Gero Nurse Prep is On Sale and Delivers the Knowledge That Can Improve Outcomes!

Save $200 off the AHCA/NCAL’s Gero Nurse Prep course through May 31, 2022, with promo code QUALITYRN22 (all caps). Specifically designed for registered nurses working in long term care, this curriculum provides comprehensive online training that leads to board certification in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for RNs.

Research released by AHCA/NCAL in 2019 found compelling reasons to consider the Gero Nurse Prep course and ANCC Board certification for RNs. Nursing facilities with at least one ANCC Board certified RN experienced:

  • Two fewer deficiencies on average (5.71 citations versus the 7.55 national average)
  • Fewer Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations (1.60 versus the 2.27 national average)
  • More stars — nearly twice as likely to be a CMS 5-Star facility (50% versus the 28% national average)
  • Significantly lower re-hospitalization rates
  • Significantly lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics
  • Significantly higher average SNF Value Based Purchasing scores (44.17 versus 34.42 for the nation).

National Nurses Month Continues

The American Nurses Association selected the evergreen theme, Nurses Make a Difference to honor the varying roles of nurses and their positive impact on our lives. As part of the celebration, they’ve divided the month into four weekly focus areas — Self-Care, Recognition, Professional Development, and Community Engagement, and provided resources for each week.

Find out more at https://nursesmonth.org/about-nurses-month/

Hot and Relevant Topics Covered at 2022 Quality Summit

​Programming for the 2022 AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit is designed for quality practitioners at all levels. From sessions showcasing innovative practices of providers across the country and peer-to-peer idea exchanges, to new solutions from sponsor partners and dynamic keynote speakers, you will leave with fresh ideas that you can implement as soon as you return to your centers and communities. Attendees can earn up to 11 CEs.

The deadline to register is May 5, so don’t delay! 

CMS Releases Revised Guidance on Vaccine Mandate IFR

CMS has released revised interpretive guidance for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate interim final rule (IFR). Three memoranda have been updated, including QSO-22-07-ALL-Revised, QSO-22-09-ALL-Revised, and QSO-22-11-ALL-Revised.
The revisions were made to clarify the expectations for assessing compliance with the requirement to ensure all staff are vaccinated. AHCA/NCAL has highlighted key revisions below, but providers are encouraged to review the Long-Term Care and Skilled Nursing Facility Attachment A-Revised, as well as the applicable memo listed above, for detailed changes.

CDC Releases Nursing Home Communication Toolkit

The CDC recently released a Nursing Home Communication toolkit to help nursing home health care professionals better communicate with residents and families on antibiotic treatment expectations. Pressure from family members to prescribe antibiotics to nursing home residents when they may not be needed has been identified as an opportunity for providers to engage in discussion around appropriate antibiotic use.

The toolkit reviews a four-part communication strategy which has been effective in improving antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings. Two nursing home-specific scenarios applying these principles are also provided.

AHCA/NCAL Highlights Nursing Home Quality Improvements Over The Past Decade

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released a new report today highlighting data that shows the quality of care in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) has been on an upward trend in the 10 years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information collected by the federal government proves that industry-wide efforts to raise the standard of care have benefited long term care residents across the country.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Nursing homes welcomed approximately 3.5 million admissions from hospitals each year for the past decade, and nearly two-thirds of those patients were able to return home after receiving rehabilitation therapy from SNFs.
  • Since 2011, 8.7 percent fewer residents were sent to the hospital during their nursing home stays.
  • On average, nurses were putting in an additional 198 total hours of care per nursing home each quarter.

One out of three nursing homes received four or five stars from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for staffing.

Fewer than one in seven nursing home residents are receiving antipsychotic medication – a 40 percent decline since 2011.

Nursing homes improved on 19 out of the 22 quality outcomes measured by CMS.

Read more at https://www.providermagazine.com/Breaking-News/Pages/AHCA-NCAL-Highlights-Nursing-Home-Quality-Improvements.aspx

The full Nursing Home Quality Improvement report is available HERE.

OSHA Announces COVID-19 Focused Inspection Initiative in Health Care

The Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) announced a time-limited enforcement effort for focused inspections in hospitals, nursing facilities, and assisted living communities treating COVID-19 patients. The intent of this initiative is to magnify OSHA’s presence in health care facilities over a three-month period (March 9- June 9, 2022) to encourage employers in these industry sectors to take the necessary steps to protect their workers against the hazards of COVID-19.

Inspections will be limited to organizations with prior COVID-19-related citations or complaints. Inspections will focus on correction of prior citations and compliance with existing OSHA standards. More detailed information can be found on the OSHA website. ​​​

Vaccination Tracking and Reporting Tools for Nursing Homes

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) wants to make it easy for nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities to track and report COVID-19 vaccination information. You can find free, one-page forms to record vaccinations and boosters for nursing home residents and staff along with a vaccination tracking tool and a user-guide with step-by-step instructions for using the tracking tool. Facilities reporting data to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) can use a pre-programmed Excel workbook. Detailed instructions explain how to enter the data electronically or as a paper tool at the time of injection. Use these tools to update your electronic medical records, respond to potential vaccine data requests from local health departments or other regulatory agencies, and plan based on the vaccination administration status and rates of both residents and staff. These tools are part of AHRQ’s ever-growing Nursing Home COVID-19 Resource Collection.

National Skilled Nursing Care Week – May 8-14

​​​​​​​​​​​​As human beings we have a natural yearning to connect. Studies have linked people with strong social relationships to many aspects of positive health outcomes, especially among older adults.
Skilled nursing care centers and their staff provide a​ steadfast commitment to providing high-level of care for their residents. This has never been more evident than the last two years during the pandemic. In addition to protecting and caring for their residents around the clock during a time of limited visitation and social distancing, staff stepped in and served ​as family members and friends to ensure that residents had the essential social connections they needed.
The 2022 theme for NSNCW, held, May 8-14, will celebrate the essential role that skilled nursing care centers and staff play in Creating and Nurturing Connections for their residents.
Find a planning guide, promotional toolkit and more at https://www.ahcancal.org/Education-Events/Pages/NSNCW.aspx

Nursing Ranked as the Most Trusted Profession for 20th Year in a Row!

2021 was a year for nurses and while there are many things that could be said about that, we’re just going to bring some good news out of it:

For an impressive 20-year running, nursing was rated as the most trusted profession once again in 2021, according to a Gallup poll. To be perfectly frank, 2021 saw some marked changes in how some professions are perceived in trustworthiness—military officers, for example, fell by a full 10 points from 2017 and even grade-school teachers dropped to almost all-time lows.

It appears that American people are more cautious about who they are handing out their trustworthy badges to, so that makes the fact that nursing nabbed the #1 spot yet again—for the 20th year in a row!—all the more impressive.

Read more at https://nurse.org/articles/nursing-ranked-most-honest-profession/