With age or illness, people might find they need a little help around the house, buying groceries or getting to doctor appointments. Families might want someone to make sure their loved one is taking medications on schedule. On the other end of the spectrum, families might decide they need to have around-the-clock, hands-on care. No matter the extent of care needed, trust is a major factor in choosing a home care company.
“Often the decision to hire a home care company is under duress because an event has occurred, a fall or hospital stay for example. This is a vulnerable time,” said Kristin James, owner of BrightStar Care of Charleston, a home care agency.
Ensuring that only experienced, trustworthy caregivers enter clients’ homes is one reason BrightStar Care of Charleston has gone through the rigorous process of accreditation by The Joint Commission, an independent, nonprofit organization that certifies health care organizations in the United States based on performance standards. The process is voluntary for home care companies, so many choose not to submit to this level of scrutiny.
“The Joint Commission examines our entire process,” James said. “A client choosing BrightStar Care can be confident that a caregiver coming into their home has been drug-screened, had a criminal background check, every reference has been checked and every credential has been verified. This is a tremendous level of accountability.”
Many companies aim to check those boxes, but, when things get busy, details can slide, James said. The Joint Commission makes sure these steps are completed before accrediting a company.
Another factor in accreditation is the involvement of a director of nursing in patient care, James said.
“A lot of home care companies will have access to a director of nursing,” she said. “Our director of nursing oversees every case and develops an individualized plan of care to custom fit the client.”
Every BrightStar Care franchise is either accredited by The Joint Commission or in the process – a standard that shows the franchise’s commitment to quality. Because of the company-wide performance, The Joint Commission has given BrightStar Care the Enterprise Champion for Quality Award of the last five years.
“We’re going to make sure that home care isn’t a frightening, scary thing but something you can trust. With that seal, we’re sending in someone trustworthy and reputable, and our product is the best you can get,” James said.
Another independent reviewer is Home Care Pulse, which conducts client and employee surveys. Based on scores, BrightStar Care of Charleston has been named an Employer of Choice and a Provider of Choice.
“We think that says a lot, that our employees love what they do and the company they work for,” James said. “That means they want to stay with us instead of going to work with another company, and its consistency and quality over time that make a difference in your performance.”