Making a Difference in Home Health Care
November 1, 2009
By: Louise Paterson Sherwood
Imants Leitis, the founder of Q1 Care Management Group, Inc. (Q1 Home Health Care) remembers spending the most memorable Christmas with his family and also the most tragic.
Imants received a call December 30th, 1997, while at work informing him, that, he needed to get to the Hamilton General Hospital immediately, not knowing that his mother, sister of 12 and nephew of seven years of age were seriously injured and fighting for their lives. All three family members were hit by an automobile manipulating the traffic intersection and lights where they stood as pedestrians, as they waited to cross the street in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. Imants’ sister died at the scene while his mother and nephew sustained serious and catastrophic injuries. Imants’ mother and nephew’s lengthy hospitalization period were now approaching patient discharge home with significant cognitive and physical deficits as a result of the accident. Once home, Imants’ became aware of the many challenges and special needs created by this relocation. They ranged from around the clock home and attendant care, rehabilitation support to household modifications. Imants and his family were suddenly dealing with the unimaginable: Finding the best possible home health care for his mother and nephew. Imants and his family entrusted the welfare of his mother and nephew to home health care providers they believed would care for them when he was away working and unable to be there. Imants was distressed to realize the quality of care being paid for was not being delivered on a consistent basis. Imants says:
Here was my mother and nephew with what doctors had assessed as significant head and body injuries. I work miles away in another city, and I was totally dependent on home health care providers to help with their basic needs. I found out the care providers were not doing what they promised. In addition, I discovered the care providers were not adequately trained to work with such a serious form of injury, there was little accountability, and there was so much staff turnover it was difficult to have confidence that my relatives were receiving a consistent quality of care that would support them. It was then that I realized that my family and everyone else’s family deserves and needs quality home health care that they can trust, and it was difficult to find.
It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention. At the time of his family’s accident, Imants was not considering a career change. However, after a number of years of experiencing the repeated challenges with several care providers, Imants realized that something needed to be done. Driven to finding a solution, Imants drew upon, some of his past experiences in logistics, management, and military to create Q1. At the time Imants had only set out to better understand, and find a solution to improving the quality of home health care services. Initially it was all for his family, however upon recognizing that there were other families who had the same needs Imants began to branch outward. Imants created Q1 (Q1 Home Health Care) based in Stoney Creek, Ontario and continues to make positive changes to the way home health care is administered. Q1 has matured into a recognized care provider with a strong commitment towards service. Imants obtained additional education specifically from the Ontario Brain Injury Association and Canadian Association of Mental Health, and self study to further his understanding about clients and there challenges, and how best to care for this not very well known injury and specific group of individuals. Imants emphasizes:
I focus on learning what works well from the overall and clients’ perspective, especially what assists individuals and their family to feel more comfortable and does not contribute to the suffering. Q1 is a company I created to raise the bar, dedicated to providing superior home and community care to all individuals and families, simply because everyone deserves it. My own personal experience and what I knew our family needed was the catalyst for creating Q1 Home Health Care. Our mission and promise is to provide all our clients with compassionate care and support services while maintaining the highest professional standards. We measure our success by our ability to deliver consistent service with accountability, respect and compassionate attention to people’s needs.
Imants Leitis has researched and experienced the pain and difficulties of home health care: He gets it. Imants possesses a level of insight and caring for people which is expressed with ease when he speaks about his family, clients and staff:
I am blessed that my mom and nephew came through the accident and lived. I know that it is the care people receive during their time of need which contributes significantly to the emotional and physical health of the individual and family. I know that family members are not always able to provide the quality of care a loved one needs. Family is most important and it is a priority for Q1 to provide competent and reliable support to all families. It can be very stressful when a family member needs home care. Q1 seeks to reduce the amount of unnecessary and added stress experienced by families, working closely to help ease the burden for everyone. I find deep satisfaction in helping people, and emphasize the importance and value of this in our client care role to all supervisors and frontline staff. I know what would have made a difference for my mother and nephew, and I am intent on continuing to build a company that fulfills its mission.
Imants recognized that in providing quality home health care it is essential to train, manage, support, and continuously mentor staff. Q1 support staff must be flexible in providing a broad range of services in a variety of settings. Q1 is focused on providing above average care. Q1’s commitment to clients and families ensures that each person receives compassionate care that works towards making a positive difference in difficult circumstances. Education is, of course, an on-going process as well as essential to understanding the clients’ injury and specific care needs. Q1 ensures that, all their staff, has a baseline certification and provide additional training for their specific roles, such as certified personal or community support worker, or registered nurse. Q1 and staff, specialize in supporting the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of the client.
I remind my staff, that the individual they are providing care for is not just a client; they are someone’s mother, father, brother or sister. Q1 has a caring team that is able to relate, and understand the challenges associated with maintaining appropriate boundaries and professionalism with clients. In the Q1 world we ensure that we maintain tracking forms that supports our need for client care awareness, their progress and changing needs. Our communication systems and concepts are one of several ways that we are kept informed weekly and ongoing communication with our Support Staff, and clients through regular use of our documentation and of any health or other related changes. We believe in adding value to client services, with the ability to respond in a proactive manner, using best practices, and maintaining quality control. Our staff appreciates the accountability, training and mentoring we provide, and the results show in their effectiveness, high client satisfaction and our high retention rate of staff.
Q1, Home Health Care, is all about caring for people 24/7. Q1 provides its clients with personal support workers for complex injury care needs, which include brain and spinal cord injuries. Also provided are rehabilitation support and assistance, home support, personalized and compassionate care for individuals including eldercare and respite. Imants says:
I am always seeking to enhance the value of Q1 services. Q1 is launching an online brain injury community forum in December 2008 for people who are involved in any stage of dealing with a brain injury, from outreach, to sharing strategies, or learning about home health care, and to have access to supportive advice. I am honoured to host this community that will help people communicate with ease and find answers to questions. There are a lot of emotions and issues that people experience and plenty of questions that people want to find answers for. This online community is created to help people connect, find answers to their questions, share their scenarios and challenges and present solutions and ideas for those that live with these challenges daily. I am very excited about how I know this online community will evolve. It’s easily accessible and there is no cost. The online forum is an excellent place to share with like-minded individuals. At Q1 we have a great capacity to care and we are compelled to do what we do as we continue innovating and improving the quality of our services along the way.
For more information about Q1 Home Health Care
Call toll free 1-877-318-1335
Visit on the Web- www.q1cmg.com