Healthcare: Nursing Home Administrator Training

NHA_photoThis Pennsylvania State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators approved specialty program is designed to provide a knowledge core of education for those interested in pursuing a career in the long term care administration field. The courses may also serve to satisfy State of Pennsylvania license renewal requirements.  Consisting of sixteen courses, each 7.5 hours in length, the 120-hour program is taught by Penn State University faculty and area professionals.

*Penn State School of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the PA State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Dates: September 25, 2014 to November 14, 2014

Day/Time: Thursdays and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: Penn State Greater Allegheny

Cost: $2240

Courses may be taken individually for $140 each

[Read more...]

Southwestern PA Partnership for Aging Annual Meeting

Southwestern PA Partnership for Aging (SWPPA) is holding their Annual Meeting, “Addressing Today’s Challenges for Aging Consumers,” on Wednesday December, 3rd from 8am to 4pm at Robert Morris University in Moon Twp.

New This Year at SWPPA!

  • Round Robin Table Discussions & Networking:  Sponsorship opportunities available!
  • The agenda includes:
  • Findings on Family Caregiver Needs and Issues Presented by the AARP and United Way
  • Behavioral Health Issues in Older Adults Presented by the PA Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition
  • Health Literacy Presented by the Regional Health Literacy Coalition
  • The Future of Long Term Care and Aging – Panel Presentation by Experts from State Organizations
  • Policy Direction of Long Term Care and Aging in Pennsylvania – Panel Presentation by State Legislators

The program will provide 5 CEU hours for Social Workers, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators and Personal Care Home Administrators.

There are many opportunities to exhibit and sponsor – please join us! 

Questions may be directed to Lucy Cichon at 412-595-7554

or Betty Karleski at 412-352-0703 or

Managing the Risks of Treating Chronic Pain with Opioids

Mock_Jane_20121113_138_rv2[2]By Jane Mock, Risk Management Specialist

Physicians need to be especially careful when managing chronic pain with opioid medications. Medical practices often seek risk management advice when they suspect a patient is misusing prescription medications, is not complying with treatment, or when the patient is making unreasonable demands for more opioids. If a patient suffers harm as a result of opioid medication use, a physician may find himself the target of a lawsuit alleging negligent treatment of chronic pain. 

How Does the Management of Opioids Create Potential Liability?

  • Claims against physicians for negligent treatment and/or management of opioid medications frequently arise from the following:
  • Prescribing opioids without performing any diagnostic examinations
  • Prescribing an excessive quantity of opioids
  • Prescribing additional narcotics when not indicated
  • Failing to consider, screen for, or suspect narcotic addiction, and failing to refer the patient for treatment of drug addiction
  • Negligent monitoring
  • Failing to consult or refer to a pain specialist

Is the Story Clear?

The physician might think that he or she has managed a patient’s pain appropriately, but if the medical record documentation does not reflect that, defense of care is difficult. Examples of poor documentation include: 

  • No indication that the treating physician reviewed the patient’s prior medical records or studies
  • No physical exam results
  • No quantitative assessments of the patient’s pain
  • No indication that the treating physician discussed the risk of opioid addiction
  • No pain medication agreement
  • No evidence of assessment of effectiveness of the pain medications
  • No rationale for the physician’s medication choices
  • No copies of narcotic prescriptions

[Read more...]

Finding Your Internal Motivation during Difficult Times

Today’s guest post is by Mike Figliuolo, the author of One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership. Here’s Mike:

As leaders, we’re always going to go through difficult times. When we were more junior we had other people to pick us up when we fell down. As a kid it was a parent or a coach who would dust us off and say “Get back out there.” We’ve had bosses who have been helpful when we faced crises.

But now, the higher you are in terms of leadership roles in your organization and the more people you’re leading, the fewer people there are to pick you up and dust you off. You need to be in a position where you can lead yourself out of those difficult situations.

Your team is watching you to see how you behave when you face adversity. Having a leadership maxim to help you motivate yourself and lead yourself through that difficult situation to get to the other side can be a very powerful tool to have.

[Read more...]

Applications for Nursing Students to Perfect Their Patient and Professional Communication

Our health care environment poses a number of barriers to effective communication, including shorter hospital stays, more technologically complex medical care, and constrained resources. As college students return to school this month, a new STTI book will be a great resource for nursing educators and students to hone their communication skills before entering the health care field.

Cheri Clancy, MSN, MS, RN, NE-BC, has witnessed these barriers firsthand during her 15 years of nursing leadership and patient experience. In her new book, Critical Conversations in Healthcare: Scripts & Techniques for Effective Interprofessional & Patient Communication, Clancy takes a how-to approach on incorporating body language, emotional competence, and script tips into one user-friendly and practical manual.

Forecasting is Always Entertaining…And Sometimes a Bit Scary

Bruce Knepper_Stantec_headshotBy Bruce Knepper, AIA, ACHA, NCARB

I recall numerous forecasts of things to come, be it weather via Joe or the Farmers’ Almanac or the future of healthcare.  Somehow, something that we did not forecast occurs and VOILA! … a different future emerges.  

I remember the early 1980s when the forecasters said we had way too many hospital beds in Allegheny County. Advancements in medical technology, it was predicted, would drive down the need for hospital stays.  

In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, the bed issue was addressed via  Certificate of Need (CON) requirements. This was intended to control  the growth of beds and reduce overlapping or unnecessary services.  The CON era did not go exactly as planned. Many of my clients were in fact posturing to add beds.  They  feared that if they actually closed beds they would never get them back (from the state) when they needed them. What was the real reason we needed to eliminate beds?  I’ve forgotten at this point.

Time passed, The CON law sunset and we added beds. 

[Read more...]

LaRoche Healthcare Programs

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.02.11 PM

EMT Training—Sept. 15

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 3.57.18 PM

Time to Start Talking: Making Parents Part of the Aging Process Now

Communication_TipDiscussing aging issues, such as living arrangements, finances, dating, end-of-life decisions and driving, early and often can save families years of heartache, tension and even legal battles. Yet, research indicates that about two-thirds of American families put off these conversations, either because they are uncomfortable with the topics or they just don’t know where to start. 1

Statistics show that 34 percent of adults surveyed are conversation avoiders. 2 That is, they haven’t talked about any important end-of-life issues with their parents or children, or they have talked about just one issue. 

To help, the local Home Instead Senior Care office is sponsoring the “40-70 Rule®” program, which includes an Action Plan for Successful AgingSM and other resources to help ease these conversations between adult children and their parents. 

[Read more...]

Embracing Mobility: How Technology Can Help Improve Patient Care

By Randy Hickel, Manager of Worldwide Healthcare Business Development, HP LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions

Have you noticed that healthcare employees are using their mobile devices and tablets more frequently? According to the Ponemon Institute, 81 percent of healthcare organizations permit employees and medical staff to use their own mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to connect to work networks. With this continued growth of mobile device usage, IT managers must be prepared for the potential challenges that accompany the “always-on,” connected employee, including securing confidential data.

Technology can help to make shifting to a mobile workplace easier and more secure for healthcare providers. This includes securing your print environment, storing patient records in the cloud and implementing a simplified user authentication process. Implementing a comprehensive mobile security strategy has significant benefits, including increased employee productivity, greater collaboration and better-quality patient care.

[Read more...]

Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals For Dummies

jeff and dale back to backBy Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield – The Lease Coach

Each year in North America, approximately two million business owners, entrepreneurs, retailers, franchisees, and healthcare professionals negotiate a lease renewal for their location. Perhaps that’s why negotiating lease renewals for tenants has become The Lease Coach’s specialty. Many healthcare tenants make costly mistakes on their first lease agreement, and if they’re not careful, may continue to pay the price for those mistakes in their lease-renewal term. 

Each year, we speak with hundreds of tenants who attend The Lease Coach seminars or contact us directly for lease-renewal assistance. Considering that the average healthcare tenant only negotiates a couple of leases in their lifetime, it’s easy to understand how leasing myths can persist. Occasionally these myths are created and propagated by the landlord, but also by real estate professionals looking to serve their own interests. The following myths are the most common.

[Read more...]

3 Ways to Boost Your Brain During Your Commute

Businesswoman listening to music and using tablet computer on thIf you’re lucky enough to have a reliable source of public transportation in your area, take advantage of the idle time and fill it with a few exercises that boost your brain power. You’ll feel more energized and efficient, and ready for your day ahead or time home with family at night. Here are just a few ways to utilize that downtime during transit and transform it into time to train your brain.

1. Learn a New Language

Many people want to learn a second language simply because it expands their ability to communicate and make travel easier and more fulfilling. In addition to those benefits, learning a second language is also advantageous for your career. Not only can people who speak multiple languages expect greater career opportunities and higher pay rates, the need for interpreters and translators is on the rise.

DuoLingo offers free language-learning apps for Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and English that have been found to surpass university courses in an independent study.

[Read more...]

Latest Issue Online

The latest issue of Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News is now online.

Be sure to check it out and forward it onto your friends and colleagues who work in the healthcare industry. Download it now. HospNews 7 2014 web

Asbury Heights Short-Term Rehab Balancing Quality and Enhancements

By Cara Todhunter

Making changes at any organization involves a balance of numerous factors including quality of care, budget, staffing, research and communication.

At Asbury Heights, we are in the midst of substantial changes and improvements in our short-term rehabilitation area.

Our changes are beginning easily enough with the conversion of our tray line buffet into a country kitchen environment. We also purchased new televisions and comfortable home-like chairs for guest rooms. The provision of outstanding care isn’t about the amenities, but guest comfort does factor in.

When it comes to quality, Asbury has earned the privilege of having a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It’s an honor we have maintained for several years. The provision of quality care is a daily goal and an organization-wide effort. The rating lets us know that we are succeeding.

[Read more...]

Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services Plans Move to New Location

Erika Arbogast

Erika Arbogast

By Kathleen Ganster

Moving into a new home is exciting for any one and the folks at the Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services (BVRS) are especially excited about theirs. 

“We will have everything under one roof and on a bus line – those two issues are huge for us,” Erika Arbogast, president, said. 

BVRS has served the community since 1904 and helps individuals who have lost their vision and other disabilities to lead independent lives, according to Arbogast. 

“And that might mean learning how to cook, clean, just even learning to match their socks again,” she said. 

Until now, BVRS has had two locations – one in Homestead and a temporary home in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.  Next year, though, they will move into their new location at 1816 Locust Street, a move that Arbogast thought might never happen. 

[Read more...]