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Senior Housing > Blog > 2015 > March

Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, CCRC & Healthcare Providers Face “The Culture Change”

A number of my other Blogs addressed the impact that the Skilled Nursing industry has been experiencing with HISP, (self-insurance), dual eligibility and early hospital readmission penalties. This blog explores the brighter side.  There are many positive steps being taken by Nursing Home Providers and all healthcare providers that reflect the shift from the historically operated and regulated institutionalized medical/residential facilities to person-centered care based on the belief that values and wishes of residents should be honored by those working directly with the residents,   and those individual values and wishes are of prime importance.  By the 21st century most providers were aware that the nursing home and healthcare providers of the past no longer met the needs or the demands of the generation seeking transitional care or long term care.  The following reflects examples of how some providers have met the challenge of Culture Change:

Village Care in New York became aware that they needed to distinguish between the residents that were looking for short term care and those that required long term care.  They found that most of their residents were interested in getting quality care and returning home.   Village care responded by creating a plan that would build a unique, new short-stay plan program that would help people heal and recover faster and therefore return home sooner.   The needs and desires of the individual became the paramount concern of Doctors, nurses and care givers and all employees of Village Care.  The consideration of the needs of today’s patient, and the demand in the community for high-quality post-hospital rehab, shaped the plan and design for the Village Care Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, defining its role in New York City healthcare.

The Green House Model was developed by Dr. William Thomas which is a radical departure from the traditional nursing home’s institutional setting and mindset.    The Green House model by design and philosophy encourages small groups of residents and staff to become a community which together promote high quality care respectful of each resident’s individual wishes.  The change in emphasis necessitates a different approach to facility size, interior design, staffing patterns and methods of delivering skilled professional services.  The project is active in 32 states with 134 homes open and 106 homes in development since May 2012.

Some of the changes on the road to a more person- centered, homelike resident experience are untested and their outcomes are therefore uncertain.  To improve life quality of residents in nursing homes, assisted living and continuing care residential communities, regulations and courts must accommodate necessary innovation and its uncertain consequences in ways that reward and encourage rather than punish culture change.  The healthcare industry is on a move.  The healthcare industry, like all of us, are struggling to adjust to the new 21st century demands of a fast changing technological age.  Trial and error persists, mistakes are made and it seems like we are all slow learners.  However, the intentions   of the majority are good, even though sometimes the outcome is disappointing, but out of the struggle comes the progress in the healthcare industry, as well as in all of our lives.