A “Win-Win” Situation

Several years ago, a group of people in Missouri started looking at the safety of seniors and people with disabilities.  We were made aware of the HHQI campaign and contacted them to see if we could use/modify their materials for in-home agencies.   As a result, Missouri in-home agencies (Medicaid and private pay) have been working with this training material for several years.  The bottom line is helping staff communicate with the senior/adult with disabilities to improve their chances of staying in the least restrictive environment and most importantly, avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.

HHQI resources are adaptable for any care setting including in-home (Medicaid and private pay agencies) and assisted living/residential care homes.  COME JOIN the campaign!

We all know that people prefer to stay in their own home or apartment, where privacy is assured and where they are surrounded by their belongings.  Going to the hospital seems, for many older adults, the first step in losing their independence. Will they return home or find that more assistance is needed?

Whether they are in their own place or in an assisted living/residential care facility, one of their goals is to stay as independent as possible.  The training materials for Phase III of HHQI are designed with that goal in mind; focusing on medications and avoiding hospitalizations.

There’s no need to “reinvent” trainings, the campaign has done the work for you.  By taking advantage of these quality improvement educational materials, you are helping both your staff and clients/residents.  And, in addition to the training, you can communicate with agencies/providers across the country to get new ideas or share your best practices.

As a part of this national campaign, many states have a statewide group (known as a Network Coordinators)) comprised of organizations that create campaign awareness, provide encouragement and facilitate communication among agencies/providers.

As the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in Missouri, I am involved with the nursing home equivalent of HHQI (Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign).  In that campaign, just like this one, we find that having educational materials that include audio and video assist with the learning process.  And that’s what this is all about:  teaching staff how to assist client/residents in staying safe and staying out of the hospital.

While the nursing home campaign is looking into quality improvement areas such as reducing restraint use, staff stability, resident and staff satisfaction, pain, etc., the HHQI campaign has modules on emergency care planning, fall prevention, medication management, physician relationships, etc.  And both campaigns are continually updating the materials and keeping current with topics needed to improve quality.

This opportunity to partner with other like-minded individuals is a “win-win” for your organization, staff and the customers.  My hope is that every in-home provider and residential care/assisted living facility in the country will sign up and participate in the HHQI campaign.

Carol Scott

Missouri State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

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