Ministry Home Care Celebrates 15 Years of Caring
Ministry Home Care is celebrating fifteen years of providing care to patients in communities all across central, northern, and eastern Wisconsin since its founding in 1998. At its founding, there were approximately 170 employees located at seven sites. The organization was comprised of three home health agencies, three hospice programs and one hospice house located in Marshfield. Jerry Cleveland brought together all of the elements of the organization and has served as its president since the founding.
Today Ministry Home Care employs over 425 staff providing care in Marshfield, Rhinelander, Woodruff, Stevens Point, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, Appleton, Door County, and Oshkosh. Home care services include hospice, home health, infusion, home medical equipment, and respiratory therapy and supportive care. Together, Home Care cares for more than 5,000 people in their homes each day.
One thing that has changed significantly in the past fifteen years is the level of patient acuity or the level of illness that can now be treated on an in-home basis. Hospitals have continued to decrease the number of days a patient requires acute care and as a result patients return home to receive care through from a variety of staff that have the capability to do things that years ago were only done in the hospital. Home Care Clinicians find themselves often providing nearly acute care in patient’s homes as they focus on keeping patients out of the hospital and safe in their homes.
There are many outcomes important to keeping patients safely in their home. One of the most important is medication management. Although always a focus for home health and hospice clinicians, medication management has become a specialized service that Ministry Home Care clinicians work use every day with patients and families. Outcome studies indicate that success in this metric is highly predictive of a patient’s ability to manage their health state at home. Home care will become increasingly important as providers and payers work to achieve better outcomes, increase the quality of care, and improve efficiencies. The staff and leadership of Ministry Home Care is well prepared to be a leader in this effort.