• Be Stroke-Aware in May, and All Year Long

    By Kindred Healthcare
    Be Stroke-Aware in May, and All Year Long Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is always important, but since May is Stroke Awareness Month, it seems like a good time for a reminder. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off, resulting in lack of oxygen and other nutrients. Some areas of the brain can die, which results in loss of function.

     

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  • What is a Transitional Care Hospital?

    By Sophia Kroon

    Transitional Care Hospitals (TCHs) offer aggressive, medically complex care, intensive care and short-term rehabilitation.

    Certified as long-term acute care hospitals and licensed as acute care hospitals, Transitional Care Hospitals are unique in their ability to care for critically ill patients who require specialized and goal-directed care over an extended recovery time. They have an additional Medicare certification that supports a length of stay measured in weeks as compared to the typical five-day stay for patients in traditional hospitals. At Kindred, about two-thirds of our TCH patients have Medicare.

    TCH patients require an average length of stay of 25-30 days, and have many co-existing medical conditions, some acute and some chronic. Examples of some of the services TCH patients require are:

    Some of the conditions commonly seen in a TCH are:

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  • Ventilators of the Past

    By Ryan Squire

     

    The Bird ventilator, named for inventor Forrest Bird, was the first mass-produced mechanical vent, and it used compressed air technology and required no electrical power. Dr. Bird spoke at Kindred’s 2009 Clinical Impact Symposium, and signed the vent that is pictured and on display in the Kindred Support Center lobby.

    Known by some as the “father of mechanical ventilation,” Dr. Bird tested his first mechanical ventilators by piloting his own planes to medical schools and asking doctors for access to their sickest patients. Patients who had tried all the available options and were expected to die of cardiopulmonary disease.

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  • How Well Do You Know These Ventilators?

    By Ryan Squire

    Kindred Healthcare's commitment to our patients is to provide hope, healing and recovery and that means committing to using the latest technologies in pulmonary rehabilitation. Please take a moment to answer the polls and check back next week when we give you the full story on these two important advances in pulmonary rehab. In the meantime, scroll down to the comments and share your experience with these important pieces of history.

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  • With February being Heart Month, and knowing that heart disease is one of the readmission penalty diagnoses, I paid attention when I recently read a study in Annals of Internal Medicine from investigator Janet Prvu Bettger and collaborators from Duke and Wake Forest.[i] This study looked at the role of transitional care interventions in patients who had recently suffered a heart attack or stroke. The question was legitimate:  what interventions around transitions work to improve outcomes? What they found was sobering.

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  • Electronic Medical Record One Step Further ProTouch, Kindred’s proprietary electronic medical record (EMR) system, helps clinicians paperlessly access and manage important patient information including vital signs, medications, progress notes and lab and radiology results. ProTouch monitors in patient rooms are continually updated as needed, and interface with a patient’s ventilator in order to provide real-time respiration information. Recent enhancements to the system include documentation and display of multi drug-resistant organisms with flagged alerts, and improvements to the searchability of transcribed reports including display by date, report type, dictator and signature status.

    The next big thing? ProTouch will soon be available as an app for the iPad, allowing our clinicians to access and update important patient information even more efficiently.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.”

     Graphic depicting the spectrum of palliative care as seen in http://www.slideshare.net/Kindredhealth/palliative-care-across-the-continuum Graphic depicting the spectrum of palliative care as seen in http://www.slideshare.net/Kindredhealth/palliative-care-across-the-continuum

    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.

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  • Ms. Opdyke leaves Kindred Hospital with a smile and new appreciation for her extended lease on life.

    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.

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