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Transitional Respiratory Care Program – Welcome to caregiver connections with WRC senior services.Caregiver Connections is geared towards older adults and caregivers who are providing support for elderly loved ones. Our goal is to share with you some helpful tips and info that might make your life a little bit easier.
Transitional Respiratory Care Program – Caregiver Connections
Video By WRCSeniorServices Channel
WRC Senior Services WRC is a not-for-profit organization based in Brookville, and here in Clarion WRC operates the brand new Water Run Landing campus which just opened in August and is located 300 Water Run Road right off 5th Avenue.
Also in Clarion County, WRC has Edgewood Heights personal care community and New Bethlehem and the in home solutions home care home health care & hospice agency here in Clarion joining us today is Kelly Fye, the Director of Nursing at McKinley Health Center which is WRC skilled nursing and rehabilitation community located on the Laurelbrooke Landing campus in Brookville.
How are you today Kelly? Good how are you? So you guys have recently started a new transitional respiratory care program at McKinley Health Center, could you describe that program for us maybe give us an overview?
Yeah, our respiratory therapy program is we’ve actually on board a respiratory therapy company through Encore Rehabilitation Services and we’ve also have a board-certified pulmonologist on board Dr. Bansal he’s from Penn Highlands Dubois and his Nurse Practitioner Dawn Jeannerat.
With this program we have respiratory therapists on board with us seven days a week along with, our already PT-OT-ST so our physical therapy, our occupational therapists and our speech therapists work in conjunction with those respiratory therapists.
The goal of our history program is to be able to help people with the aggressive respiratory issues get back to their previous level function whether that be home personal care home with home health wherever that may be.
So what are the admissions criteria? So our admissions criteria, like I said, we want anyone that is has an aggressive respiratory care need, we hear that individualized towards what the respiratory diseases so whether it be copd bronchitis pneumonia they just need oxygen management maybe they need airway management with a tracheostomy maybe they just came from the hospital and they had a ventilator CHF any of that,
And how’s that different than before, what have you guys changed now with this new program? So before our skilled services were largely geared toward orthopedic issues, so your knee replacement hip replacements we took a lot of motor vehicle accidents.
Just people that had pain, muscle weakness, just a decline in their function. Now we really want to step it up a level and look at patients who have a chronic need for the respiratory therapy.
So they might go home and still have that high functioning, we want we want them to be high functioning and still be able to deal with their chronic disease management.
Now like I said we have a pulmonologist on board which is a great big deal he’ll be there one day a week and then we have a nurse practitioner who is also in with him so she’s well-versed in pulmonology she’ll be there five days a week.
We have a respiratory therapist that is there seven days a week for 8 hours and we’ve provided a ton of training for our staff so that we’re more equipped to take care of those people, we’re able to accept people at a higher acuity than we did before.
I know a big thing you guys are doing is you’re helping care for patients with a tracheostomy, can you can you describe somewhat you what you guys are doing for for those patients?. In the past anytime we got some of the tracheostomy it was a scary thing our staff was not exactly trained the way that they needed because it wasn’t something we’ve seen before, but with the shift in the way health care is going people are not saying in the hospital as long and they’re being discharged with higher needs.
They’re coming to us with tracheostomy so our staff were actually provided a ton of training on that. We have our respiratory therapists who are there the moment. They walk in the door to make sure our tracheostomy these are cared for exactly how they need we’ve updated equipment make sure it’s all up to date and we are ready to care for them.
So how did you prepare your staff, you you said they had to go through a lot of training. What all types of things did they have to do to to be up-to-date and ready to go with the new program yeah we had a vice president of Oncorre have come in for several days.
Actually train our staff they had to go through an eight-hour training that included hands-on training on how to deal with a tracheostomy, how to change it, how to provide best infection control practices.
For that they had to learn the ins and outs of all the different oxygen tubing, all the different supplies they might need how they might be able to manage that, so if the respiratory therapist is not there they can actually help care for that, and heaven forbid if they didn’t mean need more help they do still have the respiratory therapist, but the respiratory therapist is always there to help educate them and keep them up-to-date on everything they need to know.
Kelly how do you pay for this, is it is it through private insurance, do they accept Medicare? What are your options here? So to pay for its just like any other skilled service so you’re paid you pay for it through your primary insurance, whether that be medical traditional Medicare with your three-day qualifying hospital stay
You might have a managed care company, so a lot of people have UPMC For Life for UPMC For You, Highmark Insurances and any of those, it’s just billed right to your insurance company and you don’t even have to worry about it.
So what are the long-term goals what are your long-term goals I guess then for for each person that comes through? What do you ultimately hope to have them achieve?
So right now we’ve really been having a huge focus on we want to get people back home to where they came from lot of people don’t want to be stuck in a nursing home forever.
We really want to work while they’re with us on education, how we can educate them to care for themselves when they go home, maybe set up with home health services. So one of our big goals is when we discharge these people we want to set them up with ways to manage this and not return to the hospital, not have to come back to us unless they’re just visiting.
We really want to try to educate the public more on respiratory issues because respiratory issues are more and more especially at this time of year, the wintertime. Pneumonia is big, we have bronchitis asthma exacerbations we want those people to be able to stay home and still take care of that law that they can come to us and get education and we can get them back up to speed.
We want them to go home strong. Could you maybe give some tips you know for those even if they’re not sick but maybe just kind of preventing your your winter illnesses and just trying to stay as healthy as possible throughout the winter?
Oh absolutely. With any chronic disease management, so our COPD, CHF, asthma any of that as soon as you start to see us say a sign or symptom of that disease go to your physician, don’t wait till it’s so bad you have to go to the emergency room and be hospitalized because that’s most likely going to weaken you and you’ll have a lengthy hospital stay, you’ll be weak.
You’ll have to probably then come to a nursing home, so just as soon as you see anything going on be sure to get to your physician and they can help alter your meds to take care of that.
How does that team everyone works you know but that’s obviously a process everyone has to work together how’s everything coordinated, I guess between each area?. So from the point of admission, so the time we get a referral from a hospital from a doctor’s office our admissions coordinator automatically will talk to the family to see where they were before.
We know where we need to get them for admissions coordinator is the first step in that process after that once a resident is admitted they obviously we’ll get the nursing support that they need all the nurses work together, we have a quality nurse who will help monitor all those values that we might look at. Infection rates, rehospitalization rates, all of that stuff so she’ll help look at that.
Within a couple of days of admission, a Social Services worker will come and talk to you about admission or discharge, what we need to do to get you back to home. She will also help you with any equipment needs, medication needs so that when you do go home you have everything you need to be safe.
Along with that we have a dietitian who works hand-in-hand with our respiratory therapist to make the best diet, so make sure that you’re not eating things that are going to compromise your respiratory status or your heart function.
So she’ll work hand-in-hand and she’ll evaluate those residents on a weekly basis to manage to make sure their weights are in good standing and their diet is best for their disease process along with that we also have a physical therapy occupational therapy and speech therapy speech therapy really works with residents to be able to make sure that when they are eating they are not compromising their respiratory status.
Aspiration is a huge issue with our elderly, so she really looks at that. And then our physical therapists and occupational therapists will work with the respiratory therapist to make sure that when residents are ambulating or transferring they’re doing what they need to do to make sure that they are not becoming compromised of oxygen so that they can continue to have high quality of life with their respiratory issues along with other comorbidities. And of course the residents have their attending physicians that come on a weekly basis to make sure that everything else is in good standing.
This show will be shared in a few days on our website. We have some other WRC news before we go today, the Villas at Water Run officially welcomed their first resident this week, which were really excited about.
The Villas are our new residential living community on the Water Run Landing campus here in Clarion. The homes there will be built as the reserved and we are currently accepting priority reservations for stage 2 of construction. The first six homes are currently under construction right now.
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