There's possibly no better way to bring the patient experience into focus than to spotlight the person behind every role - whether you're the patient, a family member, a healthcare provider or other staff member.
Dr. Sumita Khatri opened her presentation at the Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium with a powerful video from Cleveland Clinic, where she is co-director of the Asthma Center. The video,
Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care
, opens with a quote from Henry David Thoreau: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"
Throughout the seventh annual Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium, Kindred's clinical leaders have come back to the fictional case study of Jack and Mary Marton, a couple in their late seventies facing a bevy of medical conditions and issues as they struggle to remain independent. The Martons and their health issues have played a role in Clinical Impact Symposiums past, as well, and their example is useful in helping participants brainstorm and learn about how to better handle some of the common problems patients like the Martons face.
It's quite common for older adults to experience falls or to limit their activities because they are afraid of falling, but we shouldn't just accept falling as a normal part of aging, according to Jane Painter-Patton, Ed.D, a professor at East Carolina University's College of Allied Health Sciences in the Occupational Therapy Department.
In her presentation Wednesday at the Kindred 2015 Clinical Impact Symposium, Painter-Patton gave tips to clinicians and encouraged them to work as a team with other specialists as they deal with the complex issues relating to falls in older adults.
Despite addressing large audiences, both Painter-Patton's presentation and the reaction panel discussion that followed felt very much like advice one clinician might give to a colleague, one-on-one. The participants weren't just speaking at the audience or discussing abstracts, they were speaking directly to every clinician in the room, giving practical, actionable advice that could be implemented successfully in the real world.
Designated as a national holiday after the end of World War I, Veterans Day was first celebrated in 1918 as a way to recognize veterans and honor their patriotism. As a healthcare provider, this day is especially significant to us, because so many of the people we care for are veterans or are connected to veterans in some way. Because of this special connection, Kindred makes a point to honor veterans in multiple ways, not just on Veterans Day, but all throughout the year.
Gulf War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Bryan Anderson was a guest speaker at our Support Center Veterans Day ceremony. Following that event, a group of veterans were able to join us for an extended presentation by Anderson during which he shared more details about his service, his experiences as a combat-injured veteran and his work with USA Cares, a national charitable organization that addresses the critical and unmet needs of post-9/11 veterans and military families.
Participants at Kindred's seventh annual Clinical Impact Symposium heard about how the Marketing and Communications team supports the important work that Kindred clinicians do every day to take care of patients across the country. The team, led by Susan Moss, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, runs programs in the areas of physician outreach, social media and reputation management, and consumer outreach. The programs have made a significant impact on the way people - from referral sources, potential patients and their families, employees and the general public - view Kindred and understand what services it offers.
Physician outreach programs allow us to reach doctors with whom we do not have a relationship by offering information they can use such as white papers and facts about transitional care.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that "every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the U.S."
Combine that eye-opening statistic with the reality of an aging U.S. population and the fact that the rate of falls increases with age and it's clear why the 2015 Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium is focused squarely on fall prevention.
Speaker Leslie Allison, PT, PhD, an associate professor at Winston-Salem State University, says one of her friends, a geriatrician, calls the upcoming anticipated surge of falls the Silver Tsunami.
James Poullard, Vice President of Pharmacy and Laboratory Services for Kindred, led a reaction panel on Medication Management and Polypharmacy, following Justin Kullgren's, PharmD, CPE presentation on the subject. In addition to Kullgren, panelists included Sally Brooks, MD, Chief Medical Officer for RehabCare, Kim Ramos, RN, Care Transitions Manager for the Hospital Division and Jill Wesolowski, RPh, PharmD, Clinical Staff Pharmacist for Kindred Hospitals of Cleveland.
Poullard started the panel by defining its purpose, which was "to assemble a panel of professionals who are in the trenches, to help us deal with these challenges of transitioning patients from our short-term acute care referral sources to our LTACs, and then preparing those individuals for discharge to nursing homes or to home care settings, and discussing really what their experiences have been."
Kindred offers all levels of post-acute care, and in our Integrated Care Markets, where we offer all levels of care in one geographic area, we can help patients transition through the full continuum of Kindred care, from the long-term acute care hospital all the way to home. With that ability to transition patients through many levels of care comes the opportunity and challenge of ensuring that those transitions are done well.
Approximately 60 percent of medication errors occur during transitions of care. In addition, 50 percent of all hospital-related medication errors are linked to poor communication at transitions of care and data shows that patients tend to miss one to two doses of their medication during transitions. These were some of the takeaway messages from a presentation titled "Medication Management and Polypharmacy across the Continuum," delivered by Justin Kullgren, PharmD, CPE, South College School of Pharmacy, at this year's Clinical Impact Symposium.
Quality means making a difference in people's lives every day - for the better - and that's what Kindred Healthcare is all about, according to Dr. Marc Rothman, Chief Medical Officer for Kindred.
Toward that end, Dr. Rothman emphasizes that Kindred must assess care based on measures that are standard and understood by others, and that quality care is the result of the efforts of every single Kindred employee every single day.
"Kindred employees partner with first-class organizations," such as Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, UCLA Health, and Kaiser Permanente every day, Dr. Rothman says. These organizations dug deep to find where they could make changes to go from good to great and Kindred needs to follow this path, standardizing and streamlining care, and emphasizing quality, to be the "best healthcare company it can be," he says.
What do you see within Kindred? This is the question that Ben Breier, President and Chief Executive Officer, asked of the Clinical Impact Symposium audience. Breier sees a leadership team that every single day manages the balance of patients, clinicians and business to move Kindred and all of the lives it touches forward.
"Today," Breier said, "we want to empower you as leaders within your facilities, to make a difference and hold others accountable."
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