Nursing homes from across Alabama gathered in Birmingham today to celebrate the accomplishments of a health care quality initiative.

The Nursing Facility Intervention (NFI) Executive Leadership Outcomes Congress held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens recognized the work of 23 nursing homes from May to October 2014. During the six-month NFI Executive Collaborative, each nursing home aimed to equip its leadership teams with the knowledge and resources to reduce avoidable hospitalizations.

At the end of the day long educational event, eight awards were handed out and five NFI best practices were presented.

The award recipients are:

  • Leadership Excellence Award: Jeanine Shaw, Administrator, Shelby Ridge Rehab Select, Alabaster
    • Jeanine participated in all six learning sessions bringing a team of leaders with her each time – demonstrating her commitment and dedication to her center and the Nursing Facility Initiative
  • Team Excellence Award: Schmidt Wallace Healthcare Company, Montgomery
    • The corporate leadership team displayed outstanding leadership, unrivaled support and exceptional team collaboration during the six month collaborative
  • Champion – Best of State: Golden Living Center Oneonta, Oneonta
    • This center has made great strides and achieved outstanding results in medication safety, staff stability and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
  • Quality Champion Award: Birmingham Nursing & Rehab, Birmingham
    • The organization has achieved outstanding results using team work and the Quality Assurance Performance Improvement Process
  • Quality Champion Award: Cordova Health & Rehab, Cordova
    • The center achieved outstanding results in preventing avoidable hospitalizations
  • Quality Champion Award: Golden Living Center Montgomery, Montgomery
    • The organization achieved extraordinary results in medication management and built and utilized a medication management team to reduce polypharmacy
  • Quality Champion Award: Jacksonville Health & Rehab, Jacksonville
    • Jacksonville achieved outstanding unrivaled results identifying and communicating early warning signs of resident changes in condition preventing avoidable hospitalizations
  • Quality Champion Award: Traylor Retirement Community, Roanoke
    • Traylor achieved exceptional results in workforce stability.

The awards were presented by the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF). AQAF is the lead member of the NFI Collaborative.

NFI Best Practice Presentations

In addition, Care Pathways Coaches gave presentations on five best practices that are improving health care outcomes at their respective nursing home. Each of the 23 NFI participating nursing homes is assigned a Care Pathways Coach. The coach is a registered nurse that works full-time in the nursing home to help with quality improvement efforts. The coaches are employees of AQAF.

  • Donna Clark, Care Pathways Coach at the Folsom Center for Rehab & Healthcare, Cullman
    • Presented the best practice “Employee Happenings.” The Employee Happenings bulletin board features employees that have made strides in enhancing communication between staff members and/or nursing to physician communication aiding in the reduction of avoidable hospitalizations.
  • Tammy McSwain, Care Pathways Coach at Woodland Village Rehab & Healthcare Center, Cullman
    • Presented the best practice “Stars of the Village.” Stars of the Village is a tool used to recognize employees who have embraced the evidence based INTERACT STOP & WATCH and SBAR tools to identify early warning signs of resident changes in condition and communicate important resident information to the physician.
  • Kristi Hosey, Care Pathways Coach at Birmingham Nursing & Rehab Center, Birmingham
    • Presented the best practice of using a whiteboard/watch list. The white boards in Birmingham Nursing and Rehab are located on the units contain the QA and safety focus of the day as well as changes or updates in resident conditions. All staff members are encouraged to utilize and make edits to the information boards.
  • Verletta Lockett, Care Pathways Coach at North Hill Nursing & Rehab Center, Birmingham
    • Presented the best practice “Who-Da-Best Competition.” This best practice is a healthy competition between nursing units to see which unit can utilize the INTERACT tools appropriately, identify resident changes in condition, prevent falls and ultimately improve resident care and reduce avoidable hospitalizations.
  • Shawn Dillon, Care Pathways Coach at Golden LivingCenter Riverchase, Birmingham
    • Presented the best practice “CreatEDUCATION.” Artwork is used to create a monthly learning board on topics relating to resident care using evidence based information. Using the knowledge highlighted on the learning boards, staff have been able to identify a residents at hi-risk for complications, preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

About the Nursing Facility Intervention:

The NFI Collaborative is a partnership of the Alabama Nursing Home Association, Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation, Alabama Dept. of Public Health and several other health care organizations. Established in 2013, it is funded by a $15.2 million grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Twenty-three Alabama nursing homes in 14 counties are participating in the collaborative. Nationwide, 145 nursing homes in seven states are participating.

Alabama nursing homes participating in the collaborative are:

About AQAF
AQAF provides health care quality improvement services to clients in the public and private sectors. Through a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, AQAF serves as Alabama’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization. For more information visit www.aqaf.com.

Editor’s Note: The Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation contributed to this article.