A panel of members from WHA’s Post-Acute Care Work Group was invited to the LeadingAge Spring Conference in Wisconsin Dells May 3 to share information about the Work Group’s recommendations and to have a dialogue with post-acute care providers about pressing issues in post-acute care.
Patient transition from the hospital to a post-acute setting or to the home is a crucial time which, if handled properly, can reduce a patient’s chance of being readmitted to the hospital. Successful transitions require effective communication between providers and families. To facilitate communication about best practices for care transitions, the Work Group has developed a statewide conference on care transitions, developed by WHA in conjunction with LeadingAge and other post-acute care providers, which will be held June 5 in Appleton. Panelists and audience members offered many additional suggestions for improved transitions, including providing accurate and complete discharge summaries upon admission of the patient to post-acute care; on-site visits by hospital and post-acute providers to each other’s facilities during care transitions; and communication between hospital and post-acute administrators and clinicians.
The workforce shortage in post-acute care is a serious issue that was addressed by the panel and the audience. A recently released report, “The Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis,” prepared by LeadingAge and other long-term care provider organizations, shows serious workforce issues that have worsened over the past two years. The Department of Health Services Wisconsin Caregiver Careers program was mentioned as one solution to partially alleviate the crisis. The Program provides free training and testing for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and a retention bonus for CNAs who remain employed for six months or more. As of May 3, more than 1,000 people had signed up for the program.
This lively discussion with almost 100 attendees showed the importance to hospitals, post-acute providers, and patients to address post-acute care. WHA will continue its focus on this important issue throughout 2018 and beyond.