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North Shore Healthcare

Skilled Nursing Facilities and the benefits of onsite dialysis

A patient receiving dialysis in a pull out chair

Approximately fourteen percent of Americans suffer from some degree of kidney disease. The highest populous of people in this group are those of the elderly community. Those who suffer from chronic kidney disease, and reach stage 5 (end-stage renal disease), require dialysis or a transplant. Because surgery and other risks are higher when people are above a certain age, most elderly people who suffer from end-stage renal disease must get dialysis.

When living in a skilled nursing facility, and participating in dialysis, residents must schedule their precious time, find transportation, and spend long hours receiving treatment, and then schedule transportation home. This is why many skilled nursing facilities are beginning to offer dialysis on-site.

Dialysis is the process of using a machine to filter out water from the kidneys. When kidneys lose function, they are unable to filter the water themselves. There are two types of dialysis for those with kidney failure. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is the type that skilled nursing facilities are offering.

When skilled nursing facilities offer dialysis, the residents get the benefit of staying on-site, eliminating the commute time, waiting room time, and inconvenience. Residents also get the benefit of staying in a familiar, quiet, comfortable place, which is an important amenity for elderly residents, especially those who are recovering from surgery, injury, or suffer from memory loss.

In-house dialysis is often complex, so many skilled nursing facilities are opting to partner with dialysis centers and have a registered nurse travel to the facility a few times a week to complete the dialysis for the residents.

When skilled nursing facilities operate their own dialysis care without partners, there are many rules and regulations they must follow. The skilled nursing facility must “ensure that an ESRD facility, maintains direct responsibility for the dialysis-related care and services provided to the nursing home resident consistent with the ESRD conditions for coverage requirements as well as the terms of an applicable agreement with the nursing home.” Requirements, education, and training are closely monitored and regulated.

The three most important regulations for dialysis at skilled nursing facilities are: onsite supervision of dialysis must be provided by a registered nurse; qualified, trained personnel must be present for the entire dialysis treatment, with the ability to see the patient; and if the skilled nursing facility is, for whatever reason, unable to provide scheduled dialysis for a resident, the nursing facility must notify a dialysis center and get the resident dialysis off-site in order to avoid delays or cancellation in treatment.

Offering in-house dialysis for residents improves the quality of their life. As quality of life improves, residents increase their fulfillment and functional ability. Skilled nursing facilities strive to provide the highest quality of care, and offering in-house dialysis is another step towards improving the lives of residents.



North Shore Helps Award Nursing Scholarships



North Shore Healthcare supports continuing education for nurses in the skilled nursing industry or for those that wish to enter the field. North Shore partnered with the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council to match dollar for dollar, up to $5000, funds raised during the Council’s annual nursing symposium and expo held February 25-27, 2019 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI.

The raffle raised $4360, which combined with North Shore’s match, brought the total to close to $9000 in nursing scholarships. Eight $1000 scholarships will be given to students pursuing a career in the long-term care continuum.

“North Shore Healthcare is excited to help sponsor the 2019 scholarships awarded by the Council to nurses in long-term care. One of our organization’s core values is competence, and we believe in supporting our nurses in furthering their education to ensure the best possible care is given to our residents. We are equally supportive of all nurses and individuals who want to continue their education or enter the field of long-term care. By matching dollar for dollar the amount raised by the raffle for the scholarships, we are doing our part to assist those who are as passionate about long-term care nursing as we are,” said Dee McCarthy, Chief Clinical Officer at North Shore at the time of committing to the match.

The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council is a non-profit association that provides education and support to nursing leadership in the long-term care continuum. The annual Long-Term / Post-Acute Nursing Symposium is in its 26th year and brings together Directors of Nursing and other nursing leaders and executives from around Wisconsin.

Click here to read the press release from the Council.

29 North Shore Centers Apply for Quality Awards

In pursuit of quality improvement and enhancing the care provided to our residents, 29 North Shore Healthcare skilled-nursing facilities submitted applications for consideration to the AHCA/NCAL Quality Awards Program. Among the 29 applicants, one is seeking recognition for a Gold Quality Award, one for Silver Quality Award, and the balance for Bronze. Executive Directors from these centers began the process when they were confirmed by AHCA/NCAL of their eligibility to apply for the Awards. In early December they came together for a workshop that assisted them in completing the complex written application. After a month long process of writing and reviewing applications, they are all in and North Shore awaits the announcement of the Quality Award recipients in late Spring 2019.

The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program provides a pathway for providers of long term and post-acute care services to journey towards performance excellence. Member centers may apply for three progressive levels of awards: Bronze—Commitment to QualitySilver—Achievement in Qualityor Gold—Excellence in Quality.  Each level has its own distinct rigors and requirements for quality and performance excellence. Applications are judged by trained Examiners who provide feedback on opportunities for improvement to support continuous learning.