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Commonwealth Fund Releases Culture Change Report

Based on results from the 2007 National Survey of Nursing Homes, a new Commonwealth Fund report highlights important lessons, including the finding that the more a nursing home has adopted culture change principles, the greater the benefits, such as staff retention, higher occupancy rates, better competitive position, and improved operational costs. Using self-reported data from directors of nursing, the survey categorized nursing homes that participated in the survey as culture change adopters, culture change strivers, or traditional nursing homes.

Heparin FDA Recall for All Provider Types

The Food and Drug Administration is recalling injectable heparin products and heparin flush solutions that may be contaminated with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS). There have been many reports of deaths associated with allergic or hypotensive symptoms after heparin administration. Health professionals and facilities should review and examine all drug/device storage areas, including emergency kits, dialysis units, and automated drug storage cabinets to ensure that all of the recalled heparin products have been removed and are no longer available for patient use.

Low Blood Levels of Vitamin D May be Associated with Depression

Older adults with low blood levels of vitamin D and high blood levels of a hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands, which regulate calcium, may have a higher risk of depression, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. About 13% of older individuals have symptoms of depression. Both low blood vitamin D levels and high parathyroid hormone levels can be treated with higher dietary intake of vitamin D or calcium and increased sunlight exposure.

CDC Recommends Shingles Vaccine for Elderly

People age 60 and older should be vaccinated against shingles, or herpes zoster, a condition often marked by debilitating chronic pain, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC recommends a single dose of the zoster vaccine, Zostavax, for adults 60 years of age and older even if they have had a prior episode of shingles. The new recommendation replaces a provisional one that the CDC made in 2006 after the vaccine was licensed by the FDA and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

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June 18

Filling in the Blanks of an Aging Campus

“Repositioning” is the most popular buzzword in the senior living industry today, and for many providers it is the difference between thriving and fading away. This panel presentation (with case studies) will illustrate components of successful repositioning efforts and will focus on how to evaluate design and construction options, address political and governance issues, identify one’s place and rebrand in the local senior market, and manage culture change internally.


Online Exclusive

Steve Dawson, president of Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, Bronx, New York, shares his reflections on the recent Institute of Medicine’s report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, as well as the realities of recruiting and retaining staff in today’s environment.

Topics: Articles