The extent of involvement of dental practitioners is greatly dictated by their degree of complexity and acuity of their patients as well as their training experience. The duties of the dentist might range from giving prescriptions to being the primary patient caregiver. Dental assistants are trained to handle most of the work that a full dental physician can. However, they have to work under supervision. In extended health care, assistants handle a variety of duties.The dental assistant has the obligation of admitting and discharging patients. When it comes to admissions, they records all relevant patient information and refers the patient to a full dental physician. When it comes to discharging, they can only discharge a patient under the supervision of a regular dentist. The assistant basically plans and coordinates the rehabilitation, home health care, follow-up and discharge of patients.The assistant is also charged with the responsibility of managing the medical history of patients. When it comes to the health insurance coverage, they provides the medical history required to the relevant agency. Additionally, they takes time to evaluate the insurance coverage of the patient prior to initiating a procedure.After treatment, the dental assistant is the main patient caregiver. He or she makes rounds to check on the progress of patients and make recommendations to the physician or the patient’s family. In collaboration with the dental physician, the manages the simple to acute health problems of various oral patients. The dental assistant is also responsible for the provision of appropriate medication to the patients and responding to emergencies.It is also important to note that the assistant can order or translate laboratory or diagnostic tests. He can also diagnose common health problems and prescribe medications or interventions for treatment.In the oral health field, the dental assistant can refer the patients to oral surgeons and specialized dentist. This is done for specialized or complex checkups. He also provides on the spot health prevention and promotion services for various medical problems including routine screening. In addition to that, the dental assistant provides continuing primary care for simple oral problems in an effort to save the family and the hospital added medical expenses.In extended health care, the dental assistant can embark on research to determine the main cause of health problems and give a report that helps in the development of a better treatment or prevention option. He can also make referrals to community resources for better health problem management. Alternatively, the assistant can order investigations as part of a team or through agencies.The roles of the assistant in extended medical care are innumerable. However, it is important to note that the roles are limited by a dental assistant’s area of specialization. The roles of the pediatric dental assistant are distinct from those of an adult or elderly assistant. Another aspect affecting the roles played by dental practitioners is the healthcare facility he or she is working in. Some institutions ask more from the assistant than others. The experience of the assistant will also dictate his role.
Health care plans individual families can afford can still be found if you are willing to perform due diligence. Health care plans individual families can afford are available. The best place to look is online. Most people wait until a medical crisis to think about health insurance. Insurance companies count on this crisis, rushing you to accept high premiums.Get health insurance before a crisis occurs. The health insurance companies may appear to be caring, however, they want to make lots of money. Therefore, they count on you paying the most, when you need coverage the most, times of crisis. Don’t wait, look for good, affordable health insurance while you’re healthy. Starting early will also help you avoid disqualification for preexisting conditions that may pop up later. Health care plans individual families can afford can be found online.It’s an odd feeling to have the high pressure insurance agent at the dinner table. The agent just makes you feel bad about not having a certain amount of coverage. Those days are over! All you need is access to the internet, and you can apply for health insurance for free.Individuals, families and even companies can apply online. Make sure you find the “perfect fit”. Understand that a health care plan for an individual will not cover what a family plan covers. Also, make sure you find out what kind of prescription benefits are included, and what the co pay is for doctor visits. This is especially important when the little ones get the sniffles. Be sure you know what the doctor visit deductibles are.
As part of the changes that the Center of Medicare Services (CMS) have recently implemented, many hospitals will no longer be reimbursed for inpatient hospital stays if a patient is readmitted within thirty days of discharge. In looking at some of the data on rehospitalization rates we see a wide fluctuation nationwide. Some states have rates as low as 13 %, some are as high as 27%. There are wide variations within some states. What can we learn from the states that are doing well? What does best practice look like? There are a growing number of approaches but many experts agree that the design of our current health care system itself is flawed, at least in this country. We have a highly fragmented system which means that no one provider can remedy this problem. We need greater transparency between medical facilities as far as patient records to ease patient transitions and our current reimbursement system is based on the amount of care and not necessarily on the quality of services rendered.So where can we start? In the home health arena there are some areas where we can at least begin to make headway:• Timely follow up.
If an appointment with the primary care physician has not been made by the patient or family at the time of admission to home care services then the admitting RN can make that appointment for the patient or have them call that day. It could be made part of the admission process. Fifty percent of all 30 day hospital readmissions nationally occurred before the patient had their first post hospitalization appointment with the primary care physician (PCP). The ideal would be to have that appointment set up prior to hospital discharge but in the event that it does not happen the visiting nurse should be the safety net.• Medication reconciliation.
Patients medications change frequently with hospitalizations. The primary care physician must be made aware of the patient’s current medication regime. With the increased utilization of hospitalists, most PCPs are no longer treating the patient while in the hospital hence they are not aware of medication changes. Ten day summaries that come from the hospital to the PCPs office need to be more timely, ideally within days after discharge.• Educating the patient.
The patient needs to recognize the signs and symptoms that necessitate a call to his PCP. The patient needs to be educated as to his disease process and understand the effect that it has on his daily living and the modifications needed to successfully live with his current limitations, whether they be temporary or permanent. Discovering what contributed to this present hospitalization and how to alter or recognize those circumstances is key to preventing an avoidable readmission.In conclusion, the post acute care plan needs to be comprehensive in meeting all of the patient’s needs and most importantly the patient and family need to be part of the health care team. Proper assessment of what the patient/family actually learned from a hospitalization and what they need to understand to prevent a recurrence is essential going forward.