• Insight Into Aortic Valve Disease: A Personal Journey

    By Kindred Healthcare

    You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but Sally Meilun who has worked at Kindred Healthcare for nearly 23 years, has heart disease.

    When you talk to Sally, it’s clear that a healthy lifestyle is important to her. She’s always been active, and she still is, but when she was in her 40s, she was diagnosed with aortic valve disease, a condition in which the valve between the left ventricle and the aorta doesn’t work properly.

    “When you have heart disease, it’s not always obvious,” says Sally, who works as the Director of Travel and Relocation at Kindred’s Support Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Read Full Post
  • Kindred: Services for Every Post-Acute Need

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Just as there are different kinds of patients, there are different kinds of hospitals. Kindred Transitional Care Hospitals provide a wide range of services to help patients with complex medical issues who need additional recovery time after a stay at a traditional hospital. While every patient receives individualized care from a team of healthcare professionals, our goal is for each person to reach the highest level of recovery before discharge.

    With our Direct Admit Program, physicians can admit medically complex patients from short-term acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health and other service providers directly to a Kindred Hospital. We work directly with physicians to make sure their patients have a smooth transition into our hospitals and the highest level of care continuity to prevent future readmissions.

    Read Full Post
  • When Do You Need an Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital?

    By Kindred Healthcare

    When you are injured or ill, you may need rehabilitation services to help in recovery. Rehabilitation helps you improve your body’s functions, but there are different levels of services depending on your medical condition. Our Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals (also known as IRFs) are for patients who need a higher level of care and more intense occupational, physical and speech therapy.

    Patients in a Kindred Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital are medically stable, but also need 24-hour nursing care and daily physician oversight. They are considered able to perform at least three hours of therapy a day, five days a week. Our goal is to restore function as fully as possible, and help the patient learn how to do things differently when functions can’t be restored to previous levels.

    Read Full Post
  • Bridging the Gap between Short-term Hospitalization and Home

    By Kindred Healthcare

    When Edward came to a Kindred Hospital, he was on a ventilator after respiratory complications following major surgery. Edward is one of many patients who need extra care and more time to recover after a short-term hospital stay. Kindred Hospital is part of a nationwide network of Kindred Transitional Care Hospitals that help bridge the gap between short-term hospitalization and home.

    Bridging the Gap between Short-term Hospitalization and Home

    Many of the patients we see can’t breathe on their own, or they have a condition that makes them prone to more complications with an illness or injury. Kindred Hospitals have been focused on these medically complex patients for more than two decades. We helped develop the long-term model of care for patients who can’t get better during a short-term stay. Our facilities and services are designed to provide this extra level of care, and every patient has a team of healthcare professionals dedicated to achieving the fullest and quickest recovery possible.

    Read Full Post
  • What You Need to Know about Advance Directives

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Advance Directives, or Living Wills, allow you to document your wishes for end-of-life medical care. In the event that you become incapacitated and unable to express your wishes, Living Wills guide your loved ones and medical professionals involved in your care when important decisions about life-sustaining treatment must be made.

    Patients are asked if they have Advance Directives when they are admitted to a Kindred facility, said Kathee Paradowski, Clinical Informaticist Consultant in Kindred’s Hospital Division.

    “The goal of an Advance Directive is to make sure that patients are making informed decisions and that we’re following their wishes,” Ms. Paradowski said.

    Once the patient’s wishes have been determined, the physician writes orders based on the patient’s desires and the Advance Directives are entered into the patient’s record.

    Read Full Post
  • What are Pressure Ulcers and Why are They a Problem?

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Have you ever heard the term “bed sore” before? “Bed sore” is another way of saying “pressure ulcer,” a condition that occurs when pressure, with or without friction, builds up in an area of the body, such as the sacrum, coccyx, heels or hips, particularly in an immobile person. Pressure obstructs blood flow to the soft tissue, causing injury to the area. Because pressure ulcers can develop in patients confined to wheelchairs or beds in a hospital or long-term care facility, caregivers must be well trained in preventing pressure ulcers and treating them early and effectively when they do develop. The more advanced a pressure ulcer gets, the harder it is to treat and the longer it may take to heal.

    Read Full Post
  • Kim Warchol has been an Occupational Therapist specializing in dementia for more than 24 years. One minute of listening to her talk about her field and you can hear the years of experience and passion in every word. But she readily admits that she wasn’t prepared to deal with cognitive impairment when she first started practicing.

    Her “aha!” moment came through the work of Claudia Kay Allen, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA, which completely changed her perspective from focusing on the limitations of patients with cognitive impairment to focusing on uncovering what they could do. She hasn’t looked back since and, she says, she is no longer “leaving these vulnerable individuals to fend for themselves.”

    Read Full Post
  • Did you know?

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Would you get on a flight if there were a 1 in 100 chance of the plane crashing? Healthcare is at a one percent rate of adverse events. It used to be 6 to 18 percent, so we’re making progress.

    What are three things we can we do to keep people safe? Create and use checklists and standardize processes  and products.

    What is efficiency in care? Delivering the right amount of care in the right place at the right time.

    How did one Massachusetts hospital significantly reduce the mortality rate from ruptured aortic aneuryisms? By setting up systems where everyone is trained in the treatment and knows where things are, so staff and clinicians are ready to go at a moment’s notice.

    What does “post-acute paradigm shift” mean?

    What’s wrong with the U.S. healthcare system?

    “A lot goes in and very little seems to be coming out the other side in terms of welfare and satisfaction and extended life”

    - Jack Wennberg, founder, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy

    Read Full Post
  • Care Management’s Best Practices

    By Kindred Healthcare

    What are care management’s best practices at this early stage in its existence? This question was answered by William Mills, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Kindred at Home and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Kindred’s new Division of Care Management, during a break-out session at Kindred’s Fifth Annual Clinical Impact Symposium.

    There’s no doubt that readmissions to acute care hospitals are costing the healthcare system a lot of money, and the patients who cost the system the most might fit a profile like this:

    Patients like this typically see anywhere from two to ten doctors regularly. They have no home support, so when a crisis arises, 911 is called and the patient is taken to the emergency room, which leads to a hospital stay eight out of ten times, Dr. Mills said. Rehabilitation and a long-term care stay follow, then home care and then the cycle recurs.

    For patients like this, wouldn’t it make more sense to deliver care in the home setting?

    Read Full Post
  •  Stacey Seggelke, MS, RN, CNS, CDE, BC-ADM Stacey Seggelke, MS, RN, CNS, CDE, BC-ADM

    Stacey Seggelke, sees patients with diabetes both in and out of the hospital, and shared her experiences at the Kindred Clinical Impact Symposium. She is a member of the inpatient Glucose Management team at the University of Colorado Hospital and has an outpatient diabetes clinic one day per week.

    There has been a steady and significant increase in diabetes over the last 30 years. It affects 8 percent of the population, and it is estimated that there are 79 million people who are pre-diabetic. Even when it is not the primary diagnosis, diabetes impacts the care provided to the person, and Seggelke works with her patients from admission to discharge to make sure that the treatments for other medical issues don’t harm the patient or cause problems related to their diabetes.

    Read Full Post