ABSTRACT: Homecare for mechanically ventilated patients is complex and challenging for homecare institutions. The framework conditions of homecare are regulated by a likewise complex social legislation. The German Respiratory Society (DGP) and the German Interdisciplinary Society for Home Care Ventilation (DIGAB) have published recommendations on the structure of homecare for ventilated patients in their recent guideline and recommended a certification of homecare nursing services.
Prior to a certification process, the homecare task force of the DIGAB conducted a survey in order to compare the current structures with the guideline recommendations.
Voluntary disclosure of information by means of a written questionnaire consisting of eleven items was requested.
37 homecare institutions with a total of 78 subsidiaries providing service all over Germany returned their questionnaires. While educational standards are mostly in line with the guideline recommendation, it was found that only 43 % of 812 recorded patients followed up with a specialised weaning centre or centre for ventilation. 84 % of these patients were ventilated invasively. In spite of the fact that all homecare institutions took care of invasively ventilated patients, there was a lack of company-owned standards for specific nursing measures.
Homecare for ventilated patients in Germany has reached a decent degree of organisation, while follow-up with specialised centres for ventilation, and with that medical specialist care appears to be underserved. The certification process for homecare institutions should be pursued with emphasis in order to create uniform quality standards. The number of invasively ventilated patients in homecare settings is probably higher than previously estimated and could be the result of a lack of weaning capacity.
Pneumologie 11/2011; 65(11):685-91.