AARC Congress 2011 Gazette
for Tuesday, November 8
Both the National Sputum Bowl® and the Student Sputum Bowl were won this year by teams from California. Congratulations on a job very well done!
In the national competition, Minnesota placed second, and Michigan and Maryland/DC tied for third. The student team from Maryland/DC came in second in their contest, with third place being shared by Michigan and Minnesota.
It’s no secret by now that the Affordable Care Act includes a provision that will reduce reimbursement for hospitals with unacceptably high readmissions for certain conditions. Reducing these readmissions is topping the priority list in many facilities, but seamless care still alludes most providers in most places.
The AARC Management and Home Care Sections have been hard at work on a project designed to ensure RTs have what they need to fill in all of the knowledge gaps. The Hospital-to-Home initiative kicked off earlier this year with a survey that was sent to respiratory therapy department directors in hospitals to find out how they are already addressing the issue.
“As pneumonia, heart failure, and COPD are targeted for review, hospital and home care RTs are well positioned to play an active role in this need, and managers have been deemed to lead the charge by establishing the processes and setting the standards for this initiative,” said Management Section Chair Bill Cohagen RRT.
“We are presented with an infrequent opportunity to re-establish the value of home care therapists through the current activity surrounding incentives to decrease hospital readmissions,” said Home Care Section Chair Greg Spratt CRT CPFT. “Hospital-to-Home is an opportunity for the home care and hospital RT to work together to reduce hospital readmissions, to improve patient care, and potentially to save lives.”
A 2-part symposia is being presented during the Congress on the need for more seamless care: “Hospital and Home Care RTs: Partnering for a Better Future.”
On any given day at any given hospital, patients are on the move as health care professionals transfer them from their rooms to x-ray, the cath lab, and many other places. But for those on respiratory treatments, all this running around can be a problem. An extensive review of the medical literature conducted recently by the AARC found a high risk for adverse events during transports that occur inside and outside of the hospital.
Now the AARC has gathered together a group of RTs and physicians to develop a series of transport-related checklists that will help hospitals ensure these patients don’t fall through the cracks. The first 2 cover all the bases on oxygenation of adult and neonatal-pediatric patients and are expected to be ready for download from AARC.org in December. Respiratory therapists will be able to use the lists to validate patient settings pre- and post-transfer, ensure patients have an adequate oxygen supply, and determine their oxygenation status. Receiving clinicians at the other end will use the checklists as well to confirm proper respiratory care upon arrival and during the transfer back to the room.
The checklists are being supported by an unrestricted grant from Masimo.
Evidence-based practice is increasingly important in today’s hospitals, and that means respiratory therapists need to become more adept at reading and understanding the research that’s been conducted on the treatments and modalities they use on the job.
One great way to do that is to become involved in research yourself, and next year the AARC will have a great way for some of you to do just that. The Association is currently helping to coordinate research sites for a study on high-flow heated humidification and will be contacting department directors at key facilities to take part in the multicenter investigation.
High-flow heated humidification was selected for the study because currently available research has yet to identify a clear direction on how to use these devices for specific patients, and anecdotal evidence suggests the therapy is not used in a uniform fashion across facilities. The AARC hopes the study will clarify these issues while at the same time indoctrinating many more RTs into the fascinating world of clinical research.
The study is being supported by an unrestricted grant from Tri-anim and Sarnova.
Tampa has been a great place to host the 57th AARC Congress, but now that the meeting is winding down, it’s time to turn our attention to the 58th International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition, Nov. 10–13, 2012, in New Orleans LA. You won’t want to miss this great opportunity to learn the latest in respiratory care in a city that’s rebounded big time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. So mark your calendars now for AARC Congress 2012 and join us in the “Big Easy” as we all come together again to educate ourselves on the best way to provide the high-quality respiratory care our patients deserve.
“The AARC officially invites everyone to join us next Nov. 10–13 as we once again gather for what promises to be another premiere meeting in the respiratory care profession,” said Program Committee Chair Cheryl Hoerr MBA RRT FAARC. “The fact that we’ll be returning to New Orleans after too many years away from the city is the icing on the cake.”
Want a sneak peek at what New Orleans will have to offer? Check out the city’s official tourism site (www.NewOrleansOnline.com) to see what’s in store for us next November!
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