• 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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

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  • 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?

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  •  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.

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  • The Role of Pharmacy: Past, Present and Future

    By Kindred Healthcare

    Did you know that a pharmacist invented Coca Cola? This was just one interesting fact divulged by Kindred Hospital Division Vice President of Pharmacy James Poullard, who presented this afternoon at Kindred’s Fifth Annual Clinical Impact Symposium.

    For Coke lovers, this fact makes pharmacists critical. But more importantly, pharmacists play a crucial role in effective care transitions.

    Pharmacy – the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs and medicines – has undergone a transformation over the years, according to Poullard.

    “We’ve gone from pouring sodas and mixing elixirs to now being the medication expert in retail outlets, and in the inpatient arena,” he said. “There are now post-graduate residency programs and we’ve become an integral part of the patient care team.”

    And pharmacists have their work cut out for them.

     James Poullard, Vice President of Pharmacy, Hospital Division James Poullard, Vice President of Pharmacy, Hospital Division
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  • Pathophysiology of Diabetes Mellitus

    By Kindred Healthcare

    As we learn more about the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus, we find that there is more yet to be discovered. Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome with disordered metabolism and inappropriate hyperglycemia due to either a deficiency of insulin secretion or to a combination of insulin resistance and inadequate insulin secretion to compensate. Type 1 diabetes is due to pancreatic islet B cell destruction predominantly by an autoimmune process, and these persons are prone to ketoacidosis. While type 2 diabetes is the more prevalent form and results from insulin resistance with a defect in compensatory insulin secretion. Diabetes can lead to serious complications, resulting in multiple diseases or disorders that affect multiple systems that may result in premature death.

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  • What Is the Elder Justice Act?

    By Boo Tilghman, RN, BSN, CHPN
    What Is the Elder Justice Act? The Elder Justice Act is designed to provide federal resources to prevent, detect, treat, understand, intervene in and, where appropriate, prosecute elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Elder Justice Act is a comprehensive elder abuse prevention law which was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. Before The Elder Justice Act was enacted, federal funding for programs and justice regulations was not available. Now, education, awareness programs, training and other services are available to millions of seniors across the U.S.

     

    Elder abuse refers to the actions or lack of actions that harm an older adult or place them at risk of harm or within harm’s way. The harm may be physical, mental, emotional and/or financial. True prevalence is unknown primarily due to lack of consensus regarding definition. Clinicians caring for older adults are integral and crucial to the prevention, intervention and treatment of elder abuse.

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  • Ever wonder what Kindred is doing to take a lead in confronting issues that affect hospitals all over the country, such as alarm fatigue, which happens when too many beeps and buzzes become like background noise to caregivers? The Hospital Division’s Respiratory Care Council is addressing this healthcare challenge as well as others like it. Meeting every other month, the Council’s 21 members – representing each of the regions in which Kindred delivers care, as well as the Support Center in Louisville – strive to identify and share best practices and standardize systems and procedures across the division. They are also working with colleagues from Kindred’s other divisions to achieve enterprise-wide standardization when appropriate.

    Respiratory Care Council Tackles Important Issues, Shares Best Practices

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  • Infection Prevention Week - Hand Hygiene

    By Kindred Healthcare

    October 20-26 is Infection Prevention Week. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the role infection prevention plays to improve patient safety. Kindred's Hospital Division has numerous Infection Prevention Initiatives in place to prevent the spread of infection and protect the health of patients.

    The best way to prevent the spread of germs is for healthcare workers to wash their hands frequently, to properly disinfect hospital surfaces and to take other precautions, such as wearing gowns and gloves when working with people infected with resistant bacteria. Patients, family members and visitors also play a role in infection prevention and can help by properly washing their hands and wearing protective coverings as needed.

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