IU Team Collaborates with 19 Indiana Nursing Facilities to Improve Care
INDIANAPOLIS, October 2012 -- A multi-million-dollar award from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will enable Indiana University clinician-researchers to work with 19 central Indiana nursing facilities to improve the quality of care, reduce hospitalizations and increase access to palliative care for long-stay nursing facility residents.
The interdisciplinary team has created "OPTIMISTIC"--"Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care"--a comprehensive four-year initiative that will be targeted to 100-day or longer-stay nursing facilities four counties: 14 facilities in Marion, two each in Hamilton and Johnson and one in Hendricks. The diverse facilities, both for-profit and not-for-profit, are located in a variety of settings, from urban to suburban to near rural.
"Long-stay nursing facility residents are high-need and high-risk individuals who have gotten little attention in the research arena and have been neglected to a great extent by health care reform," said Greg A. Sachs, MD, OPTIMISTIC project director and director of the IU School of Medicine's Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. Dr. Sachs is also a professor of medicine, an IU Center for Aging Research center scientist and a Regenstrief Institute investigator.
"With OPTIMISTIC, we are going to work with the residents where they live to improve many aspects of their lives including chronic disease management -- especially for dementia, which affects about half of long-stay residents -- as well as improve the care they receive during the transition process to and from a hospital."
OPTIMISTIC is supported by a project team of geriatrics and palliative care experts along with their nursing facility partners. Specially trained nurses will be stationed on site at the 19 central Indiana nursing facilities to provide direct support to long-stay residents as well as education and training to the staff. OPTIMISTIC nurses also will lead care management reviews of long-stay patients to optimize chronic disease management, reduce unnecessary medications and clarify care goals.
The grant is expected to create 26.5 new jobs in Central Indiana -- 18 for registered nurses, six for advance practice nurses and 2.5 for project support personnel.
The project's leadership team includes IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute investigators Kathleen T. Unroe, MD, MHA, and Michael LaMantia, MD, MPH; IUSM geriatrician Arif Nazir, MD, CMD; and Susan E. Hickman, PhD, from the IU School of Nursing.
For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom.