As in other health care settings, communication among nursing home staff is very important. In nursing homes, the care is based on a team approach. Physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals work together to make sure the resident is able to experience the highest quality of life possible.
In many cases, physicians who have had a long-term relationship with a patient continue treatment after the patient has been admitted to a nursing home. It is important for the nursing home staff to leave blocks of time open in the schedule for physician visits. It is also the staff's duty to keep the personal physicians apprised of a resident's medical condition.
The resident, physician, and resident's legal guardian and family must be told immediately if any of the following situations arise: an accident involving the resident, the need for a major treatment change, and a decision regarding discharge or transfer. Unless an emergency arises, the nursing home must give 30 days written notice of discharge or transfer. The family may appeal the decision.
Hosley, Julie B. "Geriatric Patients." In Lippincott's Textbook for Medical Assistants, edited by Julie B. Hosley, ShirleyA. Jones, and Elizabeth A. Molle-Matthews. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1997, pp.1021–22.
Health Care Financing Administration. 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244. (410) 786-3000. <http://www.hcfa.gov>.
Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, 601 13th Street NW, Suite 1150N, Washington D.C. 20005. (202) 783-6655. <http://www.jcaho.org>.
Federwisch, Anne. "A Good Home?" NurseWeek (September 6, 1999): <http://www.nurseweek.com/features/99-9/goodhome.html>.
"New law bars nursing homes from dumping patients." NurseWeek (March 29, 1999): <http://www.nurseweek.com/news/99-3/29f.html>.