BENNINGTON, VT—December 7, 2016—Katharine Murphy, BSN, RN, has been on a year-long mission to reduce the number of times nursing home residents need to go back to the hospital for care. Transfers are inefficient for hospitals and nursing homes as well as disruptive to residents who experience them. Fewer transfers increase the continuity of care and improves patients’ and residents’ safety.
Murphy’s research entitled, Early Intervention: Decreasing Unplanned Transfers and 30-Day Readmissions from a Skilled Nursing Facility, was presented at the 8th Annual Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Symposium last month in Colchester, VT. The presentation uses data collected at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation (CLR), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) in Bennington.
“I am proud of the hard work and results that the team at CLR were able to achieve, and I am excited to share this important work in a statewide forum,” Murphy said.
Through careful data collection, analysis, and process improvement, Murphy and her colleagues at CLR were able to reduce 30-day readmission rates from a high of 16.7 percent in August 2015 to 2.8 percent in July 2016. Unplanned transfers to the Emergency Department and other hospital areas decreased from 21 per month in January 2016 to 10 per month in July 2016.
Murphy’s work was funded through a grant from the Vermont Health Care Innovations Project obtained by the Transitional Care Program at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. INTERACT stands for “Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers.” This free, evidence-based quality-improvement program was specifically designed for nursing homes.
While the INTERACT program provides tools for nursing homes to use to decrease transfers, the barriers to success are often complex. Murphy began by collecting data about residents and their experiences and incorporated feedback from frontline staff at CLR to tailor the program rollout. Implementation included engagement of staff at all levels within the facility. For instance, she helped CLR staff—including non-clinical employees, as well as nurses and LNAs—to increase their awareness of even small changes in a resident’s condition. Other work indicated that residents should each have an advanced care plan on file.
“Katharine’s work has greatly improved our staff’s ability to identify and implement early interventions for improved quality of care for our residents” said Suzanne Anair, administrator of CLR.
In addition to CLR, Murphy worked with the Centers for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Hoosick Falls, NY, and The Vermont Veteran's Home and Crescent Manor, both in Bennington, to proliferate the program throughout the region.
For a high-resolution image of Katharine at CLR, click here.
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC’s providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. SVHC includes the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care skilled nursing facility; the SVHC Foundation; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), which includes 19 primary and specialty care practices. Primary care offices are located in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, and Wilmington. To learn more, visit svhealthcare.org.
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