Ridgeview Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing in Cleburne, Texas, a partner of the TMF Quality Innovation Network (TMF QIN), has set the bar high among senior living facilities with its impressive accomplishment in preventing pressure ulcers. The facility, which provides both short-term rehabilitation and comprehensive long-term care, went 94 weeks in 2014 without an acquired in-house pressure ulcer.
Carol Valentine, R.N., director of nursing at Ridgeview Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, credits the facility’s success to a motivated and well educated staff, a focus on individualized resident care, and ready access to equipment for prevention of pressure ulcers.
Valentine said that the biggest lesson learned has been two-fold. “You have to educate your employees properly, and you must recognize them as well.”
Ridgeview places a strong emphasis on recognizing and rewarding its staff. “When you recognize a staff member openly, and the patient and family notice, it is unbelievably empowering for that individual. Receiving that type of recognition makes employees work harder, ultimately leading to these types of successes,” Valentine said.
She explained that friendly competition among the nursing home’s halls and units also aids in accomplishing goals. “The staff wants to be proud of where they work,” she said. “When they go out into their communities, they want to say ‘I work at Ridgeview, and this is what I do’. They want everybody to know they play a part in Ridgeview’s success.”
“When you recognize a staff member openly, and the patient and family notice, it is unbelievably empowering for that individual."
Valentine added that communication between management and staff is encouraged and deeply valued at Ridgeview. “At many facilities, the management team simply dictates orders to staff without explaining or educating,” she said. “What we aim to do here at Ridgeview is to empower our staff. We encompass everyone into the leadership realm and empower them to provide excellent resident care.”
Individualized resident care is another factor in Ridgeview’s success. Valentine explained that a care plan begins well before a resident arrives on site. “It begins at the time of the patient’s referral from the hospital,” she said. “The heads of each department, ranging from nursing to dietary – even housekeeping – meet to discuss exactly what the resident will require. Care of the resident does not just involve one person. We must include everybody.”
Having the proper infrastructure and equipment on hand to prevent pressure ulcers is also important. By using upgraded pressure-reducing mattresses, heel lifts and positioning devices, Ridgeview was able to proactively prevent pressure ulcers from forming in residents.
Valentine shared how Ridgeview once admitted a patient from the hospital who had multiple severe pressure ulcers. Within four months, the resident was discharged from the facility, ambulatory and free of all pressure ulcers. He recently visited the facility to thank the staff that assisted him.