With new regulations for nursing homes coming almost yearly from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), providers are working to keep up with rules that improve the quality of care, strengthen safety measures and reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions and infections for residents.1 With the added pressure to meet these standards, St. Patrick’s Home Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in the Bronx, N.Y. worked with Medline. The Carmelite facility achieved 100 percent staff completion of the INTERACT eCurriculum. Nursing Home Administrator, Sister Kevin Patricia Lynch, talked about why this achievement is so important to St. Patrick’s and what other long-term care facilities can do to empower everyone.
Why was St. Patrick’s Home for the Aged looking for a program to empower its staff?
St. Patrick’s already fared better than state and national levels when it came to readmission rates for our short-stay residents, but there are many changes that have come out, and many more to come from CMS. We understand that isn’t going to change. CMS just announced a new Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) website will launch in October 2018. With that, you have to be mindful of how these standards could impact your surveys.
What challenges do nursing homes encounter when trying to implement training?
The time commitment is an issue for any facility. There are different shifts and different schedules for the various roles, sometimes causing staff to be a little reluctant of the process. At St. Patrick’s we have an understanding that the resident is the main focus. That’s the basis for our home-like environment model. I think most nursing homes have the same core values where it is all about the resident and we will do all we can to make sure they are receiving quality care. At St. Patrick’s Home, we were open to improving on the foundation we have built. Through the INTERACT eCurriculum, we improved the early identification, record keeping and communication regarding changes in the status of our residents.
Watch Sister Kevin Patricia Lynch.
How did you get to 100 percent staff completion with time being an issue?
It’s not easy, but it helps when you have a program that’s just building on the foundation you already have. Facilities should remember you can get your staff on board when you focus on improving the services you already offer and not always changing them. For us, we were simply given a roadmap and tools to assist in enhancing our training. They can build on the skills they have. Everyone bought into this thinking, and we have seen an increase in the utilization in the Stop and Watch forms, which is one of the early warning tools.
How can administrators get their staff to be more responsive to new training?
Staff development has always been provided through in-service trainings, and while all those years of work paid off in its own way, we did realize there is not one method that works for everyone. This time, the training was segmented information our staff could comprehend more easily and it was customized to their departments. Everyone felt the information specifically applied to them and their department. It was easy to understand. They were more engaged. Most nursing homes are already implementing the proper procedures, but you have to be open to new ideas and approaches on how to best execute those practices. When that thinking starts from the top, your entire staff will be on board and at St. Patrick’s Home, our team is really quite proud of their achievement and what it means for our residents.
For more about the training and success at St. Patrick’s Home Rehabilitation and Health Care Center click here to read the story from McKnight’s.
1. CMS finalizes improvements in care, safety, and consumer protections for long-term care facility residents. Press release can be accessed at: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2016-Press-releases-items/2016-09-28.html.