1. Fetter, Marilyn S. PhD, RN, CS


The accurate assessment of patients' health, functional abilities, and sociobehavioral status is essential for providing quality, cost-effective infusion services to home-based elders. Baseline and ongoing assessment identifies serious current, emerging, and potential problems, and facilitates interventions to prevent significant comorbidities and premature mortality. Three types of assessment (screening, intermediate or evaluation, and comprehensive) have been used successfully with geriatric populations across a variety of settings to improve patient outcomes. Further, Medicare now requires the completion of an OASIS assessment for the reimbursement of home health services to all seniors. Geriatric assessment has been found to improve care quality and cost effectiveness, but protocol development and evaluation can be challenging. Home infusion therapy providers, encouraged to implement and evaluate evidence-based assessment and management protocols, question the usefulness of these protocols, especially for short-term geriatric patients. Research, education, and policy strategies can be used to overcome the many barriers to developing quality, cost-effective assessment and management protocols for elderly home infusion therapy recipients.