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“Automated technologies can help long-term care (LTC) executives provide high-quality care, increase labor efficiencies and improve patient safety,” says Carla Corkern, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Talyst. Keeping medication records up-to-date and available throughout a patient’s journey is essential. “With the upcoming healthcare reforms around accountable-care organizations, patient-centered care will be a key focus.”
From a solution provider company at the marcus evans Long-Term Care CXO Summit Spring 2011, in Aventura, Florida, July 14-15, Corkern highlights the key long-term care industry challenges and how automated technologies would improve the quality of care, by improving patient safety and freeing nurses’ valuable time.
How will healthcare reforms impact the LTC sector?
Carla Corkern: There will be a lot of changes, specifically around accountable-care organizations (ACOs) and how long-term care facilities will partner with local hospitals, health systems and physicians in a shared-savings shared-risk model. Medicare and Medicaid are the source of around 80 per cent of the payments nursing homes and facilities receive. Many facilities rely on Medicare to fund their operations.
What would improve patient safety?
Carla Corkern: Improving patient safety is a challenge, but technology can overcome some of the obstacles. It is a competitive industry, so many facilities need to have the best equipment to provide the best resident care. This is difficult in a model where providers are unsure of how they will get paid for their services.
What opportunities can LTC facility managers capitalize on?
Carla Corkern: Automated technologies improve patient safety and labor efficiency. Secure remote dispensing units in the facility enable pharmacists to approve medications to be available for early admits and late arrivals in an accurate and timely manner. One of our clients was able to reduce the time nurses spent preparing medication by 50 per cent, giving them more time to spend on other activities and with residents. There is a general shortage of nurses, specifically those who are trained to work with geriatric patients, therefore facilities need to be able to do more with less. Freeing some of the nurses’ time would be one big step in that direction.
The old concept of someone going into a nursing home and staying there for years is being replaced with more short-term stays. This requires long-term care facilities to change their relationship with acute hospitals and be able to provide quality care for higher acuity residents.
What best practices for the efficient running of facilities would you recommend?
Carla Corkern: I would recommend that long-term care facilities create a better work environment for their nursing staff and partner with their pharmacies to improve medication access and delivery. Higher nurse job satisfaction would lead to improved job retention, thereby increasing labor efficiencies.
In the ACO model, it will be important for LTC facilities to efficiently partner with hospitals and healthcare systems to understand medication procedures and treatments they may need after the resident is discharged to ensure they do not return to the hospital before 30 days. Collaborating with hospitals on acuity patients will enable facilities to continue to be a trusted partner, which is actually the most profitable patient group.
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About the Long-Term Care CXO Summit Spring 2011
This unique forum will take place at Fairmont Turnberry Isle, Aventura, Florida, July 14-15, 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on the Health Care Reform, innovative quality improvement, and staff recruitment and retention strategies.
Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.
Talyst, founded in 2002, supports long-term care facilities improve patient safety by delivering the InSite Remote Dispensing System, automated technology that reduces medication errors and increases efficiency to deliver better patient care. The company strives to “engineer the safer pharmacy.”
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