Healthcare Headlines Blog

  • Communicating with Aphasia

    By Kindred Healthcare
    Aphasia1

    Aphasia is a little-known language disorder that affects nearly one-third of stroke victims. It occurs when there is damage to the communications hub in the left side of the brain. While aphasia disrupts communication skills, it does not affect a person’s thinking skills.

    There are many types of aphasia, but the most general categories are receptive and expressive aphasia. With receptive aphasia, the person can hear a voice or read print, but may not understand the meaning of the message. With expressive aphasia, the person knows what he or she wants to say yet has difficulty communicating it to others.

    Someone with receptive aphasia may:

    • Have difficulty comprehending what others say
    • Have difficulty with reading comprehension
    • Be unaware that they are using words incorrectly

    Someone with expressive aphasia may:

    • Be able to understand what others say
    • Have difficulty saying what they are thinking
    • Speak in a jumbled manner
    • Say a word different than the one they want to say
    • Have difficulty writing
     
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  • It is widely recognized by policymakers and payers that our nation’s healthcare system is fragmented, creating gaps in care for patients. Researchers believe that part of this fragmentation is a result of the separate payments furnished by Medicare for each provider type that a patient may encounter during a single care episode.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • What is a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital?

    By Sophia Kroon

    Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACHs) offer aggressive, medically complex care, intensive care and short-term rehabilitation.

    Licensed as acute care hospitals, LTACHs 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 LTACH patients have Medicare.

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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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  • 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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