CDC Funds Cooperative Agreement With AMDA to Improve Immunization Rates in PALTC
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine has received funding through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement strategies to increase vaccination rates among both residents and staff in PALTC settings. The CDC has funded the first year of a 5-year, $10.5 million agreement to work across skilled nursing facilities, long-term care nursing homes, assisted living and independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities, hospice, and home- and community-based care such as PACE programs to improve vaccine uptake.
The program aims to incorporate relevant routine adult vaccinations — for example, COVID-19, influenza, pneumonia, shingles, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — into the standard of care for PALTC. The Society will focus on activities leading to the adoption and integration of the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice (SAIP) into PALTC operations and workflows. The SAIP recommend that each patient visit should incorporate the following elements:
•Assessing immunization status
•Recommending needed vaccines
•Administering vaccines or referring patients/residents for vaccination
•Documenting vaccines administered in the immunization information system (IIS)
As part of this work, the Society will develop and/or update PALTC vaccine guidance, policy statements and standards regarding implementation of the SAIP; prioritize vaccines of particular clinical relevance to PALTC settings; and develop, pilot, promote, and implement quality improvement interventions to improve overall adult vaccination rates in PALTC.
“This is a timely opportunity to truly address the structural issues surrounding vaccination rates in long-term care,” said Project Director Elizabeth Sobczyk, MSW, MPH, who has been brought on to lead this effort for the Society. “We will design and launch pilots with nursing home and assisted living chains and others, and then expand these in the subsequent years. The end goal is to make routine adult vaccination assessment and delivery a permanent standard of care for all of PALTC. I am thrilled to be involved in this important work.”
David A. Nace, MD, MPH, CMD, the Society’s immediate past president, will serve as the project’s medical director. “I am looking forward to working with the AMDA team, as well as individuals at the regional level, to meet our goal of making permanent changes to vaccination policy and to vaccination rates nationwide,” he said. “We thank the CDC for providing the funding that will make this work possible.”
Karl Steinberg, MD, HMDC, CMD, the Society’s current board president, noted, “We have worked hard for years to promote appropriate immunizations in post-acute and long-term care settings, and it’s so heartening to be recognized by the CDC as a trusted leader in this space. We are excited to get rolling on this important, large-scale, collaborative effort across the country’s PALTC facilities.”
Watch for updates on this important project as it moves forward.
New Parkinson’s Disease Pocket Guide Is Like an “Auxiliary Brain”
New from AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is a pocket guide to support practitioners in their efforts to diagnose and manage Parkinson’s disease (PD) in their PALTC residents. “Parkinson’s Disease and Psychosis in the Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Setting” includes an extensive glossary to clarify terminology related to PD, along with sections on recognition, assessment, treatment, and monitoring of the disease. There also is a special section on PD dementia and psychosis, as well as an “LTC Interval History” checklist to help frontline staff quickly note and report disease-related changes in their residents.
David Smith, MD, CMD, a member of the pocket guide workgroup, said it’s like “an auxiliary brain” for practitioners. He observed, “Parkinson’s can progress over time. There are issues that are urgent and will come to the forefront, such as PD-related psychosis; and these will cause prompt action and attention.” However, it’s important to be able to identify subtle changes as well. “The pocket guide will give people the resources they need to identity and address those subtle changes, as well as the more obvious signs and symptoms,” Dr. Smith suggested.
For a limited time, this pocket guide is available FREE on the Society’s Mobile App. On the web, go to the Society’s site (https://bit.ly/3zPPFf7) for more information on the guide. Visit http://onelink.to/975ky5 to download the AMDA App.
From Online to In-Person: PALTC22 Brings Us Back Together
After 2 years of virtual annual conferences, AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is returning to a live venue — Baltimore, MD — for PALTC22, March 10–13. Leadership, members, and staff alike look forward to spending time face to face and sharing the camaraderie that is a hallmark of the Society. The Annual Conference Program Planning Subcommittee is currently finalizing the program, and it promises to be innovative and address the issues on the minds of the Society’s members, including COVID-19, navigating the post-pandemic health care system, dementia, infection control, leadership skills, telemedicine, transitions of care, billing and coding, and much more.
Rollin Wright, MD, CMD, chair of the subcommittee, noted, “The drumbeat is that there must be change moving forward. We are planning general sessions that will take a lead on these discussions, help us identify where there are problems, and get us started on the path to identifying and implementing solutions.”
A city with a rich history and a bright future, Baltimore is the perfect host for the Society’s return to a live program, although there also will be a virtual option. The city boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in the country, historic taverns, a world-class art museum, and the popular National Aquarium. With the location by the water, there are opportunities for cruises and water tours. With easy access to airports and highways alike, the city is easy to reach from any point of origin.
This promises to be a historic meeting, with unparalleled energy and excitement. Join us. Go to https://www.paltc.org/annual-conference to register or for more information; registration opens November 10.
You Can Still Be Part of Flu Study
It’s not too late for members of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine to participate in a large-scale national study to evaluate the impact of antiviral medication choice on outcomes of influenza outbreaks in U.S. nursing homes. For more information on this important project, contact Insight Therapeutics, LLC, at [email protected] or at (757) 625-6040; or access additional information at https://join.nhflurx.com.