How to do it…
Simple handwashing is indisputably the easiest, most effective way of preventing the spread of germs and infections anywhere, including healthcare settings. Yet it is far from being a widespread practice. Here are some strategies that could help change that.
During remodeling or in between, providers must be continuously mindful of keeping environments clean. "Designers, housekeeping staff and maintenance professionals need to take every opportunity to protect against possible bacterial and infectious agents," is how Jim McLain, general manager, Eldercare Interiors Division at Construction Specialties, puts it. Here's what experts advise.
Choosing and installing mobility aids are among the most important safety decisions a provider will have to make. This month experts discuss decision points about designing spaces that feature them, and how to maximize investment in this important product area.
Long-term care workers at all levels often wonder how they can take the next step in their own professional development. With strained resources, that's sometimes a challenge. Here are some insights for planning and executing solid training and education.
State-of-the-art equipment and amenities attract growing legions of aging boomers to rehab. Where to put them all — the people and equipment, that is — is the challenge. Even with limited budgets and space, any facility can develop practical yet inviting spaces that restore physical function and health.
Bathing can present a host of challenges, unforeseen mishaps and incidents that can easily disrupt daily routines. But choosing the right tools, creating a calming environment, careful advance preparations, and above all — respecting privacy and dignity — will go far in streamlining bath time. Experts explain how here.
Since passage of healthcare reforms in OBRA 1987, the incidence rate of resident restraints has dropped considerably, to less than 5%, with a mantra to lower it further.
In the wake of recent updates to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel's wound staging guidelines, providers are re-focusing on prevention. Wound care toolboxes include methods and technology aimed at properly stabilizing residents for effective healing. Experts weigh in here on positioning devices and best practices.
Adverse medication events continue to be numerous and problematic, not only for residents' health but also for financial and legal reasons. Providers continue to thirst for good ideas and best practices. Here are some recommendations from leading experts.
It's hard to beat the HUD LEAN mortgage program for heavily leveraged owner-operators looking for the predictability of long-term loans at fixed rates. Here are a few pointers from experts on how providers can improve their chances of attaining one.
Now that we're in the midst of spring and warmer summer months beckon, it is time to check readiness to provide resident safety and security, especially from a host of heat and sun-related problems. As experts note here, a little common sense goes a long way.
Information technology can be one of an administrator's biggest and most intimidating challenges. This special How To article offers expert advice on how providers who don't typically work with IT on a day-to-day basis can best stay up to date on necessary regulations, advances and recommendations.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have long been widely accepted by leading healthcare organizations as an effective method for disinfection. Experts here tell how to ensure staff members understand how and when to use them, as well as how to boost hand hygiene compliance.
When it comes to furnishings in senior living, the Three Bears of nursery book fame would likely share identical chairs and beds today. More than ever, providers need adjustable furniture to suit their widely varying, and often frequently changing, resident population. Here's how they do it.
More and more, families are having greater influence on deciding where their loved ones will stay. And the things they're looking for are rooted in comfort and familiarity. Experts advise how to inspire residents and their relatives.
End-of-life, hospice and palliative care are ubiquitous across practically every level of the long-term care continuum. On this page experts advise on getting your staff the best, most efficient opportunities for professional development in these areas.
Short-term rehab is a burgeoning and profitable business, but it's nothing to enter casually. Attracting and retaining patients and keeping beds continuously filled requires seizing the right niche and maintaining a proper patient flow.
Over the years, providers have tried every trick in the book to get electronic medical records and billing systems to mesh. This is not a project for the faint of heart. But diligent homework and a reliable integration partner will go far in calming a provider's concerns.
Technological innovation is allowing needy seniors to be monitored while allowing greater mobility than ever before. Experts here make recommendations that can help providers strike a careful balance between freedom, privacy, safety and security.
Few issues confronting long-term care administrators are more thoroughly vetted and researched than proper wound care techniques.
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.