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Aug
15

Coming to a skilled nursing facility to live or for a short-term rehabilitation stay can be very stressful experience for most people.  Because there’s no place like home, most people fear losing independence when someone else is providing the most basic care needs such as bathing and dressing, eating or toileting.  Experiencing the unknown is not easy; the more we understand and the most information a person has, may lessen the associated stress.  When people come to a Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services facility, they are able to interact with friendly staff at all levels.  The Liberty facilities take a person centered approach to care, realizing that it is much more than just addressing the medical need.  It is also about helping to meet the needs of the whole person. The accommodations at Liberty are much nicer as well; most with private rooms offering more of a hotel type atmosphere.

What can a person expect on admission? The first thing that helps reduce a person’s anxiety level is meeting a friendly person who can explain what is about to happen.  The Certified Nursing Assistant (C N A) is usually this first person seen, followed by the attending nurse.  The C N A is the first greeter in most cases engaging the person in conversation with an introduction of themselves and a welcome followed by other questions that will help the person feel better about the experience.  C N A’s play a critical role in a facility because they are seen more frequently than other staff and they are the people responsible to help meet the ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living).

The second person usually seen is the attending nurse. The nurse engages the person in conversation while asking a number of questions including whether they wear eye glasses, dentures, or a hearing aid.  The nurse asks about any pain or discomfort the patient may have and whether they have any allergies to food or medication.

In addition, an overall evaluation is done to look at skin conditions including current wounds, abrasions, or surgical incisions that need special attention. At some point early in the arrival, the nurse or the C N A will also obtain vital signs and get an initial weight of the person to ensure a good starting point to the rehabilitative process.  All of this data is entered into the patient’s secure electronic medical record (EMR), and will be reviewed by a physician that works for the facility.

The third individual seen is usually a representative from the dietary department. They ask about any food likes and dislikes. The dietary department reviews any specific diet restrictions and communicates with nursing anything relating to food and diet needs as ordered by the referring physician.

The Physical, Occupational, and or Speech therapists are the next team members who do an initial evaluation to determine the course of action in regard to beginning therapy. The goal of the therapy department is to get the person as independent as they were prior to whatever episode happened and back home safely enjoy the things they love to do.

Other key people that engage the patient are the Business Office Manager and Admission Coordinator.  The Business Office Manager talks about insurance coverage and how the billing works especially in regards to Medicare and Medicaid coverage.  The Admission Coordinator meets with the person to go over guidelines; the rights of the patient while having them sign a number of papers including a Consent to Treat, Advance Directives, and release of information. The Activities Director reviews the extra opportunities to engage the person in leisure activities such as singing, bingo, auctions, movies, and a number of other great opportunities to help the person relax and take their minds off of their medical issues at hand.

When considering a place for rehabilitation or for long term extended care, the importance of staff within a facility offering kind words, a genuine smile, and simply explaining the process, speaks volumes in the recovery process.  At Liberty Health and Rehabilitation Services, our goal is to strive to make the patient experience, the best it can be.

 

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Aug
13

Westfield Rehabilitation and Health Center will continue the tradition of serving Lee County residents following a ribbon cutting ceremony and Open House on August 13, 2013 from 3:00 PM-6:00 pm.

Westfield replaces Lee County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled facility that has served the residents of Lee County for over 50 years.  Westfield will transfer patients from Lee County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Friday, August 16th with new admissions being taken on Monday, August 19th.

The heart of the facility is the 3,996 square feet of rehabilitation gym space with state of the art equipment to assist patients with their recovery from surgery, illness, or injury.   “We are excited to be the first rehabilitation facility in North Carolina to offer patients access to a specialized piece of equipment, the SciFit Function C3.” says Tammy McPherson, Senior Director of Rehabilitation Operations with Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services.  During the open house, guests will have the chance to see the SciFit Function C3 in action and talk with therapists about what to expect from therapy in a short stay facility.

Westfield offers a convenient location in the Sandhills Region for short term rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, out-patient physical, occupational and speech therapy.  The typical diagnoses treated include, but are not limited to, joint replacement, fractures, stroke, and recovery from general surgical procedures.  Often times, patients have secondary conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a heart condition.

Westfield will take admissions twenty-hour hours a day, seven days a week to align with the acute care hospitals that make patient referrals.

Additional Facts About Westfield-

  • It is a 52,000 square foot facility that will replace Lee County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a facility that has provided skilled care to Lee County residents for over 50 years.
  • The facility is licensed as a skilled nursing facility and will have 83 beds, 21 private and 31 semi-private suites, all have private bathrooms with showers.
  • Facility has three hallways with 16 to 18 patient rooms in each area.
  • Westfield will offer short and long term care, out-patient physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, skilled nursing, hospice and respite services.
  • The dedicated short-term rehabilitation hallway offers 17 private rooms and 1 semi-private room, all have private full bathrooms, flat screen televisions with cable, phone service, refrigerators, cafe dining, a private dining area, and outdoor gathering areas.
  • Patients have access to a 3,996 square foot rehabilitation gym with state of the art equipment, a rehab kitchen that includes a clothes washer and dryer and an outdoor Rehabilitation Garden.
  • Westfield is taking advantage of a quiet setting with several outdoor gathering areas for the use of patients and their guests.
  • Always Available meal options and in-room dining.
  • Offers complimentary Wi-Fi and Internet access.
  • Offers transportation Concierge for physician appointments.
  • Has on site barber and beauty spa.
  • Lobby coffee bar.

 

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Aug
07

Hospitals employ social workers and nurses as discharge planners, who are responsible to help patients and their family with the transition to the next level of care.  In many cases, the nurse discharge planners have previously worked as a floor nurse and have experience working with a variety of patients.  The goal when the discharge planner meets with a patient and their family is to facilitate the physician’s recommendation for the next level of care the patient would benefit from.  When in-patient rehabilitation is recommended, the discharge planner provides an unbiased review of the options for the purpose of choosing a provider.  This helps the process of reviewing and making a visit to a few locations.  At the point this information is discussed, the patient’s discharge date is approaching.

It is at this point, the family begins the journey of making visits to rehabilitation facilities.  In some locations, the options are endless and many have similar features which can make it confusing.  Liberty recommends visiting a few locations because every facility has a “personality” and only family truly will know where the patient will feel the most comfortable.  It is the staff who “make up” the facility; chandeliers and flat screen televisions may not be indicative of the quality of care provided.

Things a patient and family should also consider is the location of the facility in relation to family and friends.  This is so the patient has visitors during their rehabilitation stay and so they continue to be motivated to participate in therapy.  Asking some of the following questions of the rehabilitation provider helps to make an informed decision:

 

 How often is physical, occupational, speech therapy available?

 Does the facility offer a dedicated area for short term rehabilitation or specialized programming?

 What types of medical conditions has the facility treated?

 What is the facility average length of stay?

 What is the success rate for patients returning to their prior living setting?

 How does the facility plan for the patient’s treatment and ultimate discharge home?

 Are there any smells in the patient areas?

 Does the staff appear to enjoy their work?  Are they interacting with patients?

 Does the staff introduce themselves to visitors of the facility?  Do they offer assistance?

 

Visiting a few facilities will help with comparing programs and capabilities.  Talk with the staff who are providing patient care and ask what motivates them to do their job.  Working in a rehabilitation facility is a calling, one that is focused on serving.  Together, with the patient and family, the staff at a facility help the patient to heal.

 

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Jul
16

Making sure that our political leadership has a clear understanding of our dedication to quality care is a top priority for all staff across Liberty Healthcare.  Numerous of our skilled rehabilitation and nursing centers across the State of N.C. are working hard to make sharing this message as easy as possible to local, state and national political representatives.  A convenient and simple way to help share our message of quality care & services is through the establishment of facility-located Advocacy Centers.

Numerous of our skilled rehab & nursing centers have already set-up their Advocacy Centers in their front lobby area for quick and easy access.  Typically these Advocacy Centers, which encourage continued government support and financial backing for quality senior health, provide a picture of the political representatives for a particular District along with their contact information as well as hi-lights of relevant healthcare issues.  Likewise, the Advocacy Centers help to describe and more clearly illustrate the importance and impact of communicating with our political leadership.

As thousands more of N.C. residents reach the age of 65 each month the importance of keeping senior healthcare issues in front of our politicians grows more important every day.  At the federal level issues related to Medicare and rehabilitation services and home care options remain critically vital.  At the state level the battle rages to preserve Medicaid funding to ensure quality care for those needing financial assistance.  Personal Care services funding for those in assisted living has already been ravished.  It will take all of us sharing our input and concerns to keep our political leadership informed and held accountable.  The health and well-being of our seniors, our greatest generation is at stake.

With all of this in mind, I ask that you take a few minutes to stop by to check out the Advocacy Center at your local Liberty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Services location.  Peruse the information to re-acquaint yourself with your political representatives.  Feel free to take a few minutes to learn what all of us can do and how easy it easy for each of us to make a difference.  By all means, if you don’t see the Advocacy Center, do not hesitate to ask.  The facility Administrator or another member of caring staff will be glad to provide you assistance or answer any questions that you may have.  Thank you for your interest in our seniors and your loyalty to our Liberty family of caring services.

By Paul T. Babinski, LNHA

 

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Jul
05

When someone is planning an elective surgery, they should consider what happens after the hospital discharge. There are times that discharging directly back to home is not the safest option.

Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services Pre-Registration program is designed to help people have an active part in planning their post-surgical treatment and decision-making.

The process is easy. It begins by calling the facility to schedule a visit with the admissions staff. At this visit, the admissions staff provides a tour of the short term rehabilitation unit and the therapy gym. Potential patients have the opportunity to meet the staff who will be providing their care and to ask questions about what to expect from a post-hospital stay and how insurance pays for the care.

When a potential patient confirms the facility is their provider of choice, the admissions staff will verify insurance coverage and benefits. If prior authorization is needed the admissions staff takes care of this. Facility admission paperwork is completed in advance, making the bridge from hospital to facility as seamless as possible.

A Clinical Liaison follows the patient after surgery and confirms with the hospital the patient is pre-registered with our Liberty facility. The liaison coordinates the discharge process making sure the surgeon’s orders and any special arrangements that may be needed are made, and everything is ready at the facility for the patient’s arrival.
During the rehabilitation in the facility, patients and their caregivers are also encouraged to attend a discharge planning class. These classes are set up to help ease the transition back home.

Overall, the Pre-registration program with Liberty is designed to minimize the stress and anxiety a patient and their family may have about the post hospitalization process and allows them to focus on their recuperation following their surgery.

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