Taking an Innovative Approach to Crucial Patient Educationand keeping patients on the road to recovery at the highest level of function possible. As such, Kindred works with chronic-acute patients before they’re discharged to anticipate concerns they might have after they leave and to educate them about medicine management, wound care, follow-up care, caregiver issues and other aspects of their disease process.

“If patients don’t understand what’s happening to them, they panic and bounce back to the hospital,” says Beth Hock, Chief Clinical Officer, Kindred Hospital Dayton and 2013 President’s Award Winner. “Kindred nurses constantly talk about what they’re doing as another way of training patients about their condition.”

Kindred Hospital Dayton also recently took patient education to a whole new level with a 48-year-old woman who suffered a spinal injury that left her a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic.

Hock says families are understandably nervous about taking care of a loved one at home, so the patient’s husband and mother worked on a SimMan® (a realistic, full-body simulator that responds to treatments exactly how a patient would). For example, when a trachea catheter is inserted to suction, the patient coughs and his or her heart rate goes up. Experiencing reactions with SimMan helps caregivers get comfortable with what needs to be done.

But mastering these techniques in a hospital is not the same as performing them at home, so Kindred Hospital Dayton partnered with Wright State University to continue the family’s training at the university’s “living lab.” Here, they practiced how to get the patient in and out of the house and how to arrange ventilator tubes in a home setting.

Using SimMan and a home-styled learning center was so successful with the spinal injury patient that these learning techniques are now being explored for other applications. Hock believes that Kindred Hospital Dayton may be the first hospital in the country taking this innovative and customized approach to patient education.

By Kindred Healthcare