Nominate Your Best Nurses for Boston Globe Honors and Annual HCA Event

February 20, 2013

The Boston Globe will be running a special section called the “Salute to Nurses,” which will be a standalone broadsheet section appearing in The Boston Sunday Globe on May 5, 2013. This section will focus on the stories that readers submit, recognizing the impact nurses have on patients’ lives.

Over the past 11 years, thousands of people have found “Salute to Nurses” to be a meaningful and public place to give thanks to the nurses who have helped them or loved ones through difficult times.

Visit the Boston Globe’s online form and submit your best nurse stories and, for agencies, encourage your patients to do the same if they have had a exceptional experience. This is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on the work of home health nurses.

Another opportunity to spotlight the great work from nurses, aides, and other staff is to nominate them for a “Star Award,” which will be given out at HCA’s annual Innovations Showcase and Star Awards Ceremony on April 17th at the Revere Hotel in Boston.

See the posting on the Alliance’s Calendar of Events for more details.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Guest Post: Time for Nurse Delegation Bill to Pass

February 20, 2013

By: Beverly Pavasaris, President, Brockton VNA
President, Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts

Once again this legislative session, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts has filed a bill (An Act Relative to Home Health & Hospice Aides) to allow nurses working in home health agencies and hospices to delegate the administration of certain medications to home health aides. Before this would occur, the home health agencies would need to provide training, certify competency skills and  establish documentation protocols according to the nurse delegation model developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Such regulations, according to the bill, will be drafted by the state’s Board of Registration in Nursing in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and with nursing input.

In past legislative sessions, I have testified in support of this bill as a creative and progressive solution to removing existing barriers that obstruct home health patients from getting needed care. Our legislation recognizes the changing scope of work that can be safely provided by paraprofessionals with appropriate nurse oversight and helps prepare our state for the aging of our population and growth in clients living at home with medical condition that are stable and predictable.

If this bill were to pass we would by no means be in the forefront of this issue.  A number of states, including Oregon and Washington, and most recently Connecticut , have addressed at-home medication delegation, resolving that the need for assistance with managing and administering medications should not drive citizens into nursing homes. Aside from the improved efficiency of care, Connecticut anticipates a $28 million savings per year from their effort to allow certified home health aides to assist nurses with certain tasks.

An obstacle to getting this bill passed has been lack of support from the state’s professional nursing organization: MNA. The Alliance has met with them on numerous occasions and assured them that this bill is intended to keep nurses, who are uniquely qualified to promote the health of patients in their homes, closely involved in the administration of medication.  They remain unconvinced.

At this time, the Board of Registration in Nursing is looking at revising their own delegation regulations to prepare for possible delegation of medication administration in the home. But we need the Legislature to act, and we would like to show them that we have nursing support.

Please get involved.  If you belong to MNA, let them know you support this.   If you would like to testify or set up a legislative meeting on this issue, contact James Fuccione, jfuccione@thinkhomecare.org.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Caregiver Videos: Parkinson’s At Home

February 19, 2013

Last month, we introduced the Care Giver Video Resource Center, our YouTube series for family care providers about home care and home care agencies.

In the sixth video in the series, Melanie Lewis & Jennifer St. Onge of Guardian Angels Senior Services discuss the challenges Parkinson’s Disease poses for family care providers and answer questions about what a home care agency can do to help.

To view the full series, visit our YouTube channel.  To access library of hundreds of care giver resources on a variety of subjects, visit www.eldercareskills.org, who produced the videos with us.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Guest Post: The Way Toward Effective Change: Go See and Respectfully Ask Why

February 19, 2013

By Jann Ahern, Executive Director South Shore VNA

whyLeading a home care agency  in today’s changing healthcare environment is challenging to say the least!   We must daily  juggle the needs of patients, families, employees, referral sources, insurance companies, and regulatory agencies.  With only so many hours on in a day,  we jump to the operational solution that is the quickest or most obvious.  Many times we are right, but some of the solutions we put in place are not always implemented effectively and are not sustained.  Why?

In our rush to solve a problem so that we can move on to the next one, we often neglect some important fact finding.  Experience shows us that there is no better way to get to the root of a problem than to go see for yourself what is actually happening. You need to ask –  in person  – of the people who do the work or who benefit from the work:   what works and what does not.   And then you need to go that next step: respectfully ask how they would do it better.

For a leader, this can be  an eye-opening experience.  What you may believe is working effectively and efficiently is often bogged down in work- arounds to an ineffective process.  The best solutions can come from the people who are actually doing the work or from people who are the recipient of your product/care.  Asking them why, rather than what forces people to think deep and to get to the root of an issue or problem

An added plus: buy in and adherence to a change can be more easily achieved if the people who do the work or who benefit from the work were the initiators of the solution.  It is a win for your entire organization.

To all good leaders and managers, I say:  get out of the office and go see what the issue is.  And respectfully ask the powerful question:  “why?”


Nominations Open For Innovation Showcase

February 13, 2013

Our Time To Shine

The Alliance will be honoring our members’ best and brightest again at our annual Innovations Showcase & Star Awards program on April 17th, at the fabulous Revere Hotel in Boston.

Nominations in all categories are open through February 26.  Don’t miss this opportunity to have your best programs and colleagues publicly recognized!

Nomination Categories

Innovation Showcase

  • Patient Care and Services
  • Operations Management/Streamlining
  • Community Outreach or Advocacy
  • Cross-Continuum Collaboration
  • Human Resources/Staff Education

Star Awards

  • Clinician of the Year
  • Aide of the Year
  • Manager of the Year
  • Legislator of the Year
  • Physician of the Year
  • Home Care Champion

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Free Webinar on Establishing a Palliative Care Program

February 13, 2013

The Home Care and Hospice Financial Managers Association (HHFMA) will hold a free webinar: Palliative Care: A Business Analysis of the Pros and Cons of Establishing a Palliative Care Program. Presented by Daniel Maison, MD, Medical Director, and Larry Oberst, CPA, CFO, both of Spectrum Health Palliative Care Program.

Friday, Feb. 15, 2013
3:00 to 4:00 PM EST
Program Description:

Does your organization think about starting a palliative care program? What are palliative care services and where are these programs delivered? What are the factors to consider when developing a palliative care program? This program covers all of those bases and more to help  decide whether to start a palliative care program.

Webinar Objectives:

  1. Define what it takes to make a case for palliative care services;

  2. Identify how palliative care programs are delivered and financed; and

  3. Identify when palliative care programs should be integrated with home health and other providers.

To Register- Click Here

(If you cannot attend live, the webinar will be recorded and archived on the HHFMA website)

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org


February ODF

February 13, 2013

The next Home Health, Hospice & Durable Medical Equipment  Open Door Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, 2013 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm, ET.  To participate by phone, dial 1-800-837-1935; Conference ID: 78869441. The agenda will be posted before the call on the ODF Website

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org


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