CHAMP Focuses on Pain in Second Course

VNAA CHAMP is currently developing its second course which will offer cutting edge training for evidence based best practices in pain assessment, treatment and management. CHAMP's panel of national experts on pain management met in June to discuss which practices to focus on as they shape the curriculum of the course. Pain is a universal issue in homecare and especially for geriatric patients.

One study, conducted by Louis Harris, found that one in five older Americans (18%) are taking analgesic medications regularly (several times a week or more), and 63% of those had taken prescription pain medications for more than 6 months. Statistics like these highlight the importance of learning more about pain management to improve geriatric care. This knowledge will help CHAMP participants improve the quality of care they provide to their patients by increasing their knowledge of pain management skills and concepts.
JCAHO's Maryanne Popovitch Speaks to CHAMP Students

On Wednesday July 12, Maryanne Popovitch, Executive Director of Home Care Programs at JCAHO, spoke to CHAMP students and faculty on a coaching call which included CHAMP students from coast-to-coast. Miss Popovitch spoke about medication reconciliation, its importance in homecare and what the accreditation committee expects from agencies.

"JCAHO has elevated the medication issue as one of our patient safety goals," said Popovitch. While JCAHO maintains a goal of 100% compliance, Popovitch said agencies weren't likely to be perfect but working towards 100% facilitates better improvement". Popovitch went on to talk about some of the steps JCAHO looks for agencies to take during the medication reconciliation process. These steps include making a detailed list of what the patient is taking and comparing it to what was ordered, and then communicating any problems with the patient's physician or whomever is ordering their meds. Popovitch stressed the importance of seeing the problem through to resolution saying, "We expect to see the entire communication loop closed, documenting what the patient (and/or caregivers) were educated about, in regards to new instructions or regimen, and is there a professional assessment (going forward)?"

"This coaching call was a wonderful opportunity for CHAMP participants to align the improvement work they are doing in medication reconciliation with JCAHO requirements," said Deb Bertrand, CHAMP project administrator. "We are very fortunate to have Maryanne Popovitch as a member of our Advisory Council. Maryanne has been such a valuable resource and a great supporter of CHAMP since its inception."
CHAMPs Impact Evident in Workshop Newsflashes

Dolores Merlino and Paula Griffin of VNA of Boston recently applied team-building skills they acquired through the CHAMP program to boost morale and support for their VNA's new medication management initiative. When their nurses reacted with hesitation to the idea of any initiative that increased visit time, the CHAMP members used a team building activity called "a description of you" to pull the team together. This story is one of three that won an award at the last face-to face workshop in Framingham.

CHAMP teams were given an opportunity to come up with some simple news items and create posters to show what kind of differences CHAMP has made within their agencies. The top three stories were awarded prestigious CHAMP "Pulitzer Prizes". The VNA of Boston was awarded the prize for best local reporting. Pat Herren of Interim homecare who reported on her team's notable improvement on OASIS, and on MO780 in particular which deals with oral medications won the award for best editorial cartooning with her portrayal of "Theodore Bear" lying to his nurse about his meds. The final award for best headlines went to Day Kimball Hospital Homecare and Hospice, and their efforts to educate all their clinicians on the "Beers Criteria", with the headline: Northeast Conn. Nurses Drink Up Beers!

The newsflash activity was a great way for the faculty and staff to see what kind of effects CHAMP is having on different agencies, and even individual patients.