Hospital Care teams are often challenged with overseeing fragile and elderly patients. Such challenges may include a balance between the risk of patient self-harm and staff injury, and the risks associated with anti-psychotic medication administration. This challenge was undertaken by the Parker health care team to assess the risks associated with the patient being on an anti-psychotic medication upon being admitted to Parker, and provide a strategy to reduce the need for the administration of these anti-psychotic medications upon admission to the facility.
“As these patients arrived from local hospitals to Parker for rehab,” said Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s president and CEO, “at times, they’re on high doses of anti-psychotic meds. The majority of these patients had not received anti-psychotics prior to hospitalization. These powerful pharmaceuticals posed barriers to the success of Parker’s rehabilitation efforts, since they impacted patients’ moods, psycho-social needs and their quality of life.”
Analyzing this trend, Parker’s vice president for Patient Care Services, Dr. Colleen Ariola, and Clinical Director of Nursing, Sub-Acute, Susan Costella, RN, came up with a solution. Costella instituted an aggressive behavior management strategy.
“We advocated a gradual reduction in medications, using a timely interdisciplinary approach immediately upon admission,” Costella said. “In doing so, we enhanced our patients’ quality of life, while assuring compliance with the demands and rigors of governmental regulations.”
Costella’s strategy resulted in remarkable and sustained outcomes, and was achieved by learning as much as possible about each patient admitted on anti-psychotic drugs.
“She instructed her Sub-Acute Team members how to develop person-centered care plans,” Ariola noted.
As proof of such positive results, Parker’s current quality measurement reports for short-term stays—anti-psychotic medications—is now at 0 percent. This compares favorably with the national average, which is 2.1 percent, according to Ariola.
With more than 25 years at Parker, Costella has a reputation for treating patients and residents like family.
“Suzie sets her professional bar very high, and by following such high ideals, has achieved excellent results,” Ariola concluded.
Costella will receive the United Hospital Fund Quality Improvement Champion Award for her achievement. She resides in Garden City.
—Submitted by Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation