Improving Long-Term Care Admissions Policy: A Voice of Change

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Improving Long-Term Care Admissions Policy: A Voice of Change Thirty minutes before evening shift change and you receive the call. A new admission is in route to your facility. The patient is reported to be of high acuity, requires intravenous antibiotics, and has a diagnosis of chronic pain. In some health care settings this would be considered a typical new patient admission. However, for rural long-term care facilities there is potential for considerable complications. In a setting where registered nurses are only required to be in the facility eight hours within a twenty-four hour time frame, significant complications can arise during admissions that require certain specialty care specific to the RN. Ineffective discharge…show more content…
This is an example of how poor collaboration and medication discrepancies can be detrimental to patients. Further research into my experience has revealed similar scenarios being played out across long-term care facilities nation wide (Kirsebom, Wadensten & Hedstrom, 2013). Premature discharging from hospitals has resulted in medication discrepancies, incomplete discharge orders, and inappropriate medical treatments. Recent studies show that three out four skilled nursing facility admissions experience medication discrepancies from the discharging institute (Tjia, Bonner, Briesacher, McGee, Terrill & Miller, 2009). The majority population of long-term health facilities is comprised of geriatric patients with complex comorbidities. Studies show that one-third of these patients have cognitive impairments, and over one-half have physical limitations (Tjia, Bonner, Briesacher, McGee, Terrill & Miller, 2009). It is important to know geriatric patients have increased vulnerabilities. When patients are poor historians and family is unavailable, the nurse often becomes their only advocate during facility admissions. Adequate discharge planning is imperative for patient safety and successful transitions from hospitals to long-term care facilities. It is the equal responsibility of both care
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