July 10, 2008 | Arkansas LANE (Local Area Networks for Excellence), a program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Nursing and the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, along with other partners that include the Arkansas Healthcare Association, recently celebrated the commitment of the state’s nursing homes to provide overall better care.
The Celebrating the Success of Arkansas Nursing Homes luncheon, held May 29 at Embassy Suites in west Little Rock, honored the state’s nursing homes for their efforts in reducing pressure ulcers and restraint use and improving pain management for short and long term residents.
“This is a ‘thank you’ from several dedicated organizations that are striving to ensure that aging Arkansans are given the quality care they deserve,” said Claudia Beverly, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. “The willingness of nursing homes across the state to raise the bar has Arkansas’ nursing homes among the best in the nation.”
Nursing home representatives were also praised for their facility’s participation in a quality control survey called My Innerview and in the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign, the latter of which Arkansas was the first state in the nation to have 100 percent participation.
By joining the campaign, the state’s nursing homes were asked to commit to three goals to improve care and quality of life for their residents. Arkansas facilities on average committed to focusing on five of the eight goals including reducing pressure ulcers, reducing physical restraint use, pain management among short- and long-term residents and improving resident and staff satisfaction.
“With a quickly expanding population of baby boomers beginning to migrate into the care of nursing homes, it’s a top priority to ensure they get the level of care they deserve,” said Teresa Higginbotham, program manager of Arkansas LANE.
In addition to lunch and an overview presentation of the state’s survey results, door prizes were handed out to several nursing home representatives and those in attendance were humored by keynote speaker Jane Krutz.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,538 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,600 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. Visit www.uams.edu.