VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — September 30, 2013
As today’s baby boomer generation hits retirement age, this demanding generation is pushing for higher levels of care. Continuing Care Retirement Communities across the nation are responding, with new policies and practices designed to advance a wide range of patient care initiatives.
A cutting edge example is Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach, Virginia – a premier community featuring independent living apartments and villa homes, an assisted living facility, skilled nursing facility, and memory care unit. The community’s staff of skilled professionals is leading the way with innovative patient care initiatives for seniors at CCRCs.
Developing programs to reduce re-hospitalizations: By identifying acute problems early, intervening steps can be taken, for both outpatient and long-term CCRC patients, to prevent hospitalization or re-hospitalization. Atlantic Shores’ Seaside Health Center is one of only 251 nursing homes in the U.S. selected to participate in INTERACT, a quality improvement program designed to improve the early identification, evaluation, documentation, and communication about changes in the status of nursing home residents in nursing homes. Supported by a grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health, and approved by the Florida Atlantic University Institutional Review Board, this study involves tracking data on patient care, and how daily monitoring, specialized lab work, X-rays, aggressive wound care and other practices affect the percentage of patients that need to be readmitted for hospital care.
Staff/Team approach to healthcare monitoring: Comprehensive healthcare for seniors in a CCRC goes beyond skilled nursing practices. Progressive CCRCs are involving overall staff into the healthcare process. At Atlantic Shores, full-time EMT staff issue a report to the community’s clinic for every call they make, which is followed-up with a patient appointment to catch things early. Nursing Assistants who do in-home visits also notify the clinic with changes in patient status. Even management and general staff act as eyes and ears for the community’s medical staff. Knowing residents personally, they are aware when someone looks or acts differently, and can immediately communicate with medical staff and family members.
Full time M.D. on staff: Due to cost considerations, most facilities contract with a medical school or an entire practice to arrange for on-site doctor visits. Some CCRCs are moving toward having full-time M.D.s on staff in order to provide more comprehensive daily and emergency care. Atlantic Shores recently added Dr. Dan McCready as Medical Director of Healthcare Services. By basing his entire practice at Atlantic Shores, Dr. McCready is able to closely monitor patients receiving rehabilitation or long-term care, and work with consulting specialists to provide personalized patient care. He is also an integral member of the clinic, where he sees patients on a regular basis.
On-staff Nurse Practitioners certified in wound care, ostomy and continence care: Usually Nurse Practitioners with these specialized skills are based in a clinic or hospital, with patients needing to be sent to an Emergency Room or clinic for their care. CCRCs nationwide are beginning to integrate staff with specialized certifications to provide comprehensive, on-site care. Atlantic Shores is the only CCRC in the Tidewater area with certified Wound Care professionals on staff.