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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

“We are currently overseeing implementation of a VAM, or Ventilator Alarm Monitor system, designed to better alert clinicians to ventilator-related patient issues, sooner and more comprehensively,” Rodriguez said. “The roll-out of this system is part of an effort to address issues like alarm fatigue by utilizing better alert systems.”

Ventilator weaning is a large and important part of what Kindred does and a great opportunity for best practices to be felt throughout the enterprise, and thanks to the Respiratory Care Council, they are.

“We looked at all of the Kindred facilities and discovered who had the best vent weaning results, pulled those practices and shared them with the rest of the facilities in the Hospital Division,” Rodriguez said. “Being a large, national company gives us a huge advantage in that when we discover that something works well, many patients nationwide can benefit from it, and that’s part of the Council’s mission.”

Other areas being addressed by the Council include emergency airway management, disinfection procedures and introduction of new products when needed, streamlining the process of choosing between options so that each facility does not have to re-invent the wheel.

“Whether we’re sharing best practices, streamlining processes or reducing redundancy, the Respiratory Care Council is doing important work that affects the entire Hospital Division and touches the other divisions as well,” said Rodriguez, who served on the Council for seven years before becoming chair last spring. “Our ultimate goal is to keep improving patient outcomes.”

Other members of the Council are:

  • Heather Brashear
  • Scott Frink
  • Jody Larson
  • James Mendez
  • Sam Collins
  • Jason Larmore
  • Vicki Benthine
  • Ed Maningo
  • Kelly Bailey
  • Hector Rangel
  • Cesar Hernandez
  • Tony Disser
  • Linda O’Bryan
  • Sean Muldoon, MD
  • Wes McConnell, MD
  • Amy Douglas
  • Debra Boeving
  • Debbie Pottinger
  • Shella Fletcher
  • Patti Bischof
  • David Schmidthuber
By Kindred Healthcare