feel the confidence of doing the task at home. In my 8 years of experience doing this the biggest barrier to discharge is the fear of family and patients thinking they are not capable of doing the therapy at home. This is due in part to the devices and machinery that a typical hospital uses. Those devices can be intimidating. However, once we get into the room of the clients and show them how the medicine is done at home it really puts ease to their fears. Taking that initial meeting with the Clinical Care Director with the patient and the caregivers is very important and will likely put all fears and anxiety of transitioning home at ease.
How does our patient education system help both patients, their case managers and prescribing physicians?
Our Patient Education system allows the patient and caregiver to have a hands-on experience with our medication delivery devices and how the process is done at home. At Landmark Infusion we use the S.A.S.H. Method in providing home in fusion therapy. The SASH method follows the tried and tested method we use as nurses for decades now. SASH simply stands for Saline flushing, Administration of Medication, Saline flushing, and Heparin flushing. Simply put, we want to make sure the patient Intravenous Line works properly, make sure the medication is delivered, push the rest of the medication in when the device is done, and to leave the line ready for use after we finish. This simple process of medication administration is almost identical to what the patient is seeing with their hospital staff and subconsciously witnessed many times while being hospitalized. Our education system also shares how we deliver the medication at home, which is usually using an elastomeric device or an easy pump. The elastomeric device is a small balloon that is filled with medication and is pressurized to deliver the medication over a certain period of time based on the medication chosen by the Physician. Once the patients, Case Managers, and the prescribing Physicians see how easy the process at home all parties can be usually agree that this is something they can do at home.
What types of resources do we provide for our patients in the hospital regarding their home infusion administration?
In the initial meeting with our patients at the hospital, we would like to first like to provide an in-person demonstration of how we do the medication administration at home. This is a valuable resource, and we make sure we are working with the family member or care giver that will be assisting the patient at home. However, many of our patients can do their own medication administration without any help. While at the bedside with our clients we make sure that they are left with the necessary resources to contact Landmark infusion and understand that we have an On-Call Service they can access anytime to speak to a live pharmacist. Also, we leave both printed and digital materials based on need as well as explain that our home health partners will be doing a similar visit once they are at home. As the Clinical Care Directors, we explain our logistical services, including delivery and resupply of the drugs at home. We also introduce our pharmacy team and how they play a vital part in their intake, and ongoing service to make sure that Landmark Infusion is taking care of them the whole time during their therapy at home. Finally, I share with each patient that our Landmark Infusion team is a resource and liaison between the home Health agency and the prescribing physician, this relationship has proven over time to be a valuable asset in successfully completing the home infusion therapy at home.
What should our Referral Partners and Patients look for in a home infusion provider?
When choosing a home infusion provider my best recommendation would be to look for the accessibility of the company, both initially at the bedside and once the patient is at home. Although Home Infusion therapy can be taught to be done at home, it really does matter how that service is presented and maintained. Having a trusted relationship with our clinicians and our pharmacy team is vital in maintaining the confidence to complete the therapy at home. At Landmark Infusion, we provide access to our 24/7 on-call services, as well as our innovative digital app called CITUS in which we can communicate using our pharmacy app. Our CITUS app helps facilitate deliveries and answers questions about all our services. In our digital age it is just another option and opportunity to service our patients at home. Finally in choosing a Home Infusion provider I would ask our case managers to look for how often a company reaches out to them and their physicians. That Pharmacy and Physician relationship is vital in making sure the client is at home and healing and all parties involved are providing the best care.
When patients transition to home infusion therapy, can they still attend work, school and participate in daily activities?
When transitioning home with home infusion therapy there are lots of possibilities to continue work, school and their activities of daily living. I have seen many of our patients able to continue to work or go to school with our medication regime. It is vital that patients do so with the guidance and recommendations of their physician and clinical team. Most of our home infusion therapy allows patients to administer their medications at certain times leaving them disconnected from any medication pole or pump allowing them the freedom of mobility. Home infusion therapy promotes independence and quicker healing.
What's your favorite part about working for Landmark?
Landmark is a Texas Locally Owned Company! Being a local company supports our community both in helping our patients and the employees they choose to hire. Landmark has been helping our local patient community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for well over 20 plus years creating a standard level of care that is unmatched.. Landmark takes pride in how quickly we can set up a patient at home in any of the services provided while maintaining a safe and effective medication regimen at home. Also, what really sets the Landmark apart is our customer service. From the time of initial meeting at the bedside to our ongoing communication through the patient's plan of care, Landmark meets and exceeds the expectation of customer service from both our Hospital Referral sources and our Patients.