• Center for Medicare Advocacy Offers Nursing Home COVID-19 Lessons Learned and Policy Recommendations (2/21)

    By CMA - February 22, 2021

    The Center for Medicare Advocacy released a new report – Geography Is Not Destiny: Protecting Nursing Home Residents from the Next Pandemic – which explores facilities’ responses to the coronavirus crisis and examines how residents’ deaths were not “inevitable”, as some have claimed. The report contends that COVID-19 exploited and exacerbated long-standing issues, such as staffing, infection control, and management problems, that existed for decades in the long-term care industry.

    As our nation’s nursing homes continue to reel from the unprecedented toll that COVID-19 has taken, questions remain about how many deaths could have been avoided, and – crucially – what can be done to save lives moving forward to prevent a similar catastrophe in the future. Nationwide, 36% of COVID-related deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities (and in some states that figure jumps to over 60%). These statistics are even more shocking considering that less than 1% of the nation’s population live in these facilities.

     “The wrath of COVID-19 in our nursing homes was felt, in large part, because we as a nation have not prioritized fixing these issues,” states Cinnamon St. John, the report’s author – who is also the Center’s Health and Aging Policy Fellow and Associate Director of NYU Rory Meyers’ Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing. “COVID-19 will very likely not be the last pandemic we experience in our lifetimes. If we don’t address these issues now, will see these mass casualties again. The good news is that we know more now. The lessons are clear. But we must act. The currency is lives – lives lost, or lives saved,” she added

    The report:

    ·         Analyzes and challenges the assertion that “Geography is Destiny” as the prevailing theory of nursing home transmission (concluding “a facility’s location does not equate to a facility’s fate”)

    ·         Identifies lessons learned for nursing homes

    ·         Provides specific policy recommendations for change

    The report also examines both the challenges and successes of nursing home administrators who have been combatting COVID-19 on a daily basis. “You can either panic during the pandemic or you can be prepared during the pandemic. It’s better to be prepared,” says Reverend Derrick DeWitt, Director and CFO of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home. His nursing home, with about a 90% Medicaid resident population, has remarkably remained COVID-free to this day.

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  • Workplace Fit: How to Interview a Facility Where You Are Considering Working

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA - January 26, 2021

    When interviewing for a new position, don’t forget that an interview is a two-sided exchange. “Not only is the facility interviewing you to determine if you’re a good fit for them, but as the interviewee, you should also interview them to do the same,” says Alexis Roam, MSN, RN-BC, DNS-CT, QCP, curriculum development specialist for the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN).

    Here’s what every director of nursing services (DNS) should consider before interviewing for their next position.

    Know what you want from a position change.

    There are many moments in life when it pays to be flexible, but choosing a new workplace merits thoughtful consideration. Simply learning about what another company has to offer and thinking “that could work for me” isn’t the same as proactively finding a great fit.

    Some people flourish in structured, corporate environments with clear processes and procedures. Others prefer family-owned environments, where there is less structure and support, but more empowerment and decision-making responsibilities.

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  • COVID-19 Vaccinations: Importance for Residents and Staff (12/20)

    By CDC - December 29, 2020
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  • Vaccinate Your Staff: CDC LTC Toolkit for Staff Influenza (Flu) Vaccination (11/20)

    By CDC - November 14, 2020
    Post-acute and Long-term Care Facility Toolkit: Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare Personnel: Increasing Influenza Vaccination among Health Care Personnel in Long-term Care Settings

     

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  • The Documentation Toolkit: What It is and Why DNSs Need It Now

    By AADNS - August 10, 2020

    Nurses have often heard “if it wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done,” but they still struggle to consistently capture documentation that is timely, accurate, and comprehensive. This struggle sometimes emerges when underlying system failures go unaddressed by leadership. To fix this, the director of nursing services (DNS) and other nurse leaders need to improve the processes that are interfering with sound documentation practices and provide education that links a nurse’s skills to the documentation.

    To accomplish these goals, the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services (AADNS) recently published the Documentation Toolkit for the Nurse Leader, which contains several helpful tools and resources to make lasting improvements to nursing documentation. Alexis Roam, MSN, RN-BC, DNS-CT, QCP, curriculum development specialist for AADNS, shares some tips for how DNSs and other nurse leaders can use this tool to review their processes and overcome documentation pitfalls.

     

    Revisit the four pillars of documentation

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