The Science of Improving Function: Implications for Home Healthcare


  • Dorothy Baker PhD RN CS

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    • Dorothy Baker, PhD RN CS, research scientist and scholar at Yale School of Medicine, is a health services researcher and nurse practitioner with experience in home healthcare and education. She is researching prevention of falls, delirium, and functional decline. Two current dissemination projects are the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention and Hospital Elder Life Program.


Abstract: Since implementation of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set and publicly reported outcome indicators, a focus of home healthcare necessarily includes efforts to improve older patients' functional abilities. This article presents results from selected home-based research studies providing strategies for evidence-based practice to efficiently and effectively improve functional outcomes. Assessments and interventions are suggested, as well as administrative and clinical processes of care that have been found to successfully translate research into practice. Results suggest that if systems of care are redesigned, the payoff in patient and staff satisfaction and in improved functional and economic outcomes can be substantial.