Editor's Note: Due to the late onset of winter, flu continues to show up in communities across the United States.
[slideshow]In December of 2009, 24-year-old Sarah Flack was admitted to Kindred Hospital-San Francisco Bay Area following a five-week stay at another hospital where she had been battling H1N1. “I moved to Kindred because my parents were told it was a good place for physical therapy and for weaning people off of ventilators,” Flack says. “The staff there was phenomenal.”
One of the things that Flack liked about Kindred Hospital was the staff’s flexibility. “I was one of the youngest patients there, so I always had family in my room during visiting hours and sometimes even after,” she says. “When I was first admitted to Kindred, I was in a room with another patient, and it was just too crowded. So I asked for another room, and within a few hours, they moved me into a room that had plenty of space.”
Demand for occupational therapists continues to increase as the American population ages. “The skills that are needed in every occupational therapy setting will only increase with the demand,” says Jeanna Conder, MBA, OTR/L, Director, Clinical Operations, RehabCare.
To help meet the increasing need for skilled occupational therapists, RehabCare has developed a Clinical Ladder program for ongoing training of occupational therapists.
The program has four levels:
“The Clinical Ladder program is a very clear pathway for upward mobility based on clinical skills,” says Conder. “Participants have to go through an application and interview process. Each level has different requirements.”
Requirements may include:
“The requirements get more stringent with each level,” Conder says.
Occupational therapists work with patients on day-to-day activities designed to improve their ability to function independently. “Occupational therapists use a variety of methods to help patients achieve their goals,” says Jeanna Conder, MBA, OTR/L, Director, Clinical Operations, RehabCare. “For example, if a therapist is working with a patient who has had a stroke, the therapist might provide adaptive equipment, such as an elevated commode or a shower seat. For pediatric patients, the therapist might use ‘play’ to improve motor skills, which will ultimately improve function.”
Kindred Healthcare’s medical advisory boards provide valuable information that helps Kindred keep up with current trends in medicine and improve patient care. “We have two types of medical advisory boards,” says Sally Brooks M.D, Vice President, Physician and Medical Development, Kindred Healthcare. “Each of our three divisions—Hospital, Nursing Center, and RehabCare—has an advisory board. In addition, we have local advisory boards in markets where we’re providing high-acuity care.”
In 2011, the American Diabetes Association encouraged Americans to “Join the Million Challenge” and more than 600,000 people took the Diabetes Risk Test. On March, 27, 2012, the Association will aim to top that number, inspiring people to take the all-new Diabetes Risk Test, as well as to share the test with everyone they care about - friends, family members and colleagues. With each person that takes the test and knows their risk, the Association is that much closer to stopping diabetes.
American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Find out if you are at risk here (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/).
For the fourth consecutive year Kindred Healthcare has been named one of the Most Admired Healthcare Companies by Fortune Magazine. We are all proud of our good reputation, but this designation is a direct result of the dedication and hard work our clinicians and caregivers provide each day.
We work hard to attract and retain outstanding and talented individuals. In order to do so, we believe strongly in investing in our employees’ health, their education and professional growth.
As we highlighted in our 2011 Quality and Social Responsibility Report, last year we built upon our commitment to our employees. In 2011, we invested nearly $450 Million in Kindred professionals including $34.7 million in employee training, $2.4 million in tuition reimbursement and over $30 million in employee recognition and bonus programs for non-management employees throughout the year. We believe this contributed to the fact that, once again, retention rates for each division increased last year.
Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Nursing Centers
Kindred Healthcare Executive Director Shelly Szarek-Skodny, Director of Clinical Operations Leslie Vajner and local Medical Director Dr. Michael Felver from Cleveland will be giving an exciting presentation at American Medical Directors Association or AMDA this year on the nuts and bolts of how to set up a Joint Quality Committee and improve communication between local SNFs and acute care hospitals. Entitled “Operational Success Through Partnership with Acute Care Providers: A Guide for Initiating Joint Quality Committees,” the presentation is on Saturday, March 10th at 4pm (schedule of events here). The presentation will highlight key steps required to successfully work with other large organizations and providers in a local market. Highlights include:
Szarek-Skodny says creating a presentation about their process grew organically out of their work together over the past year.
March is National Nutrition Month. To make sure that Kindred facilities are prepared, Karen Omietanski, MBA, RD, LD, Senior Director of Nutrition Services, Nursing Center Division, Kindred Healthcare, and Quincie Grounds, RD, LD, CNSD, Nutrition Services Clinical Consultant, Hospital Division, Kindred Healthcare, have put together some resources to help facilities celebrate the importance of good nutrition.
“Each facility will get a National Nutrition Month flyer (pictured below) that they can copy and display in various locations throughout the center,” Omietanski says. “They’ll also receive a Certificate of Recognition to be presented to their registered dietitians.”
During National Nutrition Month, Omietanski and Grounds also send facilities a list of possible methods for educating staff about proper nutrition and for honoring their dedicated Nutrition Services employees. The list includes:
Healthcare in 2012 and beyond has given all of us great challenges and opportunities to meet the needs of our population. Knowing that the fastest growing industry sector in the United States is healthcare at 2.3% per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics), we must continue to enhance our processes and outcomes. This growth can be further broken down into segments with home healthcare services forecasting a 3.9% yearly growth followed close behind by offices outside the traditional hospital setting at 3.0%, nursing and residential care at 1.9% and hospitals at a 1.1% yearly rate. Statistics from 2011 have shown us that 69% of the job growth in 2011 was in the ambulatory service area. According to Bloomberg News in February 2012, healthcare will add more than 5.6 million employees to be the biggest job gainer by 2020.
In an attempt to recruit new therapists, RehabCare, a contract rehabilitation company in Louisville, Ky., developed a free CEU course on orthopedics. The course was held in Chicago on January 24th. “We’re always looking for innovative, creative ways to reach out to therapists and let them know who we are,” says J.D. Miller, recruiter, RehabCare. “We had a need for therapists in the greater Chicago area, and we saw this as an opportunity to attract a large number of therapists so we could get them familiar with our organization.”
The course was initially planned for 40 participants. “There were 70+ therapists who attended,” Miller says. “Our presenter said it was the biggest turnout she’d ever seen. We had such positive results from the first course that we planned a second one for February 9.” The second event had 43 attendees.
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