Training Home Care Workers Reduces Emergency Room Service Utilization


Susan A. Chapman, Melinda T. Neri, and Robert J Newcomer

March 1, 2024

Newly published research by Susan A. Chapman and colleagues explored whether enhanced care training provided to trained home care workers would result in better client health outcomes. The researchers studied home-based personal care services provided through California’s IHSS program to compare IHSS consumers whose home care workers completed 16 weeks of in-person home care worker training with IHSS consumers whose IHSS workers had not received this training. The training effect was evaluated over three years comparing emergency room (ER) use and inpatient (IP) hospital stays: 12 months prior to IHSS worker training, 12 months after training, and 13 to 24 months after training.

The evidence suggests that training targeted to home care workers could help reduce the ER and IP hospital use by consumers. Whether this effect occurs because of better communication with the health care team over time, increased skills and knowledge of workers, or a combination of these factors needs further exploration. Further research is also needed on what training curricula are most effective in reducing unneeded utilization of services