• On November 29, TEDMED, a multidisciplinary community of innovators and leaders dedicated to creating a better future in health and medicine, held a panel discussion via webcast titled The Caregiver Crisis. Members of the panel included upper-level management from the Center for Long Term Care Research & Policy, the National Family Caregivers Association, the Case Management Society of America, the Families and Health Care Project, and CarePlanners. This thought-provoking discussion raised many points

    Kindred’s leadership has been discussing these and related issues in other forums as well. Said Sean Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for the Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division: “We have talked about caregivers taking increasingly greater roles in care in the last few days prior to discharge from post-acute care.”

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  • Good hand hygiene is critical in preventing the spread of influenza. All employees should perform hand hygiene before patient contact; after patient contact; after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (even if gloves are worn); before invasive procedures; and after removing gloves. “All of our hospitals have alcohol-based gel in the hallways and in the patient rooms to make it easy for staff, patients and visitors to practice good hand hygiene,” says Sheila Fletcher, Infection Prevention and Control Clinical Specialist in Kindred’s Hospital Division.

    Most Kindred facilities use “Secret Shoppers” to make sure employees are following hand hygiene protocols. “Secret Shoppers are volunteers who monitor physician and staff hand hygiene practices,” says Fletcher. “They are encouraged to step in and speak up if they see someone who fails to perform hand hygiene or is not doing it appropriately.”

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  • Invited speaker Seth Kahan, author of the book “Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out,” challenged Clinical Impact Symposium participants to take the experience of the last two days back to their own facilities and use it to effect positive change.

    Mr. Kahan described four stages of transformation, beginning with what he labeled “the call.” This could be something like a sudden promotion, a new opportunity, the illness of oneself or a family member, or, in this case, the decision to attend the symposium. The threshold stage, said Mr. Kahan, is the point when a person crosses from the normal reality to the reality of the ritual – arriving at the hotel, checking in, the adjustment of the mind to the process. “Time out of time.” The transition to a place where we have permission to have long conversations about topics we care about, and think deeply about things we normally might not have time to think about, Mr. Kahan said.

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