Monthly Archives: January 2014

A few questions and answers

Question

A pharmaceutical company has a new drug and representatives have asked to come into the LivingCenter — with a pizza lunch — to teach the nurses about its indications. Is that OK with company policy?

Answer

Golden Living is careful to make sure that choice of materials, medications, and treatments of our patients are done with patient quality of care in mind. Education of staff must be free from commercial bias and free from secondary gain. With certain exceptions, such as when a specific training program has been vetted and arranged, vendors and pharmaceutical representatives are discouraged from entering and detailing in the facilities.

While they certainly may be welcomed within an attending or medical director’s private office, if desired, Golden Living would prefer that they not enter our facilities. Advertising materials, including helpful visual aids, quick reference guides, posters, etc., need to be cleared with LivingCenter leadership before they can be displayed. There are also specific policies regarding handling of gifts from vendors covered in the Golden Living Code of Conduct and Compliance training. Generally, we should not accept anything of value from people who might be in a position to refer patients to us or who provide items or services to our company.

Question

It seems inconvenient to return phone messages only to have to wait for the nurse who called to be free. Is it OK to text them back?

Answer

It is important to remember that HIPAA regulations require that sensitive patient information be communicated via a secure network, which actually requires encryption. While Golden Living is looking into the ever-improving technological options in this regard, currently, protected health information should not be communicated via cell phone text.

Regional Medical Director of the Year Profile
Dr. Frank Reusché, Medical Director at GLC – Walnut Creek, Pennsylvania

EDITOR’S NOTE: This profile is paraphrased from the heartfelt and eloquent nomination submitted Golden LivingCenter – Walnut Creek Executive Director Tanya Bish and Director of Nursing Rece Higby.

Dr. Reusché was nominated by the entire staff at GLC – Walnut Creek in Erie, Pa. Dr. Reusché embraces and exemplifies the mission and vision of Golden Living.  He has been an essential part of the success and continued growth of Walnut Creek for the past several years and prior to that as the Medical Director at GLC – Erie. Dr. Reusché goes above and beyond the call of duty for both the patients as well as the staff at GLC – Walnut Creek on a regular basis.

Dr. Reusché’s bedside manner is excellent. Several times he has intervened with upset family members and sat with them at length to explain what is occurring clinically with their loved one. He answers their questions until they have a comfortable knowledge and understanding of the patient’s condition.  As Medical Director, Dr. Reusché never hesitates to see patients when their attending physician is not available.

Dr. Reusché serves as a liaison between the LivingCenter, other physicians, patients and their families, as well as specialty groups. He helps resolve conflicts and continually works to further excellence and the continuity of care. He helps guide the LivingCenter in the rapidly changing world of managed care contracts. He helps Walnut Creek deal with an intense admission pace. Dr. Reusché also plays an active role in working with the LivingCenter’s case manager on physician to physician appeals.

Despite his busy practice commitments, Dr. Reusché has never missed promptly answering a phone call.  He has spent countless hours, morning and night, working with the local Golden Living leadership, including the ED and DNS, on issues and concerns related to the LivingCenter.  Dr. Reusché works together with the Chief Medical Officer and Regional Medical Director to keep his LivingCenter in the forefront of company initiatives. As a Medical Director, he takes the time to personally meet new staff and invests his time in patiently educating nurses in clinical matters. He is extremely observant and communicates with the DNS about staff development opportunities.

Dr. Reusché is respected by all the employees of GLC – Walnut Creek, and he has the same respect for all them. He works as a member of a team that genuinely cares for one another both professionally and personally.

The above statement by the ED and DNS at GLC – Walnut Creek speaks for itself. I personally witnessed some of Dr. Reusché’s dedication one Friday about a year ago.  He worked all afternoon and into the evening to make sure that a cancer patient who was being admitted had her pain medication pump ready to go and that the staff was properly trained for her care. He did not stop until this happened, even though it took until 11 p.m.

He has been active in his LivingCenter leadership with the ED, DNS, and Golden Living Nurse Practitioner.  This past year his LivingCenter received a Bronze AHCA/NCAL Quality Award, which is based upon the Malcolm Baldridge quality criteria.  He is active in American Medical Directors Association and has also been involved in local Golden Living Physician’s advisory groups. As mentioned, Dr. Reusché has worked closely with company leadership on new programs. His suggestions have been extremely helpful in this regard, and provide the company with “on the ground” feedback regarding program implementation.

2014 AMDA Long Term Care Conference

Mark your calendars for 2014 National American Medical Directors Association Long Term Care Conference! This year it will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Conference Center in Tennessee from Thursday, Feb. 27 through Sunday, March 2. Each year this conference provides the best combination of educational opportunities in geriatric, administrative, legal, and regulatory areas for the nation’s Medical Directors.

In addition, Golden Living will be hosting its annual evening Gala Dinner event for Medical Directors on Friday, Feb. 28. Winners of the Golden Living Medical Director of the Year Award will be announced.  More details will be provided via e-mail. You will have the opportunity to meet Golden Living Leaders as well as your fellow Golden Living Medical Directors from across the country. If you have any questions, contact me or Reene Dux, Head of Medical Director Services. I look forward to seeing you in Nashville!