hospitals

How Patients, Their Families, And Medical Staffs Can Improve A Hospital Stay

I’ve recently spent more time as a hospital visitor than at any time since the pandemic began. A lot has changed since Covid-19, but my experiences confirm some good advice for older patients, their families, and the medical staff that cares for them. Here are a few ideas for patients and staff.  While they focus on hospitals, many apply to [...]

By |2022-07-07T12:30:47-04:00July 7th, 2022|Hospitals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Families Must Provide More Medical Care At Home, But With Little Training

More than ever, family members are required to play a major role in caring for their loved ones. But they are being asked to do increasingly complex medical tasks with little or no training. The result: Greater risk to patients and enormous avoidable stress for those family caregivers. A new study attempts to identify the barriers to good caregiver training. [...]

By |2022-05-23T11:53:03-04:00May 23rd, 2022|family caregivers|0 Comments

How Nursing Home Staff Shortages Are Hurting Hospital Care

By now, you’ve probably heard about the desperate shortage of nurses and aides in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. This workforce crisis not only hurts their residents, it also is creating severe backups in hospitals, putting both patients and the facilities themselves at risk and increasing health care costs. As those staffing shortages course through the entire health care [...]

By |2022-02-17T12:00:01-05:00February 17th, 2022|Health Care|0 Comments

States Are Beginning To Move COVID-19 Patients From Hospitals To Nursing Facilities

Last week, I suggested that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, nursing homes may need to take patients from over-burdened hospitals. At the same time, care settings such as assisted living facilities (ALFs) might have to accept nursing home residents who must be relocated to make room for those post-acute patients. Now, it looks like that is beginning to [...]

By |2020-03-31T11:49:05-04:00March 31st, 2020|nursing homes|1 Comment

Compassion Isn’t Enough For Family Caregivers. They Need Training Too.

Family members and friends are the bedrock of our system of personal care for frail older adults and younger people with disabilities. Without their support, the nation’s hospitals and nursing homes would be filled to the rafters with very sick, frail seniors. And many of those older adults would die before their time. Those family caregivers often provide assistance with [...]

By |2020-01-14T10:05:45-05:00January 14th, 2020|family caregivers|0 Comments

Urging Doctors and Health Systems To Recognize The Importance Of Social Supports To Patients 

The influential National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) has called for a major initiative to better integrate heath care and social supports. The group, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, has published a white paper on the subject that should encourage both policymakers and medical practitioners to pay more attention to the importance of social supports to [...]

By |2019-10-02T10:56:00-04:00October 2nd, 2019|social determinants of health|0 Comments

Understanding Medicare Observation Status

No issue generates more anger and confusion among Medicare recipients than observation status—that hospital stay that really isn’t a hospital stay. Over the holidays, I got an earful from three people who had been treated at a hospital by hospital staff yet not admitted to the hospital. A typical case goes like this: A person comes to a hospital emergency [...]

By |2019-01-02T11:32:42-05:00January 2nd, 2019|Medicare|0 Comments

Where Do Older Americans Die?

Increasingly, older Americans are likely to die at home, and not in a hospital. And more seniors are using hospice care as they near end of life. However, stubbornly large numbers of Medicare beneficiaries still land in intensive care units or find themselves shuttled from home to hospital and back again in their last months of life. A fascinating and [...]

By |2018-07-01T09:02:56-04:00July 1st, 2018|End of life|0 Comments

How Health Systems Can Provide Better Care For Seniors

Older adults are among the biggest victims of our often disorganized, uncoordinated, and impersonal system of medical care. Backwards financial incentives encourage useless tests and dangerous hospital admissions and discourage important social support, personal assistance, and preventive care.  The result is that Medicare pays hundreds of billions of dollars for treatment that not only fails to improve the quality of [...]

By |2017-04-19T14:31:06-04:00April 19th, 2017|Health reform|0 Comments

Doctors Die Like The Rest of Us

In recent years, it has become conventional wisdom that physicians avoid the end-of-life mistakes that many of the rest of us make.  The story: They die at home rather than in hospital intensive care units. And they rely on comfort care such as hospice or palliative care rather than often-futile high tech medicine. That conventional wisdom, it turns out, is [...]

By |2016-07-20T09:48:51-04:00July 20th, 2016|End of life, Health Care|0 Comments