Facing COVID With Creativity,  Connections, and Resilience

​After a devastating storm, the signs of life—children going to school, lights coming on after days of power outages, neighbors talking and laughing—are powerful reminders of people’s resilience and the importance of their connections to each other. Even though the pandemic isn’t completely over, it has led to some changes, innovations, and inspiring stories that should be embraced and remembered moving forward.

One impact of COVID-19 has been a bit of a double-edged sword. The pandemic has shown a spotlight on nursing homes and other long term care facilities. While this has brought some negative and often unfair media coverage, it also presents opportunities.

As James Wright, MD, CMD, a multifacility medical director in Virginia, says, “For a brief period of time, the public was more interested than ever in what goes on in nursing homes, especially with staffing. If we take this interest and harness it into legislative and regulatory changes, we can translate this into better funding and staffing.”

Read more at https://bit.ly/3IUH1RY

Keep Safety and Compliance in Mind When Decorating for the Holiday

Celebrating the holidays in a healthcare organization can be an uplifting experience for both residents and staff. However, decorating can oftentimes lead to some unintended consequences. Here are some quick tips to help ensure your organization maintains a safe environment that is compliant with the Life Safety Code® this holiday season:
  • ​Combustible decorations are only permitted if they are flame retardant or when they are in limited quantities such that the hazard of fire development and spread is not present.  For example, a handful of holiday cards attached to a door can be considered a limited quantity. A door completely covered with holiday cards could be considered excessive. Section 19.7.5.6 of the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code® outlines the combustible decorations requirements in detail.
  • ​Live Christmas trees are not permitted. Living trees in a balled condition with their roots protected in soil shall be permitted if they are maintained in a fresh condition and not allowed to become dry.
  • Artificial Christmas trees are only permitted if they are labeled or identified as “flame retardant” or “flame resistive”. There are products that can be applied to artificial trees to meet this requirement.
  • Use only UL listed holiday lights and wiring.
  • Do not visually block egress, exit signage or any fire safety equipment with decorations. This includes fire alarm pull stations, visual fire alarm notification devices and fire extinguishers.
  • Do not hang decorations from sprinkler heads.
  • Do not use flame producing decorations including candles.
  • Do not use extension cords to power decorations.
Finally, monitor decorations that are brought into the facility by residents, families and friends. Ensure anything electric is UL listed, is not heat producing and does not involve candles/flames. Otherwise, enjoy the decorations and the resulting holiday spirit!
Questions? Please contact lifesafety@ahca.org.

Booster Shots for Residents and Staff.

Making sure our residents and staff receive the booster dose against COVID-19 remains the best way to combat the continued spread of the Delta variant and protect one against the eventual spread of the Omicron variant. Each week, more scientific evidence becomes available showing vaccinated people experience waning immunity and we are see increasing breakthrough cases among our residents who have not received the booster. The vaccines and booster are shown to be safe and highly effective, as they dramatically decrease the risk of developing serious illness, hospitalization or death should you have a breakthrough case. ​​
Also, as reminder CMS QSO memo 21-19-NH requires that “all residents and staff be offered each resident and staff member is offered the COVID-19 vaccine unless the immunization is medically contraindicated or the resident or staff member has already been immunized” and before the end of the year will publicly post the rate of booster shots administered in each skilled nursing facility.
Resources to help with resident and staff boosters are available at AHCA/NCAL’s https://getvaccinated.us/

2021 World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day

World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day is to be celebrated on Thursday, November 18, 2021

The objective of World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day is to increase awareness about pressure injury prevention and to educate the public on this topic. NPIAP has developed an extensive media materials package, appropriate for all healthcare settings and organizations, which are available via the link below.

https://npiap.com/page/2021WWPIPD

AHCA/NCAL’s Sale on Gero Nurse Prep Ends November 15

Save $200 off the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course through November 15 with promo code INSPIRE21 (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 in last cycle)
  • 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 over the previous six years
  • Significantly lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics over the previous five years
  • ​Significantly higher average SNF Value Based Purchasing scores (44.17 versus 34.42 for the nation).
Gero Nurse Prep also makes a big difference even for those RNs who are not interested in pursuing ANCC Board certification. Nurses who complete Gero Nurse Prep show an average 24 percent increase between their pre- and post-course test scores. Quite simply, Gero Nurse Prep delivers smarter RNs who are better prepared to deliver quality geriatric nursing care in skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Both two-year RNs and BSNs can take the Gero Nurse Prep course and sit for the ANCC exam.
RNs have one year to complete Gero Nurse Prep and earn 30 quality nursing contact hours – enough to meet the criteria for taking the ANCC certification exam. Gero Nurse Prep grads who choose to sit for the ANCC gerontological nursing certification exam ($395 separate fee paid to ANCC) have a pass rate of 95% on their first try. RNs who pass the ANCC exam can then use the GERO-BC™ credential after their RN credential.
Watch this video or visit the website at geronurseprep.com to learn more about this online program designed to help RNs increase their geriatric nursing skills and to pass the ANCC exam. Don’t forget to use the INSPIRE21 promo code when you register by November 15 to save $200 off the regular $790 Gero Nurse Prep registration fee.

Time for a Staff Empowerment Check

The pandemic hit staff hard. Personal protective equipment scarcity, staff shortages, required COVID-19 testing, working overtime, vaccine mandates—and the list goes on. Simply put, many staff feel disempowered. This feeling, if not addressed, can lead to further turnover.​

Staff empowerment, on the other hand, allows staff to make independent decisions and act on them. Empowered staff are valued and listened to. They stay with their current employers and encourage others to join the team. They have greater job satisfaction. They are happy and want to come to work.

Read more at https://www.providermagazine.com/Monthly-Issue/2021/November/Pages/Time-for-a-Staff-Empowerment-Check.aspx

Save $200 off the Gero Nurse Prep course!

Save $200 off the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course through November 15 with promo code ​INSPIRE21 (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 in last cycle)
  • 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 over the previous six years
  • Significantly lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics over the previous five years
  • Significantly higher average SNF Value Based Purchasing scores (44.17 versus 34.42 for the nation).
Gero Nurse Prep also makes a big difference even for those RNs who are not interested in pursuing ANCC Board certification. Nurses who complete Gero Nurse Prep show an average 24 percent increase between their pre- and post-course test scores. Quite simply, Gero Nurse Prep delivers smarter RNs who are better prepared to deliver quality geriatric nursing care in skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Both two-year RNs and BSNs can take the Gero Nurse Prep course and sit for the ANCC exam.
RNs have one year to complete Gero Nurse Prep and earn 30 quality nursing contact hours – enough to meet the criteria for taking the ANCC certification exam. Gero Nurse Prep grads who choose to sit for the ANCC gerontological nursing certification exam ($395 separate fee paid to ANCC) have a pass rate of 95% on their first try. RNs who pass the ANCC exam can then use the GERO-BC™ credential after their RN credential.
Watch this video or visit the website at geronurseprep.com to learn more about this online program designed to help RNs increase their geriatric nursing skills and to pass the ANCC exam. Don’t forget to use the INSPIRE21 promo code when you register by November 15 to save $200 off the regular $790 Gero Nurse Prep registration fee.

Creating Seamless Transitions in Challenging Tımes

“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

Gerontological Nurse Training Increases Quality Outcomes!

And Key Performance Measures Prove It!

AHCA/NCAL research shows SNFs with ANCC Board Certified RNs have:
* Higher Average SNF VBP Scores
* Fewer Rehospitalizations
* Fewer Survey Deficiencies
* Lower Off-label Use of Antipsychotics
* Higher CMS 5-Star Ratings

Save $200 through November 15, 2021 with promo code “INSPIRE21”

Find out more at https://www.geronurseprep.com/