New standards ahead for infusion therapy?

If the Alexandria, VA-based Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) has its way, it won’t be long before home infusion agencies are subject to much stricter standards. It is nearing the completion of a set of standards, developed with the help of the National Alliance for Infusion Therapy, among others.

Cara Bachenheimer, executive director of HIDA home care and long-term care, says that the main difference between the current standards and those currently being drafted is that there are service-specific standards listed in the new ones. Following is the entire text and current status of the 10 proposed standards for infusion providers.

1. The provider must have competent staff.

• Provider has trained, competent technical staff.

• Provider has access to qualified health professionals.

2. The provider must perform client assessments, which include:

• appropriateness of therapy;

• safety of home environment;

• development of plan of care to establish product and service needs.

3. The provider must coordinate client care with other providers and practitioners.

• communication and interaction with other providers and practitioners;

— patient assessment/service plan;

— changes in patient’s needs;

— changes in patient’s care regimen.

4. The provider must have a valid, current, and accurate prescription for all products dispensed.

5. The provider schedules activities, including who does what and when.

6. The provider performs patient/caregiver training, which includes:

• indication for therapy;

• administration of medications or formula;

• operation and maintenance of pump;

• inventory storage and management;

• self-monitoring;

• emergency response.

7. The provider delivers, sets up, and picks up equipment and supplies.

8. The provider performs ongoing monitoring and follow-up, including:

• assesses response;

• assesses functioning of therapy delivery system;

• assesses product utilization, patient compliance;

• assesses continuing need for therapy (with others);

• tracks, cleans, maintains, and repairs equipment.

9. The provider provides access to emergency response services.

• Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

• Provider responds within reasonable time.

• Provider provides intervention as indicated.

— technical;

— clinical — provide instruction, visit or contact other provider.

10. Information management: Provider manages the following information related to the client:

• clinical records maintenance;

• patient satisfaction/grievances;

• complications;

• unscheduled deliveries and visits;

• utilization data by service, by patient;

• goals of therapy, patient needs.