When working as a head nurse, in May 2000, I conducted a patient satisfaction survey at the Puru hospital. One of the questions asked from the patients concerned their interest in home nursing services. Results of the questionnaire survey suggested that there were both interest in such service and need for it among the patients. More than one-half of the respondents considered the service very necessary and their own capability of coping with everyday life after returning from hospital either modest or low.
The clients also expressed readiness to cover some of the service costs. Based on this survey, a project was prepared and submitted to the Gambling Tax Council. The project was submitted several times, but in July 2001 it finally won financing allowing provision of home nursing services in the Ida-Viru County to the extent of 600 hours. (www.sm.ee project “Aita abivajajat” 1 July 2001-1 July 2002).
The project’s objective was provision of home nursing services at the patient’s/client’s home. During the project period, contracts were concluded with fourteen clients who partly paid for the visits (8 kroons/h). Within the framework of the project, close co-operation with family physicians took place, with whose help we found the patients requiring home nursing services. We also communicated with family physicians regarding the care and nursing assistance necessary for the patients. Family members were involved in the co-operation as well – they were informed and consulted regarding acquisition of the skills necessary for coping with their ailing family member at home.
The clients were bed patients with severe health condition. At the time, they did not need hospitalisation, but required nursing assistance due to post-infarction, post-stroke or other chronic health conditions or post-operation treatment.
The nurse-patient activity was directed towards nursing care and/or physical or mental rehabilitation and training of the patients and their family members for coping with the patient’s problems in home environment.
The project fulfilled its objective and complied with the expectations of project participants, clients/patients, and their family members. Positive feedback from both clients and family members was very important for us. However, the need for such services greatly exceeded our capabilities within the framework of the project.
A non-profit association (MTÜ Aita Abivajajat) was also founded in connection with the project. In may 2003, we established OÜ Koduõendus. By that time home nursing-care services had developed into a new and independent nursing service in the field of health care.
By now, OÜ Koduõendus has already served for five years as a contractual partner of the Health Insurance Fund in provision of home nursing assistance services in the Ida-Viru County.