60 Seconds with... Diane Newman, Co-Director, Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health

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Q: The changes to F-Tag 315 (incontinence and catheters) have been called tougher than the pressure ulcers tag. Would you agree? A: I think it's going to be tough for some providers. Many providers don't understand incontinence because they haven't addressed it in a comprehensive way in the past. Q: You were on the government panel that helped devise the changes. What was the main goal? A: (Providers) need to be accountable. We don't expect all residents to be continent. We expect assessment of a medical problem and a treatment plan.

Q: What might providers not yet fully appreciate about the new F-Tag 315?

A: The point of the whole process with the F-tags is to help surveyors identify deficient practices in nursing homes. It's not necessarily for the nursing home providers, though I think it's trying to assist them. I can tell you surveyors understand it, and they will know what to look for now.

Q: So what should providers do?

A: They will have to work more with nursing staff. They're going to have to figure out a UI evaluation  process, work with medical directors and do education programs with staff. It's nothing outlandish.

Q: Any favorite parts of the new version?
A: There are pages on helping determine symptoms of urinary tract infections. Nursing homes have been frustrated with them. There's also really good information on catheter care with references throughout the document.

Diane Newman has written more than 75 scientific papers and articles on incontinence matters.