The Director of Nursing (DON) or sometimes referred to as Director of Patient Care Services DPCS) is a more senior member of the agency. They are managers of the home health agency, especially pertaining to clinical care, but with administrative and business duties as well. Directors work closely with the administrators or owners of the agency to make sure the business is functioning optimally. With extensive experience under their belt, a DPCS in home health provides all clinical staff with the knowledge and skills they need to manage a successful organization.
In addition to developing clinical care services, the DPCS oversees agency nursing personnel and contracted services. In addition to overseeing patient care, a DPCS oversees staff meetings, case conferences, and in-service training programs. In addition to overseeing clinical records, the DPCS represents home health on various committees. They must adhere to a set of standards of care and adhere to legal, regulatory, and accreditation standards.
To become a DPCS in home health, one must be a registered nurse with at least three years of experience in the field. To become a DPCS, one must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and at least one to three years of home health care supervisory experience. A DPCS also oversees the assignment of appropriate staff to each case. Besides overseeing the staff, DPCSs must follow state laws and policies. They must review patient medical files on a regular basis.
DPCS responsibilities in home health are important to the safety of a patient. An agency that meets these requirements should notify the patient of the payment source and complaints procedure. They should not discharge a patient without consulting with a physician. They must also inform their patient’s legal representative, attending physician, or advanced practice nurse prescriber. These individuals must receive written notice of the fees and terms of service.