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Health care personnel working in long-term care settings, the majority of whom work as assistants or aides, have lower influenza vaccination coverage than do health care personnel working in all other health care settings, which puts the elderly in long-term settings at increased risk for severe complications for influenza. Implementing workplace strategies shown to improve vaccination coverage among health care personnel, including vaccination requirements and active promotion of on-site vaccinations at no cost, can help ensure health care personnel and patients are protected against influenza.
The National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign (NNHQIC) seeks pilot testers for a new Dementia Care and Psychotropic Medication Tracking Tool. This Excel-based tool will track information for individuals living with dementia AND any resident for whom psychotropic medications are prescribed. It will support and prompt individualized care, document key processes, and provide information to identify opportunities and drive improvement. Interested organizations please send a message to Help@nhQualityCampaign.org to request additional information on participating in the pilot test.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Recently Strengthened its Black Box Warning About Fluoroquinolone Use
Appropriate fluoroquinolone prescribing is important for patient safety. A recent study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases reports that fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed for conditions when antibiotics are not needed at all, or when fluoroquinolones are not the recommended first-line therapy.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and NORC at The University of Chicago, created the AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use to develop and implement a bundle of interventions designed to improve antibiotic stewardship and antibiotic prescribing practices across acute care, long-term care, and ambulatory care facilities across the United States.
Since the new Long-Term Care Survey Process (LTCSP) launched on November 28, 2017, 702 citations have been given for F686 (Skin Integrity). 22% of those tags are a G scope or above. Many of the citations are for:
· Failure to provide care to treat and/or prevent worsening pressure ulcers
· Failure to prevent facility-acquired pressure ulcers
· Failure to develop and/or follow the care plan
· Failure to ensure accurate assessment, obtain treatment orders, or communicate with other professional staff
· Failure to prevent infection of wounds
Widespread pressure ulcer issues are no surprise when facilities don’t have proper protocols in place for prevention, early identification, and treatment, according to Wendy DeCarvalho, MS, BSN, RN, DNS-CT, Director of Nursing for Scotia Village in North Carolina. As a DNS and clinical nurse consultant in long-term care facilities nationwide, DeCarvalho has worked to improve Quality Measures, including those for pressure ulcer rates. “If the staff doesn’t have protocols in place, pressure ulcers often go unchecked, untracked, and untreated,” she says. She recommends the following best practices.
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