Negativity is one of the most common, and deeply ingrained, obstacles to a healthy work environment.
Would you be surprised to learn that a conflict exists within the Trump administration? I didn't think so.
When it comes to rehabilitation and skilled nursing care, the majority of seniors and their families are looking for an effective and comprehensive process which will get them back home with a decreased chance of re-admission to the hospital.
With Medicare essentially stamping "declined" on more and more attempts to discharge post-acute patients to inpatient rehab facility care, skilled nursing facilities have become the preferred setting.
While hospitalizations and aggressive disease treatment are common in serious illness, hospice and palliative care specialists support patients through the entire trajectory of disease to include educating and empowering patients about the benefits and burdens of various interventions.
Music therapy is in the news a lot lately, and there's a reason for that: it works.
My phone rang and the voice said, "We are activating our incident command center." I asked, "Is this a drill?" The voice in a solid tone replied, "This is not a drill."
Regulatory and accrediting agencies such as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission expect healthcare organizations to monitor the activities of their external contractors to ensure the quality of care, treatment and services they provide.
Packing for New Jersey to help Bernie (my father-in-law, whom I was honored to call "Dad") navigate his transition from hospitalization to SNF, something told me to pack a suit.
Ensuring the provision of quality post-acute care in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities requires the need to direct and perform an increasingly complex array of medication management regimes and clinical functions.
When residents take initiative to create programs that flow from their passions, the result is greater engagement.
Your post-acute/long-term care organization should be well on its way to developing its Facility Assessment, Emergency Preparedness Plan and written QAPI plan for compliance by November 2017. The best way to address these three new RoPs/CoPs is by transitioning your healthcare organization into one focused on service delivery.
I've had the pleasure and honor of participating in advocacy in a variety ways in the last 10 years .
Nursing is a demanding occupation - a career as a nursing professional is often associated with long hours and high stress. Especially in long-term care facilities, where patients receive both physical and cognitive assistance around the clock, the emotionally taxing atmosphere can increase the likelihood of low employee morale.
What would our leadership look like if we thought that tomorrow would not come? If we ask ourselves that question, we immediately will reason there is a tomorrow. That is our challenge: We always give ourselves time. Time, in this case, is not our friend.
My most recent trip to Washington, D.C., was wrapping up like most others. I was heading to Reagan Airport by way of Uber, but what happened next was not typical — and drove me to write this piece.
Effective leaders leave powerful clues.
LTC health professionals know all too well that musculoskeletal pain is a common patient complaint.
I can still remember it clearly when the phone rang and a serious voice on the other end of the line told me what happened. My loved one fell and, luckily, didn't break any bones.
Careers in the healthcare field span such a wide variety of applications - with some passionately drawn to provide care for vulnerable patients like children or the elderly, while others are attracted to fast-paced, hospital settings.
Please, someone tell me why we are still challenged with identifying and treating pain in the elderly, particularly those with dementia.
Hospitals and health systems are increasingly shifting their focus to managing an episode of care.
The public dialogue surrounding repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has made little mention of the nuts and bolts of the legislation that would be lost when it is gone.
While watching my son's lacrosse game this weekend, I realized those of us practicing in long term care could learn from the offensive team member positioned behind the goal—the X-attackman.
It's good to have a "big dog" recognize that the long-term and post-acute care sectors should be given more help with information technology and exchange.
There are two dates fast approaching that will have a major impact on long-term care operations and revenue.
The adage "you are never too young to teach and never too old to learn" took a new meaning at the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) Biennial conference held in New Orleans..
Not long ago, my mother broke her hip and spent time in the hospital. Upon discharge, the social worker gave us a list of post-acute care facilities.
How do we shape a new reality for long term care? With the aging sector in general under attack and ageism on the rise in today's society we have a larger obligation than ever to reach for something more. Transformation in its literal definition means to go beyond. The question then becomes how do we go beyond what we see?
One of the fallacies that we suffer under as therapists in SNFs is the mythology of the "Plateau."
I was amazed how I lost 10 pounds while being in the hospital. I made a joke with a friend of mine who is a dietician about the "hospital diet." She became very serious and stated, "You know we do more harm than good to our patients by the lack of attention to malnourishment." In looking to the research, she is correct.
As an owner-operator, you likely are on information overload when it comes to electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Therapy utilization will be as scrutinized as much as it ever has been, even though the "improvement standard" has once again been deemed deceased.
As 2017 continues, and the dynamics change, it's critical that lenders, owners and operators be patient and take a holistic view of the market — particularly the demographics and particulars of their sub-markets.
Most people would acknowledge the President of the United States as the most powerful person in the world. If those same people were asked to identify who is currently the most powerful person in the healthcare industry, most outside the healthcare industry would not have a ready answer.
I've had the privilege to speak with two different medical entities today and wanted to share the experience with my readers and colleagues.
Our loss trending experience has shown us that the same issues that result in F-tags during a survey can also result in a patient event or claim.
We've all heard the old adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And while Franklin's famous words were written nearly 285 years ago, they still resonate today, particularly with regards to implementing a safe resident handling program.
Even since I joined the Society as Executive Director four years ago, I have seen the Society and the setting change a great deal.
As awareness of mindfulness and stress management self-care techniques grows, adults are rediscovering the simple pleasures of engaging in coloring to relax, while also improving their brain function.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative has handed skilled nursing facility professionals an opportunity to play a greater role in post-discharge care coordination.
One question that has come up repeatedly over the years when I have been working with leaders that are new to the idea of culture change is, "Where do I start?"
SNF administrators must ask themselves, "Did we provide the kind of care the resident really needed to maximize her 'whole emotional and mental well-being?'"
Long-term care was never planned. It was never even consistently defined. A generally useful definition is that it is a set of services to assist persons who have lost, or never acquired, basic capabilities for self-care and management.
Yes, this was my first time. I was nervous and did not know what to expect. Let me start with a confession: Five years ago, I didn't even know what HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) was.
A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Georgia makes clear that a plaintiff who brings a wrongful death claim against a decedent's nursing home is bound by the arbitration agreement entered into by the decedent and/or her power of attorney.
CMS' views about the unfamiliarity of existing and proposed requirements by hard working professionals and family caregivers, and the fact that they are troubled by it, is a point well taken
The Government Accountability Office has released its 2017 "High Risk List," which identifies federal agencies and programs vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.
It's possible to create your work dream team instead of settling for a drama team. Here are four quick mindsets you can incorporate today to get the drama out of your team and help them take a new level of ownership.
It was an eventful year in 2016, especially for the seniors housing and care sector. Aging baby boomers, diminished finances and divestiture of skilled nursing facilities were topics on the mind on many providers in the past 12 months.
I left long-term care in 2016. One day, I sat across a long conference room table and was awestruck by the decimation I observed before me.
As a nursing leader, I rarely gave credence to branding and the value of a name, until I was sitting in a local coffee shop. I was interviewing for a new position at a nearby hospital in town when I observed an interesting group wearing branded clothing. Person after person saw the brand and came over to the group to mention how much their hospital meant to them.
The staff at Shuksan provided opportunities for Arlene to feel in control, in a situation where self-reliance lacked.
When an injured employee is out of work, there is a potential that the injury will impact an organization's productivity, efficiency and overtime costs.
Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, the most common cause of death was infection. There was no good treatment for pneumonia, complications of urine or ear infections were common, and many people died of simple wounds.
Jerry Seinfeld's successful nine-season comedy sitcom was a "show about nothing," yet it won more than 40 international awards. Although this blog might not receive such international acclaim, it reminds me of "Seinfeld" because, well ...
Swallowing difficulties can create havoc for long-term care residents, and their direct caregivers. Luckily, there is a relatively new focus for saving residents and staff from a lot of frustration, and potentially dangerous circumstances: tongue exercises.
Providers that were hoping to see adjustments to value-based purchasing programs based on the social risk factors of the patients they serve may likely have to wait until larger revisions to healthcare reform are settled.
I was recently asked to evaluate a skilled nursing resident who, in his short time at the facility, was presenting a confusing picture to staff.
When we communicate that we are having staffing issues, whether or not that communication is correct, we are telling the residents and their families that we can't do our jobs.
As we face payment reform, delivery reform, the aging of America, the strength and challenge of an increasingly age and ethnically diverse workforce and the consumer demands of aging boomers, now more than ever before is the time to build championship teams.
The single most cited F-tag in a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services survey is F-323 in regards to resident safety and supervision.
The celebration of Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and connection. It also is statistically one of the highest dates for engagements to happen. When you translate that to the world of healthcare, how then do you engage the hearts of those you lead on a daily basis when our traditions seem to be a once-a-year event?
Document, document, document! Those words echo through the halls in a myriad of places − from the firing of an employee for cause, to substantiating or absolving an accusation of abuse or wrongful act.
At Abe's Garden, we know the alarming statistics about Alzheimer's and dementia. However, the focus of all who work and volunteer here are the unique adults we care for every day.
Wednesday is "gratitude journaling" day at Shuksan and for the next 30 minutes these residents will reflect upon their day and the past week, thinking back on whether there was anything that made them feel grateful. Anything at all.
In the final days of the Obama administration, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services provided a parting gift to the PACE community by issuing a Request for Information seeking stakeholder input on the design and implementation of a broad range of PACE pilots.
Healthcare companies, particularly post-acute care providers, may feel the pain more than others, and they - along with their investors - should prepare sooner rather than later.
The philosophy we've followed at Presbyterian Village at Hollidaysburg in order to achieve our Five-Star rating has always been to constantly evolve and strive for innovative and creative ways to provide the best care possible.
When it comes to contemplating joining caregiving networks, maybe you have more in common with the hospital than you think. Poor-performing hospitals tend to coexist in the same market as poor-performing skilled nursing facilities. Surprised?
For people with complex health and social needs, getting better isn't simply finding and receiving the best care they can access at their local hospital.
As caretakers of elderly people we focus on their health, comfort and emotions. We monitor their eating, bathroom routines, and even their socialization.
Researchers, doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers have already gone a long way in preventing catheter related bloodstream infections.
Long-term care facilities traditionally take steps to ensure that residents have a financial and a healthcare power of attorney in place upon admittance. But what happens when an agent named under a POA fails to make payments for the resident's stay at the facility?
Good news: More skilled nursing facility staff are getting their annual influenza vaccine than ever before. Last season, nearly 70% were vaccinated, up from 64% a year earlier. Bad news: SNF staff still have the lowest influenza vaccination coverage rates of healthcare professionals by work location.
"Bonnie" was admitted to the skilled nursing facility following surgery for a right hip fracture. Prior to her fall, she said she was living by herself, fully independent. Although she claimed she wanted to return to her apartment following rehabilitation, she was slow to make gains in her therapy, often complaining of great pain and isolating herself in bed.
We're wrapping up a time of year when many of us are heartened by seeing family and friends for the holidays. But what if residents don't have anyone?
I've heard a lot of talk lately about suing nursing homes - not only from family members distraught over an elderly loved one's injury or death in an SNF, but also from the growing chorus of lawyers trolling the local airwaves for potential plaintiffs.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have made information technology and staff competency a priority for the past five years.
Millennials were raised to be confident individuals. This confidence can be off-putting to their more seasoned coworkers.
The long-awaited QAPI regulations are finally in effect. Facilities now have until November 28, 2017 to create their QAPI plan and present it to state surveyors.
Most of our patients over 80 have vestibular deficits, and that's why they fall.
As a professional caregiver, you see, hear and experience the story of the lives before you, and not just the shell of an aging body. Your actions do not make the evening news, but they should.
Driving my Grandma to one of her favorite restaurants to celebrate a significant birthday (she prefers that I don't specify which) offered me an important lesson in communication.
Patients in post-acute settings are among the most medically fragile, with multiple co-morbidities that often require intensive care
Shifting the focus from the volume of services provided to the patient outcomes achieved is remarkably beneficial to both parties.
The post-acute area is viewed by most as the leading opportunity to find cost savings and efficiencies.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a brief to the federal D.C. District Court related to the American Hospital Association's case against the agency over the backlog of Medicare appeals.
Nursing home operators call it low occupancy. Medicare insiders call it a declining census. Economists call it excess capacity.
Even though I'd worked as an activities director and administrator in long-term care, placing my mother in assisted living and then in memory care was initially a wrenching and emotional experience.
Everyone is aware that the healthcare system for reimbursement is changing rapidly and reimbursement will now be the driver of how we get our business instead of the reward for filling the bed.
These are uncertain times. But workplaces are often uncertain places because of rapid changes in market, ownership, business plan, technology.
How does the performance of your referral sources impact your outcomes? Turns out ... a lot. If you want to gain a better understanding of a hospital's performance, The Leapfrog Group is a resource to consider checking out.
When a resident leaves a skilled nursing facility after a successful rehabilitation, it's a clear signal to the community the facility is doing its job.
Ever since the ACA became law in March 2010, HHS has set a breakneck pace for transforming traditional Medicare fee-for-service payments into a value-based system; with Obama's HHS Secretary projecting that nearly every fee-for-service payment the agency makes in 2018 would be tied, in some way, to value.
The use of contract agency staff to fill nurse aide and licensed nurse vacancies is escalating. This increase is seen across many states, not to mention across the nation as a whole. Yes, we have a well-documented nursing shortage. Who, if anyone, is concerned? Let's all take a number and get in line!
Currently, we should understand Medicare Part B through the lens of Section 202 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
January 1 will put new evaluation codes for physical and occupational therapy into effect and we all better be paying close attention.
It has long been speculated that a patient's (or their family's) disappointment with the care they receive in the healthcare system is a key driver for complaints and sometimes even litigation.
"Information is King" when an unexpected emergency or natural disaster strikes. Not just for those tasked with responding to and managing the crisis but for everyone impacted.