California health system bolsters senior home care through acquisition

Rather than going through the headaches of building a home care service line from the ground up, St. Joseph Health is going the acquisition route to better care for seniors in their places of residence.

The 16-hospital, Irvine, Calif., health system announced Monday that it’s purchasing up to 26 Nurse Next Door Home Care Services franchises as a way to extend its hospitals’ reach. Doing so will allow St. Joseph to cater to the growing demand for seniors who need help at home with personal care, exercise, meal prep and transportation, according to a press release. Those involved expect the deal to generate 600 new nursing jobs in Orange County, and a $50 million new revenue line for the system once fully operational.

More than 10,000 Americans are turning 65 every day and, as AARP notes, some 90 percent of them would prefer to do so in the comfort of their own homes.

“This dramatic demographic shift requires a change in how health systems provide the best care where and when it is most needed,” John Bennett, chief administrative officer of St. Joseph Health, said in the release. “Our calling to care for our clients doesn’t end when they leave the hospital.”

Nurse Next Door comes by way of Canada, where it’s opened 57 locations since 2007, to go with 80 in the United States. It offers a whole range of home-based services for seniors, from basic companionship to Alzheimer’s and dementia support.

Five steps to take following a needlestick injury

So you’ve been scraped by a scalpel or nicked by a needle during your nursing duties? You’re not alone, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that almost 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur in U.S. health care facilities each year.

Such injuries are a big issue in health care, with more than 20 blood-borne pathogens reportedly transmitted in these cases, sometimes including HIV or hepatitis B/C, Dave Hurton of health care compliance company MedSafe writes in a blog post.

He offers five steps that nurses can take following a needlestick injury:

  1. Wash the wound with soap and water.
  2. Flush out your mouth, nose or skin with water.
  3. Irrigate eyes with water, saline or sterile irrigants.
  4. Report the incident to your supervisor.
  5. Immediately seek medical treatment at the nearest emergency department or treatment facility.

What your CNIO can do to help push tech adoption forward

If your hospital is struggling to adopt new technology and get it into the hands of nurses on the front lines, Health Data Management has a few tips for your chief nursing information officer.

Its website recommends that CNIOs must establish a solid connection with the organization’s chief nursing officer, along with putting RNs at the information technology planning table, volunteering for projects outside their purview and just staying visible in general. Those tips come by way of Mary Beth Mitchell, R.N., the CNIO of Texas Health Resources.

“You have to advocate for your customers,” Mitchell tells the website. “When I was a nurse, my patients were my customers, and now, the nurses are my customers. It doesn’t mean they get everything they want, but it does mean I’m out there listening to my users and responding to them. You can’t just sit in an office and do this job.”

Using her own advice, Mitchell has helped set THR on a solid path with its IT implementation, with the system getting recognized as a State 7 organization by HIMSS Analytics, and also winning the Davis award from HIMSS.

Rapid fire:

Here are a couple more items in bullet format:

  • Why nurses are essential to better and cheaper health care, via
  • New York nurses are urging state lawmakers to pass legislation setting minimum staff levels for hospitals and nursing homes, via the Associated Press.
  • Here’s a deep dive into the nursing shortage in the Hoosier State, which is being fueled by retirements and the aging population, via the Indianapolis Business Journal