Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Learning Network Kicks Off Second Quarter Programming

Dr. Rollin M. Wright

The Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Learning Network educational programming is underway, with each quarter focusing on a new theme that relates to the Office of Long-Term Livings Incentive program. The second quarter webinars will cover topics related to reducing avoidable transfers from nursing facilities to hospitals. 

On the April 7 webinar for nursing facilities, Nancy Zionts, MBA, COO and chief program officer, Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and Larry Appel, MD, SFMH, medical director, Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, provided a welcome and introductory remarks.Nancy gave an introduction to the theme of reducing avoidable transfers from nursing facilities to hospitals and provided an overview of the reasons for hospital admissions of nursing facility residents, trends in readmissions from nursing facilities to acute care, appropriate reasons to transfer residents to the hospital, transition of care models, and the elements of patient safety culture. The session also featured an overview of the Learning Network webinar structure recommendations for facilities to identify a core team. Other presenters included Rollin M. Wright, MD, MS, MPH, associate professor of Medicine, Penn State Health at Hershey Medical Center; and Stacie Bonenberger, MOT, OTR/L, program manager, Aging Initiatives, Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

The second nursing facility webinar of the month was held April 21 and focused on quality improvement strategies. Stacie Bonenberger and Anneliese Perry, MS, NHA, CECM, program manager, Aging Initiatives, Jewish Healthcare Foundation provided an overview of the Plan-Do-Study-Act principles and examples of quality improvement from the field. They also introduced the upcoming "Q Tips" feature on Tomorrow's HealthCare™, which will offer self-paced learning, including 15-minute education sessions and additional resources and tools to use and share with team members. Nancy Zionts and Wilmarie González, bureau director, Bureau of Quality Assurance & Program Analytics, Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living provided introductory remarks.

The first special populations webinar for the quarter, "Avoiding Hospitalizations from Nursing Facilities: It All Starts with a Good Admission to the Nursing Facility," was held April 28. This webinar was developed in response to requests from service coordinator managers and supervisors and nursing facility staff to learn more about the resident's experience and the role of the managed care organization and explored key factors for a successful admission to a nursing facility and the mechanisms that could help in early identification of issues that might result in a hospitalization. The event was conducted as a panel session between Nancy Zionts and representatives from each of the three managed care organizations reviewing the existing and potential roles service coordinators can play in the admissions process that can help to avoid rehospitalizations of residents.

May's webinars will feature additional topics related to avoiding hospitalizations, including falls prevention and promoting vaccinations, as well as preventing re-hospitalizations after a return from an admission. June will wrap up the topic of avoiding hospitalizations with presentations on polypharmacy and antipsychotics and wound care, and participants will be sharing best practices from the field.

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