Infection prevention in skilled nursing facilities is essential for the safety of residents, staff, and visitors to minimize the communal spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). These facilities are home to some of our most vulnerable populations, including older adults and individuals with typically at least one chronic medical condition.
The safety of a health care facility is completely dependent upon the competency of its staff.
This may seem like an obvious observation, but this is a challenge health care organizations face every day. They must provide life-saving care to their patients while also simultaneously advocating for their employees’ competence and well-being. If one of these areas slips, the other one suffers. And when the lives of patients are in your hands, your facility cannot afford not to prioritize competency-based staffing.
Find the complete article at https://www.providermagazine.com/Articles/Pages/The-Quality-of-Your-Care-Is-Connected-to-the-Competency-of-Your-Staff.aspx
Implementing a Tech-Plus-Touch Approach
In building a prevention-focused mindset surrounding falls amongst elderly residents, long term care and assisted living communities can benefit from establishing a tech-plus-touch approach. This type of approach leverages technology and digital means to nurture genuine human connections. Tech-plus-touch can radically improve the mobility and health status of seniors while increasing their emotional well-being and confidence. This, along with the ability to monitor functional mobility in real-time and identify changes early can greatly decrease the risk of falling and the number of adverse events.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago found that the reporting of wounds, especially pressure wounds, by long term care facilities is significantly underreported. Although the Centers for Disease Control states that approximately 11 percent of residents have pressure wounds, the Chicago study estimates that that number could be quite a bit higher.
Read the entire article at https://www.providermagazine.com/Articles/Pages/Creating-a-Wound-Care-Culture.aspx
Data shows that fall risk peaks between 6-9 pm and again from 3-6 am, when senior care staffing is reduced. What’s more, 50 percent of residents who fall overnight will have another overnight fall. These statistics become even more critical as they are applied to those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia—as the sun goes down, these residents are at even greater risk for falls as they experience sundowning, increased restlessness, anxiety, and disorientation—all of which can become more intense as the diseases progress.
Transitioning patients between settings has always been a bit of a roller coaster: improving, then facing challenges, then put on the back burner. The COVID pandemic brought the issue front and center, and many hope this is the start of a smooth ride. The need for clear, real-time communication between settings became a priority, and many organizations developed new systems and processes. However, while we’ve made strides, there are still gaps that need to be filled and opportunities for improvement.
Reducing the number of falls in long term care facilities is a goal for everyone. Current strategies to reduce falls typically include complex, multicomponent interventions requiring significant resources, staff time, and resident education. To be sure, these measures help mitigate the risk and reduce the number of falls at nursing homes and senior care facilities; but there is one novel approach that has been theorized over the last decade that has been recently validated through research and come to light.
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.
The full Nursing Home Quality Improvement report is available HERE.
“The best transition of care is when there is no transition at all.” James Lett, MD, coined this maxim many years ago, and it’s still the mantra of post-acute and long term care providers.
“Of course, sometimes transitions are necessary, so we need to focus on doing this as seamlessly as possible,” says Rajeev Kumar, MD, CMD, FACP, chief medical officer of Symbria in Warrenville, Ill. “Even though we are well into the third decade of meaningful EHR [electronic health record] use, we still have discordant records, and what happens in the hospital doesn’t always filter back to the nursing home, and vice versa.”
Read more at https://bit.ly/3pi1sRG
Long COVID—symptoms that drag on long after someone gets ill with the coronavirus—has many in long term and post-acute care experiencing déjà vu. Diagnostic challenges, questions about treatments, and a limited body of research—these are the same issues they faced at the start of the pandemic over a year ago.
However, while there are still questions, providers have learned much from the pandemic that will help centers navigate the challenges of long COVID and implement and sustain standards, processes, protocols, and interventions that maximize outcomes and quality of life for residents with this condition.
Read more by going to https://bit.ly/3lRAwoq