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Increasing Demand for Outpatient Infusion Therapy

Infusion therapy is having medication or fluids delivered into the body via an intravenous catheter or central line. This form of therapy is used to treat multiple medical conditions when oral medications are not an option. Infusion therapy is most widely known for cancer treatment, however there are many other conditions treated with it. Some of these conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, anemia, infection and hydration, as well as a wide variety of other neurologic, rheumatologic and gastrointestinal conditions.

In the past, many infusions took place on an inpatient basis at the hospital. Currently, much of health care is shifting toward outpatient-focused care. The result is decreased cost, increased convenience and compliance to the prescribed treatment. Outpatient infusions can allow the patient to maintain their quality of life and daily activities, sleep in their own bed and continue to work.

Treatments can range from a onetime to daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Infusions include a simple injection of a medication intravenously, as well as infusions lasting from 20 minutes to several hours long. The length of infusion is dependent on the manufacturer’s recommendations, best practices and how well the patient tolerates the infusion.

Today, a patient can receive infusions in an infusion unit. These units may be a standalone facility or located within a hospital. The patient can also receive infusions in a nursing home or personal home setting. Where an infusion is done is dependent on the services offered within the patient’s hometown, insurance coverage and medication availability, among other reasons.

In order to set up an infusion, the physician will write the order for treatment and specific monitoring, and send it to the patient’s infusion provider. The patient will then be scheduled with an appointment for treatment and or infusion. Infusions are performed by specially trained infusion nurses who are proficient in therapy standards and protocols. The patient is carefully monitored for infusion related reactions and complications, which will be quickly and efficiently taken care of and the primary physician will be notified. The patient is encouraged to ask questions and express concerns. The infusion nurse works closely with the ordering physician and as a team they will follow up with the patient.

To read the full article from the Missoulian, Click Here

The shift away from inpatient infusion treatments has opened a window for Long Term Care and Home Healthcare providers to build their revenue by expanding their services to include an infusion program.

Interested in learning how your facility can expand its potential in this new market? Check out our Infusion Resource Library and read Increasing Census and Revenue in Long Term Care and Home Health Care Through Infusion Therapy. Learn more about how incorporating an online infusion education program can help boost your facilities return on investment.

Pedagogy Education is committed to providing industry leading infusion education courses. Click the course titles below to learn more about the infusion classes that Pedagogy Education offers:
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