Clinicians who provide care to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness routinely adapt their practices to foster better outcomes for these patients. Since standard clinical practice guidelines often fail to take into consideration the special challenges faced by patients without homes, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s HCH Clinicians’ Network has made the adaptation of clinical practice guidelines for patients experiencing homelessness one of its top priorities. The Network has recently published three new documents to adapt and supplement standard guidelines.
Recommendations for End-of-Life Care for People Experiencing Homelessness
In 2017, the HCH Clinicians’ Network convened an advisory committee comprising health and social service providers experienced in end-of-life care for underserved populations to develop recommendations for end-of-life care for people without homes. These recommended practice adaptations (and their appendices) reflect their collective judgment about end-of-life care for this population, with the realistic understanding that limited resource availability in local areas, fragmented health care delivery systems, and lack of follow-up often compromise adherence to optimal clinical practices. These recommendations are intended to contribute to improvements in both quality of care and quality of life for people experiencing homelessness.
Assessment and Treatment of People with Asthma Who Are Experiencing Homelessness
In 2003, the Clinicians’ Network developed special recommendations for the care of people with asthma who are experiencing homelessness. These recommended clinical practice adaptations were reviewed and revised in 2018 to ensure they were consistent with updated (EPR-3, 2007) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma and with best practices in homeless health care. The 2018 edition of Adapting Your Practice: Assessment and Treatment of People with Asthma Who Are Experiencing Homelessness promotes continued improvement in the quality of asthma care provided to adults and children whose lack of financial and social resources complicate the treatment and self-management of their chronic disease.
View the guidelines.
Supplemental Anticipatory Guidance for Children and Adolescents Experiencing Homelessness
A key component of well-child visits, anticipatory guidance—a proactive, age-based education and counseling technique—provides an opportunity for health care professionals, parents, and the child to ask questions and discuss issues of concern. This publication supplements standard anticipatory guidance to account for the unique challenges presented by homelessness that may affect a child’s health and development.
Read the publication.