Hot Topics for Rehabilitation Facilities in 2018 [Interview]
Century Rehab Chief Operating Officer, Tammy Tuminaro, frequently attends healthcare conferences where she stays updated on what is going on in the industry and future developments. As head of Century’s therapy department, she also works diligently in the field with our facilities on a weekly basis. In a recent interview, she answered a few questions on topics that rehabilitation facilities need to focus on in 2018.
What about discharge planning will be important next year?
Discharge planning has always been an interdisciplinary team discussion, but with the impending changes of RCS-1, it will be imperative that discharge planning begin as early as at the time of admission. Teams will need to focus on moving the patient to a lesser level of care in the quickest time possible. Consequently, we will more than likely see a decrease in length of stay. Discharge planning will need to start with admission inquiry in order to develop the most effective plan of care with the best outcomes and most efficient use of time.
What is one area you feel therapy departments need the most help with?
Many facilities struggle with properly assessing and treating dementia patients. Dementia, as we all know, is prevalent in the long-term care population. We have revamped our Dementia Clinical Program to include the Allen Cognitive Screen in order to assign a level of learning and problem-solving ability to each of our patients. This level gives us a better understanding of where our focus needs to be during treatment. By doing this, we are enabling our therapists to meet the patient at their level. While we are not working to “cure” the dementia, we must be cognizant of the mental capacity of the resident in order to make therapy more functional and effective.
Explain some of the reasons why fall prevention programs are so critical and will continue to be in 2018.
Fall Prevention continues to be critical as the number of falls rise in long-term care. As an industry, we have historically treated falls after they occur. With the shift in focus to quality of care, falls are being looked at differently. We must be committed to addressing the potential of falls before they happen to reduce the chance of related injuries. Fall prevention first and foremost is a preventive program for Century Rehab’s patients. If we can identify a decline or risk early, we have a higher chance of rehabbing that decline and preventing a fall in the future. We can also utilize these positive results for our clients’ 5 star rating.
Why is it so important for therapists to keep detailed documentation and will there be any changes with this next year?
Documentation continues to be a focus in our industry. A high standard of quality with documentation allows you to provide the care and services your patients need and deserve. Documentation, like many other things in our industry, is continually changing, and it is important that therapists continue to receive education on those changes to produce high quality documentation. Data shows that therapists with the strongest documentation skills typically have the best resident outcomes. Outcomes are the most definitive evaluation of our therapy programs. If we are not achieving successful outcomes in an efficient manner, then we are failing the residents. Documentation, beginning with the evaluation, drives our therapy interventions and measures our successes and failures; it leads us to the next step.
What do you think is the most important thing that rehabilitation facilities need to focus on in 2018?
Our focus needs to remain on providing the highest quality of care in the most efficient way. Quality outcomes will be extremely important across the healthcare continuum in 2018. Century Rehab’s programs will evolve in the near future to ensure care meets resident-specific needs.