Wellness Checks

  1. I sent out the police yesterday to check on a patient who did not show up for his treatment. He never misses, he didn't answer the phone and his emergency contacts were unable to contact him. The police found him DOA This thread is partly for me to process the death and partly because I want to know how often you all do wellness checks. I have known this patient for 7 years so this was a hard one for me. And when the poor dispatcher called me back to let me know (she must have been new), she started stumbling all over her words and finally said "oh s**t, can I just start over?" She must have gone home kicking herself.
    My question is, how often do you perform wellness checks on patients you cannot find? Do you do it on the first missed treatment or wait until they miss 2? Do the police departments ever give you that "OMG this is such a waste of my time" kind of reaction? Have you ever sent them to do a wellness check just to have them break down the door and find the home empty while your non adherent patient was out (probably at the store buying a gallon of orange juice and a bunch of bananas)?
    This is the 3rd check I have performed in as many years where the patient has been found dead.
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    About just keep swimming

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 177; Likes: 312
    Nephrology NP; from US
    Specialty: Nephrology


  3. by   FransBevy
    I'm pretty new at my employer but it seems to me that we call every time a patient is late or misses a dialysis treatment. We have access to local hospitals' systems and before we call we check to see if they've been admitted to local hospitals then we call the home. If they don't call or respond back by the end of the day then we call 911.
    Does that help?
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I'm so sorry. We do not as a rule do welfare checks on noncompliant pts. In the more rural clinics I go to, the staff does call family. However when the police are few are far between they don't do welfare checks.
  5. by   FransBevy
    Gee, we're in an urbanized suburb of Boston and 99% of our patients are religious about theur dialysis treatments so if they're a no call/no show it's a real cause for concern. There are a couple who are pretty regularly late or no show but they still get a call. One woman told us that she "forgot" and she's been treated for a year?!?!
  6. by   just keep swimming
    Thank you for your responses. We always call the patients and check the hospitals. I guess I was referring to the one you still cannot find and the family has no idea if they are okay. I just get sick of the attitude from the police when they find out everything is fine but i guess that one time they actually find someone who needs help it will make it worth it. I also guess I would rather have my loved one found sooner than later if they died alone at home.

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