How to do it…
Start with root cause analysis, says Denise Wassenaar, RN, MS, LNHA, MatrixCare. Remember that antipsychotics are not FDA- approved for behavioral symptoms in dementia.
There are many sound reasons for long-term care providers to refinance, says Chris Taylor, managing director, Real Estate Finance, GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
All of the bells and whistles in the world won't protect your staff and residents unless you spend the proper time and resources beforehand preparing for a new security system. Transitions from old to new systems can be risky. Experts offer advice on how to do it well.
Electronic staff scheduling programs have become so sophisticated, some wonder how anyone performs the task anymore with paper and pencil. When it comes to managing labor — a facility's biggest expense — choosing the best solution is critical
Gloves are close to the cheapest and most effective defense against infections in healthcare settings. But even the best gloves are useless without proper infection control protocols and gloving techniques.
Many facilities and communities may be overlooking an invaluable annex right under their noses — outdoor spaces that can provide a welcome and inviting place for residents to relax, reflect and commune with others. Consider these tips from the experts for furnishing and equipping these areas.
Lighting is an overlooked design element in many long-term care environments. Good quality illumination will make a big difference in your residents' quality of life, and in many ways that you might not at first realize. Experts give their tips here on achieving better lighting.
Dementia care is an ever-changing discipline that requires a long-term commitment to training and staff development. Approached sensibly, a strong program will pay dividends far down the road. Experts give tips here on how to best prepare staff to care for residents with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.
The finest rehab care in the world is only as good as the diligence therapists display before, during and after a resident's stay. And it could make the difference between a successful transition to a lower level of care and a rehospitalization. Experts tell here what works.
Resident security touches the job of every person in a long-term care environment. Facility staff are concerned with security. IT people need systems that integrate well with computers and servers. And nurses rely on systems to keep residents safe and staff productive. Here's how to spread the decision-making.
Sound practices in diabetic wound management go a long way toward controlling and healing existing wounds — and preventing new ones. Although dressings are an important focal point, experts emphasize this field of care involves a lot more. Here's how.
Proper and effective medication management of controlled substances can save your facility thousands of dollars in needless waste and diversion. Most solutions are, figuratively speaking, right under your nose if you know where and how to look. Learn how to protect this valued asset, as well as your staff and residents.
The trust a long-term care organization places in a person to guide and consult on its finances is no less important than the trust the residents have in the operator. A provider must be willing to invest the time to find one who is a good fit, and willing to go the extra mile to help achieve the provider's specific financial goals.
Monitoring in caregiving is getting more "personal" than ever. We live in the age of watchers, pitting privacy issues against vested interests in security. Technological advances have greatly enhanced resident monitoring, but they have also added new challenges. Solutions call for a delicate balance between automation and personal freedom.
Deciding on, preparing for and implementing electronic health records requires a great deal of time, patience and collaboration. But a carefully executed implementation will reap dividends years down the road. Experts offer providers their best personal advice for smooth, effective EHR acquisition, installation and use.
Wound care programs can be the bane of long-term care providers, or they can be a source of clinical pride and marketing material, as well as a strong revenue stream. This"How To" piece offers expert advice on how to save money and maximize efficiency in wound care.
When designers get to work on senior care settings, they must always be concerned about what they put underfoot. Textures, colors, composition, cleanability and many other factors come into play. And yet there is, of course, no single kind of flooring that should exist throughout a facility. Experts advise here on how to decide on appropriate surfaces and locations for them.
Facilities must always provide exceptional care and service - whether they're in frigid Fargo or balmy Miami. They also need to mesh with the surrounding community. While being sensitive to area cultures and climates is important, it should not be at the expense of sensible, functional design, as experts explain.
Continuing education (CE) choices abound, and while time and money usually shape decisions, trying to get the most for both is a wise tactic. Most professionals pursue CE for license renewal and certification, but increasing numbers are doing so for professional growth and career advancement.
Rehabilitation professionals have been presented with significant new challenges since new functional G-code requirements became effective July 1. Those who use them wrong could lose big. Various experts describe here how to best deal with them and win.
Acquiring a software package completes one process for providers, but it also initiates another: A quest to enhance staff knowledge and skills for using the new information technology. In this special "How To" article, experts offer advice on how to best train employees who will be working on new software systems.
Resident safety and security are two of the most pressing topics for administrators and nurses in long-term care settings. In fact, all departments should be included when considering how to build a safety strategy, experts note. Here, they advise on how to coordinate and customize plans for optimal effectiveness.
Given the importance of treating sores and other open areas on the skin, there are countless possible approaches to managing wound care. No small part of the challenge for providers is making sure treatment steps are cost-effective. Experts tell here how providers can make sure they're spending their time and other assets wisely.
The proliferation of managed care is introducing a host of new challenges for long-term care providers. Pressures have never been greater to increase quality and lower costs. Successful strategies entail excellent drug utilization and avoiding undue waste. Experts advise here how to do it best.
FHA-backed mortgages are becoming popular with long-term care facilities as conventional banks are increasingly uncertain about the impact healthcare reform and financing will have on providers' stability. That doesn't mean Federal Housing Administration loans are a slam dunk. Do your homework, watch your bottom line and understand the potential pitfalls, experts advise.
Whether made out of necessity or desire, decisions to upgrade your facility's vehicles can and should be shaped by a variety of factors. While ensuring the safety of your residents always is paramount, there are other practical issues at play, as industry experts point out.
Information technology today has become sophisticated and complex. With many long-term care facilities now facing looming mandates to adopt electronic medical records, security and reliability of hardware is a paramount concern. Careful infrastructure planning and hardware acquisition will help meet these challenges.
Research supported by general industry consensus shows successful wound care management in long-term care cannot be achieved by a singular effort. Building highly effective and functional teams means taking a well-designed, multidisciplinary approach, backed by solid leadership and smooth collaboration. Here's how to do it.
Lenders today may be more open to lending capital than during the months following the nation's 2008 economic collapse, but they're also more scrutinizing. The times may be better than they have in years to finance improvements and additions, but you still have to have your ducks in a row, experts remind.
Beds are literally the biggest, and often most significant, item in a resident room. Consequently, integrating beds into room spaces requires a keen eye toward safety, utility and ambience — all in the context of very limited area.
Gathering and using effective resident and family feedback can go far in improving quality of care and services.
Long-term care provides a myriad of vital care options, but with revenue pressures at an all-time high, few are being looked at with such an intense focus as short-term rehabilitation. However lucrative it might be, providers still need to carefully weigh the challenges that come with such care before offering it to customers.
In the stark daylight of healthcare reform, information technology systems are practically useless if all they do is collect bytes of information. When accompanied by good business relationships, they drive reimbursement. The operative attributes of the best IT systems today are accuracy, ability to integrate, timeliness, compliance, security and flexibility.
Few things are more important to long-term care providers than their residents' safety. There's far more to security than just wandering alarms and locked doors. Today's security systems track everything from "life safety" to health and wellness.
It is one of the most common conditions of the elderly in nursing homes, yet one of the easiest to handle poorly. Incontinence can be a frustrating issue for long-term care providers, costing more than $20 billion annually. Experts caution that managing incontinence is more than the right protective undergarments and topical ointments.
Since 1995, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has used controlled sub-atmospheric pressure to remove fluids and infectious materials from a wound while stimulating the formation of vessels and drawing the wound closed. Yet, like any therapy, it should be used appropriately, with progress documented accurately and thoroughly to maximize reimbursement and minimize liability.
Obtaining capital to keep one's long-term care operation running smoothly and improving is always a challenge. But there are times when an operator should consider going in the other direction — exiting the market. This special article offers expert insight on how to gauge when it's time to sell or consider selling.
Transportation for anyone in a rural or sub-rural setting — especially long-term care providers — can be challenging. More planning and top-notch strategic investments are needed, many observers believe. Industry experts reflect here how to gain efficiencies and obtain suitable vehicles for rural resident transport programs.
Staffing costs dominate budget concerns in many long-term care facilities, yet, ironically, staffing software and management systems do not. The efficiencies gained and the problems averted with appropriate software can mean the difference between success, mediocrity and failure. Experts give their top tips here.
All long-term care nurses and aides need to consider themselves wound care "specialists." It also helps if caregivers can get residents engaged in facets of their own wound care. Experts advise here on some of the best ways to get residents involved effectively.
Lenders are used to dealing with a provider's numbers to determine who gets a loan and who doesn't. But they also want to know there are good people on the provider end, and that includes chief financial officers. Here are some lender tips for how providers can know whether their CFO is a real "keeper."
Done haphazardly, wound care can cost a provider dearly in terms of resident health and liability. From proper initial assessment and ongoing monitoring to 24/7 quality care and treatment, wound care is one of the most important functions for any long-term care operator. Experts advise how to do it well here.
The buoyancy, support and resistance of water offers one of the simplest healing environments. Water therapy can provide a fun yet beneficial way of helping residents maintain flexibility and mobility. So it is no surprise aquatic therapy is taking on a renewed, expanded role in long-term care rehabilitation. But such programs require much more than the presence of a pool and a lifeguard.
Resident safety systems in long-term care facilities have at once seemed to become both simpler and more complex. Their capabilities have certainly expanded, which has opened the door for more opportunities to run into operational challenges. Industry experts advise here on how to avoid potential pitfalls of implementation.
Medical indicators might be only half the battle when it comes to executing a successful incontinence care plan. Another major component is attitude and emotional state. Caregivers need to know how to keep residents' spirits "up" and their own management efforts on track, particularly when dealing with persistent incontinence challenges.
Some of the most costly care in a skilled nursing facility involves wounds and skin breakdown. With so many deep or longstanding wounds in play, long-term care providers have a large stake in how quickly a resident heals, beyond basic professional pride. Experts here offer several recommendations for effective wound care.
A solid piece of caregiving includes transporting residents for safety, entertainment and other reasons. How you execute and promote your transportation options can be the difference between getting new admissions or not. Here, a top provider and a vendor in the transportation business offer advice on how to do it right.
Chronic wounds are a rising challenge for long-term caregivers and, of course, a scourge for residents. They can easily lead to extended stays, costly care and complications that neither caregivers nor residents would prefer to deal with.
A key facet of successfully treating wounds is documenting them appropriately, particularly when it comes hard-to-heal areas. Experts advise here how to put yourself in position for good outcomes—and stay there—using these documentation and tracking tips.
Now that Oct. 1 has passed, the pressure is hardly off when it comes to making the most of the new MDS 3.0 resident assessment tool.