The 2012 Presidential and Congressional elections were built up over the last year to be historic – and they certainly delivered regardless of one’s political inclinations. It was certainly the most expensive election cycle in history. But now the election is over and we must assess what it means for Kindred and our efforts to advance common-sense legislative and regulatory reforms in the best interest of the care we provide to our patients, residents and clients.
Kindred Healthcare’s fourth annual Clinical Impact Symposium, “Care Transitions Across the Continuum,” will be held in Louisville from November 12-15.
This year’s symposium will offer the latest evidence-based information from some of the most widely respected experts in the nation as well as interactive conference style offerings, hands-on skills demonstrations and trade show exhibits.
The audience for the symposium is made up of caregivers from all four Kindred divisions – Hospital Division, Nursing Center Division, RehabCare and Homecare and Hospice. The goal is to enhance clinical practice in the post-acute continuum and maintain Kindred as a leader in clinical excellence.
Speakers at the symposium will include:
Come back to this blog throughout the conference as we will cover the conference live with interactive blog posts, pictures, and video.
Kindred sees the future of healthcare as highly interconnected – from one provider to another – and linked with patients, their families and caregivers.
Better use of new technology to coordinate healthcare and achieve improved outcomes and patient experiences is widely regarded as the wave of the future and a necessary evolution in our field. The government has a long history of supporting this as a goal. Starting in 2009 with the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, there has been significant funding allocated to this movement. HITECH provides money for organizations to improve and augment technology – a multi-billion dollar investment in the hospitals and doctors that serve the nation’s patients. There are now minimum requirements for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and standards for the moving of clinical information as a patient transitions from provider to provider.
November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. In the United States, 5.4 million people are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the only cause of death among the top 10 that can’t be prevented, cured or even slowed. These facts are mirrored in the 2012 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures Report.
Kindred’s Hospice Program utilizes an interdisciplinary model of care that is designed to meet the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the patient and his or her family members in the final stages of the patient’s life. “Our hospice case managers monitor the overall care of the patient and family while under hospice care,” says Cindy Henderson, RN, BSN, CHPN, Director of Operations, Acclaim Hospice & Palliative Care, a Kindred Healthcare affiliate. “We work with the patient and the family to develop a care plan that will help the patient meet his or her final goals.”
An intervention known as noninvasive ventilation is being increasingly studied and used in patients with chronic respiratory failure. An article in a recent issue of the journal Respiratory Care, which followed a national symposium dedicated to the care of the chronically critically ill patient, examined its use in several patient populations. Noninvasive ventilation, or NIV, does not require an artificial airway, in contrast to tracheostomy (surgical creation of an airway through the neck) or the placement of a breathing tube through the nose or mouth. NIV is achieved most often through the delivery of pressure and flow to the normal airway through the nose and/or mouth.
The benefits of NIV therapy include reduced re-hospitalizations of out-patients and a reduction in potential complications such as infection that can occur with invasive ventilation techniques.
October 21-27 is Respiratory Care Week, a week set aside to recognize respiratory therapists for their hard work and dedication. “The respiratory therapists at Kindred provide a wide range of respiratory care to patients with complex respiratory disorders and other extensive medical complexities,” says Kelly Bailey, Area Director of Respiratory Care, Kindred Healthcare. “Our respiratory therapists add value and expertise to the interdisciplinary team through the development, utilization, and implementation of best clinical practices and standardization.”
Chronically critically ill patients, a population whose needs and challenges were the sole subject of a recent issue of the journal Respiratory Care, have a very high mortality rate, and survivors among the group suffer with severe impairments and functional dependence. For the caregivers of these patients, the effect can be devastating. According to one article in the journal, “it is difficult to imagine a group of patients with greater need for high-quality palliative care.”
This article points out that early integration of palliative care for these patients can be highly beneficial, particularly in helping patients and families define goals for care and manage the emotional issues that arise when a patient is chronically critically ill.
[caption id="attachment_538" align="alignleft" width="210"] Ms. Opdyke leaves Kindred Hospital with a smile and new appreciation for her extended lease on life.[/caption]
Aubrey Opdyke, a 27-year-old wife and mother came to Kindred Hospital – The Palm Beaches after a two-month battle for her life at a local sub acute hospital against Public Enemy No. 1; swine flu. Ms. Opdyke had spent five weeks in a coma, suffered six collapsed lungs, a near-fatal seizure and worst of all, lost the child she was carrying. The young mother had been six months pregnant with her second child when she contracted H1N1 that July. In spite of every possible effort, her baby girl could not be saved. Once her condition had stabilized, Ms. Opdyke was transferred to Kindred Hospital having lost two months of her life and the life of her child during the medically induced coma that had saved her life.
National Case Management Week, observed Oct. 14-20 this year, recognizes case managers for their hard work, dedication and advocacy for their patients, and also educates others about what they do.
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