Pre-Registering Your Health

Pre-Registering Your Health

The fall is a popular time of the year to have an elective surgery. However, it what happens after the surgery that leaves patients overwhelmed. That is where pre registering for a skilled nursing stay can help to eliminate unnecessary stress.

After surgery, many patients have 24 to 48 hours to select a facility they would prefer to attend for rehabilitation. It is common to send a family member or friend on the hunt, touring multiple facilities and making a quick decision based on a snapshot tour. In order for a patient to have optimal functional outcomes, it is imperative that they are comfortable in the environment selected for post-acute care.

Basic Observations and Questions When Touring a Facility:

What is the Staffing Ratio for Nurses? CNAs?

This will help to pinpoint how many patients one staff member is in charge of throughout his/her shift. The more patients, the more likely you will be waiting longer for medications or assistance. Typically, 8-10 patients as a CNA and 15-20 as a nurse is most common.

Is the Staff Friendly?

One of the easiest measures to determine the quality of care you will receive in the facility is if the staff smiles and acknowledges you throughout your tour. Customer service can assist in overcoming many barriers and challenges. Friendly and passionate staff drive positive patient care.

How Clean is the Facility?

This is not a measure of how new a facility may be or how many million dollar renovations have been completed. Instead, this observation shows if the operators are proud of their environment and aspire to make you feel at home throughout your stay. Some of the oldest buildings have the highest quality and make the age of the building a non-issue for patient care.

Where are the Latest Survey Results? What are the Results?

Each facility must go under an annual recertification survey to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. It is common for this to be overlooked when touring a facility for patient placement. The main thing to look for is the number of deficiencies a facility has received as well as the number of surveys. A facility has an annual survey but is subject to complaint surveys at any time.

What Processes has the Facility Implemented to Provide Activities, Range of Motion, and Entertainment beyond Therapy Services?

There is nothing worse for healing than an intense therapy session and laying in the bed for hours until the next work session with therapy. In order to have the optimal functional outcomes, a joint must be worked and massaged multiple times a day. Too many times a patient is in a facility for therapy and that is the extent of the exercise for the day.

Once the patient decides where they want to receive treatment after surgery, the work begins for the facility. They will coordinate with the hospital, transportation, medication, and medical equipment needs of the patient in order to provide a smooth transition from the hospital to the facility. As a patient, it is important to be ready to work with therapy. A denial of therapy treatment while in a skilled nursing facility can result in insurance non-payment. Bring comfortable clothes and remember, as a patient, you are there to get stronger. The harder you work with the therapy team, the faster you can get home to your own environment. However, make the most of your time at the facility to ensure the greatest possible outcomes for your health!