Best Practices

New law eliminates fines for nursing homes that fix problems

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) this week enacted a law that eliminates fines against nursing homes that identify and correct health and safety issues on their own accord. The law sets out new rules and guidelines for a "quality assurance assessment" program.

New report details devastating toll of chronic conditions on economy, healthcare system

The U.S. spent $1.7 trillion treating patients with chronic conditions in 2007—the equivalent of 34 million annual salaries of $50,000, according to the second annual Almanac of Chronic Disease, which was released Thursday.

WHO issues guidelines on hand hygiene for healthcare workers

The World Health Organization has released a new report, "Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care," which target administrators, public health officials and healthcare workers.

First reports of swine flu at nursing homes surface, professionals council issues guidelines

A council of long-term care professionals has issued guidelines for dealing with suspected or actual outbreaks of H1N1, or swine flu. The recommendations came out late last week, just hours before the first suspected cases of the flu at nursing facilities began to surface.

Regulators say nursing home quality processes improved with corporate integrity agreements

Regulators say nursing home quality processes improved with corporate integrity agreements

Nursing home companies forced to begin corporate integrity agreements were all found to improve the way they pursued quality of care, according to government investigators. They looked at 15 corporations' efforts from 2000 to 2005 and found that each had created or upgraded written policies and structures, and had monitoring tools in place.

Seniors urged to overcome health worries to improve mobility

Cautioning elderly people from attempting to do too much physically is actually counterproductive, researchers suggest. They say that many seniors who worry about their health or possible negative outcomes from exercising instead choose to remain inactive, therefore causing greater potential harm later in life.

Ask the treatment expert: recognizing stage II and III pressure ulcers

Ask the treatment expert: recognizing stage II and III pressure ulcers

By

Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC President, Wound Care Education Institute

Interdisciplinary care cuts death rates for chronically ill seniors, helps diabetics most

A pro-active, multifaceted approach to senior care can significantly reduce both hospitalization and death rates among seniors with multiple chronic conditions, according to a new report. People with diabetes might have the most to gain.

Nursing home sexuality shouldn't be taboo, researchers say

Aging experts at Kansas State University have been researching ways to make nursing home staff more comfortable with their residents' sexuality.

Evidence-based research delivers new staff retention tools to nursing homes

Evidence-based research delivers new staff retention tools to nursing homes

Long-term care providers, who frequently suffer employee turnover rates near 100% annually, have three new resources designed to reduce workforce turnover. The new tools, which were announced Monday by the Better Jobs Better Care Coalition, also can help providers find new employees and create a better work environment for the staff they already have, researchers said.

Quadrupled flu shot serves seniors better, researchers say

Giving seniors four times the usual dose of flu vaccine could give them twice as much protection from the bug, say researchers in a report released Sunday. Recent research has debated the effects of standard flu doses administered to the elderly.

Nursing home quality coalition heading into overtime

The Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes campaign-a nationwide, voluntary quality improvement initiative-celebrated its second birthday this week.

New infection control guidelines released; MRSA, c. Diff and urinary tract infections figure prominently

New infection control guidelines released; MRSA, c. Diff and urinary tract infections figure prominently

Many of the nation's most prominent infection-control groups on Wednesday released a new set of "consensus" guidelines to help curb the spread of six potentially fatal facility-acquired infections.

Another hospital bed entrapment concern: 'power down' versus 'gravity down'

Another hospital bed entrapment concern: 'power down' versus 'gravity down'

There is more to bed-entrapment dangers than just side-rail risks. In a follow-up to his popular column on side-rail concerns, academic researcher William A. Hyman warns providers about the potential hazards of head- and foot-board entrapment.

Regulators go overtime fielding comments and questions on nursing home star-rating system

Regulators go overtime fielding comments and questions on nursing home star-rating system

While the focus of regulators' "Open Door Forum" conference call Tuesday might have first appeared to be about getting ready for the December rollout of a new nursing home ranking system, officials quickly made it clear much more was at stake.

SEIU disputes "independence" of ManorCare quality committee

The Service Employees International Union has called into question the independence of HCR ManorCare's recently formed panel of quality advisers.

Care not same as caring

Care not same as caring

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When "Dianne Butler's" mother was rushed to the emergency room with signs of a heart attack, the ER nurses quickly cut away her snug, pullover silk shift. Hurrying to do CPR and start IVs, that dress was the last thing they were worried about...

Ask the nursing expert

Ask the nursing expert

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Any suggestions as to how to follow up in an efficient manner after I delegate duties?

Nurses, staff should receive MRSA screenings, researchers say

Leaders of healthcare facilities should seriously consider having staff members screened for MRSA, the drug-resistant infection that can wreak havoc on senior populations, Swiss and South African researchers say.

GAO calls for steps to prevent hospital-acquired infections

The Government Accountability Office has offered recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the organization of hospital-acquired infection information.

Ask the care expert

Ask the care expert

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My administrator and board want my nursing staff to look at the number of nursing hours per resident and cut those hours. Is there any place where I could find out the average number of nurse hours per resident day in certified nursing facilities, and how many facilities are in each state?

Ask the nursing expert

Ask the nursing expert

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I have been a director of nursing for a long time now and am feeling exhausted. What can I do to re-energize?

Information technology only works if staff is adequately trained

Information technology only works if staff is adequately trained

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Developing a technologically savvy workforce is the secret to a facility's success when it comes to upgrading systems

No time like the present to grab mouse by the horns

No time like the present to grab mouse by the horns

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It's April. Do you know where your year has gone? That's not entirely a rhetorical question because even if your fiscal year isn't nearing an end, you could have reason to be feeling a squeeze.

Nursing home physical restraint use drops 40%

Nursing home physical restraint use drops 40%

The use of physical restraints on nursing home residents has fallen 40% in recent years, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

IT'S HERE! McKnight's Online Expo kicks off with sessions on innovation, market trends and Medicare maximization

IT'S HERE! McKnight's Online Expo kicks off with sessions on innovation, market trends and Medicare maximization

Senior care's first online trade show and educational meeting returns this morning, with three diverse sessions. Individuals can still sign up for their cost-free look and listen regarding the nationally respected line-up of presenters and suppliers. Simply go to www.mcknights.com to register for access.

Educated males' longevity gap growing, study finds

Life expectancy is higher for better-educated males, compared with other demographic groups, a new Harvard study reveals. Women fare worse than men and less-educated females actually showed a slight decline in life expectancy at age 25.

Leaders say full e-prescribing could be around the corner

Leaders say full e-prescribing could be around the corner

The full implementation of e-prescribing technology could come within three years, according to one of its foremost proponents. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich declared that possibility last week when he joined and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for the introduction of a bill designed to stimulate the adoption of e-prescribing.

Ready to wear

Ready to wear

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Nursing homes are handling linens better than ever before with increasingly sophisticated equipment and practices.

Ask the nursing expert

Ask the nursing expert

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As a DON, I oversee more than just the nursing department. I am responsible for most areas of the interdisciplinary team. Any ideas on how to manage this team efficiently?

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